Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

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jks1985
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Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by jks1985 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:10 pm

My wife and I have been looking for a house for about a year now.

We've had our eyes on one of them. It's been on the market for 100 days.

We went to its open house 2.5 months ago.

Two weeks ago, we wanted to see it again, so we called the company (C21) on the sign outside and had the seller's agent show us the house.

My wife and I decided that we wanted to make an offer, so we got pre-approved and scheduled one more showing just to make sure there wasn't anything we missed. If everything looked good, we were going to submit an offer that day.

So I told the seller's agent that our buyer's agent would be present at the final showing, and he refused. He said if we wanted the house, we had to do dual agency and use him as our agent.

Everything we've heard or read has been to steer clear from using the same agent as the seller. It just doesn't make sense. How can he truly represent both parties? (Not to mention that this seller's agent, by his own admission, is long-term friends with the owner.)

I don't know why he thinks he deserves to be our agent. He showed us the house once and we never signed anything with him.

Although I realize that there are plenty of houses in the sea and that another will pop up, I'm kind of mad we are missing out on our favorite house because of this.

Was I in the wrong for having the seller's agent privately show us the house that one time?

I guess in the future, I will stick to using Redfin tours only and never contact seller's agents again.

Silk McCue
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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by Silk McCue » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:21 pm

The sellers agent did all the work and you didn’t tell them that you had an agent. They deserve the whole sale.

You don’t have to miss out on the house. You just need to get over being miffed.

Sorry.

Cheers

trueblueky
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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by trueblueky » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:21 pm

jks1985 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:10 pm
My wife and I have been looking for a house for about a year now.

We've had our eyes on one of them. It's been on the market for 100 days.

We went to its open house 2.5 months ago.

Two weeks ago, we wanted to see it again, so we called the company (C21) on the sign outside and had the seller's agent show us the house.

My wife and I decided that we wanted to make an offer, so we got pre-approved and scheduled one more showing just to make sure there wasn't anything we missed. If everything looked good, we were going to submit an offer that day.

So I told the seller's agent that our buyer's agent would be present at the final showing, and he refused. He said if we wanted the house, we had to do dual agency and use him as our agent.

Everything we've heard or read has been to steer clear from using the same agent as the seller. It just doesn't make sense. How can he truly represent both parties? (Not to mention that this seller's agent, by his own admission, is long-term friends with the owner.)

I don't know why he thinks he deserves to be our agent. He showed us the house once and we never signed anything with him.

Although I realize that there are plenty of houses in the sea and that another will pop up, I'm kind of mad we are missing out on our favorite house because of this.

Was I in the wrong for having the seller's agent privately show us the house that one time?

I guess in the future, I will stick to using Redfin tours only and never contact seller's agents again.
Maybe have your seller's agent take it up with the local realtor board.

Dual agency is bad for you. The agent has a fiduciary responsibility to represent the seller.

sport
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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by sport » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:22 pm

I would have my agent present my offer directly to the homeowner. Let their agent explain to them why they cannot accept it.

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MP123
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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by MP123 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:24 pm

Did your buyers agent ever show you the house? Not clear that they've done anything in this deal.

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jks1985
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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by jks1985 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:26 pm

Silk McCue wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:21 pm
The sellers agent did all the work and you didn’t tell them that you had an agent. They deserve the whole sale.

You don’t have to miss out on the house. You just need to get over being miffed.

Sorry.

Cheers
He showed us the house once. He asked if we had an agent during the tour. We said we did not. He suggested using him and we said we'll think about it. We never agreed or signed anything.

strafe
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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by strafe » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:27 pm

I would submit an offer through your agent. The seller’s agent would presumably have an obligation to present your offer to the seller.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by jks1985 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:28 pm

MP123 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:24 pm
Did your buyers agent ever show you the house? Not clear that they've done anything in this deal.
My buyer's agent is a Redfin agent. He never showed us the house personally, but I had him check out the house on our behalf to check out the quality of construction, etc.

rage_phish
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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by rage_phish » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:29 pm

Wonder how the sellers would feel with their house being on the market for 100 days and their agent turning down an offer...

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by HomeStretch » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:31 pm

jks1985 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:28 pm
My buyer's agent is a Redfin agent.
What did your buyer’s agent say about the situation?

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by RickBoglehead » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:32 pm

If you had a Buyer's Agent, they should have been with you from the first visit. You were asked if you had an agent, and you said no.

