When I first started the home search process, I did what most people these days do- I started looking online. I went to a few popular home search sites, punched in a few parameters and bam- had hours worth of home shopping to spend looking at pictures, and fantasize.
I found a few homes that I wanted to see among the listings. Conveniently, there was a Listing Agent, with a phone number and an “email me” button on the site. I picked up the phone, called a few agents, and because of phone tag and conflicting schedules, arranged to see only one house that Saturday.
My “Salesman Radar” was going haywire.
It was the first house my husband and I viewed, and it really wasn’t what we were looking for. The listing agent offered to be our buyer’s agent and really had turned on the charm- full blast- to the point where we were almost blown out the door by charm. He was a nice guy, don’t get me wrong. Maybe a little too nice. My “Salesman Radar” was going haywire. I knew- this was not someone I trusted to “give it to me straight.”
That’s when I found out about exclusive buyers agents, stopped the home search and started the representation search. But this is not the best way to go about it and for many people, leads to being represented by someone that you just don’t quite trust, or worse.
If we had decided to purchase the home that agent showed us, we would be obligated to work with him. Despite the fact that I didn’t trust him, didn’t know him, and didn’t want to work with him.
Once an agent has shown you a home, they will represent you if you decide to buy that home.
No interview, no chance to research to find out who this person is- or if they’ve ever even done this before, nothing. Not only that, if that agent was hired by the home seller, that agent has an inherent conflict of interests. And of course, that agent will be getting the commission allotted the seller’s agent, and the buyer’s agent.
If you want to be represented fairly and with maximum protection, it is critical to first research and find an agent you trust, then view homes.
Learn more about when the relationship with an agent begins on Friday, when we will post our Realtor Representation Fact Sheet.