Understanding the Risks of Using a Listing Agent as Your Buyer Agent

02.24.2016.Chong

If you are searching for a new home without a Realtor® and you find the perfect property, is it alright to use the listing agent as your buyer agent? The short answer is No. To understand why, there are key things to know so you can avoid this potentially terrible mistake. Some people think if they go to the listing agent to buy a property, their offer will be the winning one in a seller’s market. Any Realtor® worth their services will actually refuse to take on a buyer interested in a property they already represent. To do so would create a severe conflict of interest.

In order for us to protect our clients’ best interests, agents cannot represent both sides. If you were to get involved in a lawsuit, you would not ask the plaintiff attorney to represent you as the defendant as well. The same principle applies in real estate. As a buyer, you would be taking a significant risk in negotiation on a property that may cost hundreds of thousand dollars if not millions. Should a listing agent be willing to take on a buyer who wants to make an offer on a property, their professional judgment could become clouded when it comes to representing the best interest of their clients. How can a person try to get the best price possible for the seller while try to get the lowest price and favorable terms possible for the buyers at the same time?

I have learned this very lesson from my own experience when I bought my first investment property. There was key information which the listing agent didn’t divulge that would have deterred me from buying the property. A clear case of conflict of interest if ever there was one. A listing agent is there to show the property the best way possible for the seller, while the buyer’s agent’s responsibility is to let you see the bad and good of the property, to ensure you can make an informed decision. Why would you want to buy a home any other way?

At Haylen Group, we discourage our agents from going into any dual agency situation. When buyers ask us to represent them while we are the listing agent, we refer these buyers to another Realtor® instead. We refer to agents we know and trust in the industry, yet who are not connected with the Haylen Group. We would rather help a buyer find a trusted resource than attempt to get double the commission on a sale. The risks are not worth losing our integrity as Real Estate Agents, nor are they worth the potential detriment to buyers looking for a new home. Ultimately as a buyer you want to take time in selecting your own agent before you begin searching for a property.

Real estate agents have the experience and expertise to help you find a new home. Having your own buying agent will help ensure you get the service you deserve. A buying agent can tell you what to be aware of when buying a home. This is a home for your family, be selective and be aware of who you use.

When you are ready to buy or sell a home, we at Haylen Group are here to help you with all of your real estate needs! If you are unsure what your options are, call Helen Chong at (408) 800-LIST or email at Helen@HaylenGroup.com. You can also visit us at our website for available listings and additional information.

 

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