For what purpose would you use a Buyer's Agent at this point? Negotiating? Hire a real estate attorney, which you should do before you sign anything.
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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by RickBoglehead » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:36 pm

jks1985 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:28 pm
MP123 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:24 pm
Did your buyers agent ever show you the house? Not clear that they've done anything in this deal.
My buyer's agent is a Redfin agent. He never showed us the house personally, but I had him check out the house on our behalf to check out the quality of construction, etc.
Is he a home inspector? How is he qualified to check the quality of construction.
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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by EddyB » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:36 pm

Silk McCue wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:21 pm
The sellers agent did all the work and you didn’t tell them that you had an agent. They deserve the whole sale.

You don’t have to miss out on the house. You just need to get over being miffed.

Sorry.

Cheers
No offer had been prepared, inspections have not been arranged and results considered, and the steps toward closing haven’t even commenced, so ample work remains to be done. It’s just an example of the preposterousness of the residential real estate sales business.

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jks1985
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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by jks1985 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:37 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:32 pm
If you had a Buyer's Agent, they should have been with you from the first visit. You were asked if you had an agent, and you said no.

For what purpose would you use a Buyer's Agent at this point? Negotiating? Hire a real estate attorney, which you should do before you sign anything.
We visited probably 30 houses before deciding. Some open houses. Some not. I didn't want to drag the redfin agent to us on every tour. I also wasn't aware that scheduling a showing with a seller's agent obligated me to use them in dual agency.

Is it good practice to use the same agent as the seller? Wouldn't there be a conflict of interest?

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by shess » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:43 pm

sport wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:22 pm
I would have my agent present my offer directly to the homeowner. Let their agent explain to them why they cannot accept it.
This.

When we bought our current house, our agent and the seller's agent got [into an argument] over the daily allowance for taxes and interest due based on a closing date change the seller needed. We were going to be travelling in 3 weeks, and they kept at it over an amount which wasn't even enough to be a rounding error on the overall cost, so in the last week I got them both on the line and said "I'm just going to talk to the seller directly", and magically they found a way to resolve the problem.

The seller's agent won't like it. But who cares, they aren't your friend. Your buyer's agent isn't even your friend.

[Edit by moderator oldcomputerguy]

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by RickBoglehead » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:44 pm

jks1985 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:37 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:32 pm
If you had a Buyer's Agent, they should have been with you from the first visit. You were asked if you had an agent, and you said no.

For what purpose would you use a Buyer's Agent at this point? Negotiating? Hire a real estate attorney, which you should do before you sign anything.
We visited probably 30 houses before deciding. Some open houses. Some not. I didn't want to drag the redfin agent to us on every tour. I also wasn't aware that scheduling a showing with a seller's agent obligated me to use them in dual agency.

Is it good practice to use the same agent as the seller? Wouldn't there be a conflict of interest?
Dragging the agent along is how they earn their money.

Did you sign a Buyer's Agent agreement before looking at houses?

Read up on dual agency.
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jks1985
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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by jks1985 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:45 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:36 pm
jks1985 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:28 pm
MP123 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:24 pm
Did your buyers agent ever show you the house? Not clear that they've done anything in this deal.
My buyer's agent is a Redfin agent. He never showed us the house personally, but I had him check out the house on our behalf to check out the quality of construction, etc.
Is he a home inspector? How is he qualified to check the quality of construction.
He's not a home inspector, but he's seen more houses than I have and I trust he has a better eye for these things than I do. It's not like I plan on waiving the inspection. I just want to get an idea of how the house is built before making an offer.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by J295 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:46 pm

Use your own agent.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:48 pm

jks1985 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:37 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:32 pm
If you had a Buyer's Agent, they should have been with you from the first visit. You were asked if you had an agent, and you said no.

For what purpose would you use a Buyer's Agent at this point? Negotiating? Hire a real estate attorney, which you should do before you sign anything.
We visited probably 30 houses before deciding. Some open houses. Some not. I didn't want to drag the redfin agent to us on every tour. I also wasn't aware that scheduling a showing with a seller's agent obligated me to use them in dual agency.

Is it good practice to use the same agent as the seller? Wouldn't there be a conflict of interest?
We don't always "drag" our agent (when we are buyers) to each open house, although it if isn't an open house, then our agent makes the arrangements.

But we sign in and list our agent, to make it clear there WILL be a "buyer agent" (or "our" agent) involved as well, and thus protect the shared commission for our agent (who worked hard for us, on several occasions; we did this in the past, with the purchase of our current house, and we are doing it again as we consider downsizing).

You are, of course, free (well, it's not really "free"...) to use your own agent at any stage, but you'd have to pay them. Perhaps they'd help with any negotiating for a lower fee than the regular shared commission they'd have gotten if they had been involved from the start?

