Should It Be Agent for Seller or Buyer?

Welcome to my ponderings once again and Happy Easter!

Another recent occurrence, one of the many conundrums for home owners is that they can be inundated with claims by some agents that those same agents have buyers for their property or better still, a massive data base of buyers for their property.

This can be very tempting indeed for owners who are even in the slightest bit interested in selling their prized possession but don’t want to go to the extent of full market listing with an agent. Often their thoughts are, well why not give it a go?

(By the way, there are many reasons not to – maximizing exposure to the full and open market is one but that is not the subject of this pondering.)

The subject of this pondering is who are those agents actually acting for?

Taking a step back for a moment, if this has happened to you or someone you know, it may sound familiar and here is how it often goes down.

Those same agents (with their buyers for your place) will declare to you as the owner that in order to show the property to their buyer, they must by law secure an appointment to act from you the owner. (This is and is not the entire truth)

Now, a reasonable agent might suggest such an appointment be set up for a week in order to process the buyer but that very often doesn’t happen and before you realize it, your friends or you, as that owner, have signed up for an exclusive agency that runs for 90 days.

Interesting and somehow, as is often the case, the mysterious buyer who the appointment was supposed to be for in the first instance, has suddenly gone and purchased something else or changed their minds all together with the owners caught in a conundrum of not knowing what to do but put up with the 90-day appointment.

I have seen this sort of behaviour quite often and it is, as often as it is not, an underhanded way of securing a listing and in my opinion, it borders on being unethical.

Think about this for a moment.

In reality, who are those agents actually working for? Did you approach them to find a buyer for your property? No. If you did they would be (or should be) acting on your behalf.

However, the agent(s) approached you in their capacity as supposedly representing some buyer who wishes to buy your place – they are therefore in reality a Buyer’s Agent.

When placed under the pressure that can be applied, it can seem easier for an owner to go along with it and sign the paper work but the reality is, the agent can create an appointment to act for the buyer and be paid a commission by that buyer.

If their intentions are pure, they should have no problem in doing so.

The impact on the owner in that scenario is that the agent works for the buyer not for the owner which is not conducive to best price.

However, the whole approach and getting the owner to sign an appointment to act in the first instance was also not conducive to getting the best price. The agent was still acting for the buyer and pretending to act for the owner. The difference being, that the owner would be the one paying the commission not the buyer who realistically should do so.

So if you or your friends are approached with “buyer to buy your place or buyers on tap”, suggest to that agent to draw up an appointment to act with their buyer thus precluding you from having to pay any fees including commissions to the agent and you will not get caught up in having an appointment you didn’t really want in the first place because you might have only been slightly interested in selling in the first instance.

If you would like more info on this or find yourself in such a situation, feel welcome to contact me. In the meantime, Happy Easter!

Real Estate Selling
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Should It Be Agent for Seller or Buyer?