RM
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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by pkjr » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:57 pm

First of all you need to make sure that your state allows dual agency. Not every state does. For example in Florida there is no dual agency. If you want to represent both parties you need to transition to transactional agent.

The second things is that the 1st agent was the procuring cause according to your description of events. He was the one to show you the house and you didn’t have any agent at that point. The agent you introduced later on did not earn his compensation.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by Lee_WSP » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:30 am

Look, you shouldn't have asked for the private showing, that's what buyers agents are for. It's how the system works. And yes they're all realtors so they're basically all in it.

But just have your agent present the offer and deal with the fallout. Worst you'll get is no.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by KyleAAA » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:41 am

The sellers agent is legally obligated to relay your offer to the seller. Just let your agent deal with it.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:45 am

Give up on this house and go look for another. This time involve your own agent from the beginning.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by msk » Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:10 am

Happened to me some 40 years ago in Quebec. Seems these laws are local area specific, so may not apply to you. We had a family friend estate agent show us numerous houses that she felt appropriate for us. I.e. she was the buyer's agent. DW had spent many months living in her home, close family friend. But DW felt that she was showing us houses more downmarket than DW would have liked. So we went off on our own to view (via the seller's agents as posted on the lawn ads) a couple more houses and we liked one. Told our family friend and she was really hurt! Seems that she would have to share the commission with whichever estate agent first showed us that house. In Quebec at that time my understanding was that any verbal contact/commitment was considered a binding contract, similar to a written contract. So she got only half the commission that she would have got otherwise; and to this day I regret what we did behind her back. Your buyer's agent has done a lot of running around, so he deserves some commission. The seller's agent is losing some commission. Too bad. At least he'll still get some cash. Live and learn for next time.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by mmmodem » Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:52 am

Don't give up on this house.
Don't use the seller's agent for the obvious reasons you've stated.
Discuss this with your agent on how to proceed With the offer.
A resolution is your agent will make an offer to the seller's agent to split the fee. Instead of the normal 3% each to buyer's and seller's agent, they can split it 4.5% and 1.5% respectively since your agent didn't show the house. The seller's agent showed you the house and ought to be paid for the work. The amount you pay for the home is unaffected as the negotiations will be done with your agent.

I had a similar problem where I had what I considered an inept agent and we replaced her. My new agent suggested if we did purchase the home, that they could split the fee.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by CurlyDave » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:01 am

jks1985 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:37 pm
...Is it good practice to use the same agent as the seller? Wouldn't there be a conflict of interest?
I have bought many properties using the same agent as the seller. When I was accumulating real estate I would seek out that situation and negotiate a 1% overall reduction in commission, which lowered the total price, compensated the agent more than a usual sale, and gave me an inside track if a bidding situation arose. But, I was, and am an experienced, relatively sophisticated real estate investor.

I see it as a relatively minor conflict. There are two real issues, one is the price you are going to offer and the inspection. The inspection protects you against defects in construction, termite infestation, that kind of stuff.

The second issue, is that a good agent on your side will protect you against issues with the neighborhood. Is it changing in character? Does that nice little park down the street become a drug emporium after dark? Reputation of local schools? Do the streets become clogged with parked cars in the evening? Is there gang activity? Are there traffic problems during commute hours? Is there a dying shopping center nearby? Those and hundreds of other things.

I have little experience with Redfin, but are their agents going to know the neighborhood as well as a local agent?

The other thing your own agent can do is that if you change your mind about the house, even after your offer is accepted, they know a hundred different excuses to get out of the deal -- a dual agent, not so much.

Protect yourself on many of the neighborhood issues by visiting in the evening, at night, in the early morning, on weekends and weekdays. You do not need an agent for this, you are looking at the neighborhood, not your particular house. Too many people visit a house only during "house hunting hours" not remembering that they are going to be living there 24/7. See what happens there at all hours. Then give the dual agent a written list of questions about the neighborhood, potential changes, etc. He is obligated to answer these truthfully. Save his written answers.

Lastly, negotiate hard on price. There should be a reasonable discount for a house 100 days on the market, especially going into the end of the year which are the sales doldrums for real estate.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by DesertDiva » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:35 am

Procuring cause means that the agent who "performed the tasks that led you to buy would be the agent who ‘earned’ the commission,”
Read more about Procuring cause here: www.realtor.com/advice/buy/if-i-first-s ... ther2.amp/

This is why I generally avoid going to open houses. If you decide to go to one without your buyers agent, I would bring the agent’s business card and explicitly state you are working with someone.

This is well established and you won’t have any recourse. Your buyers agent should have warned you and given you instructions.

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jks1985
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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by jks1985 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:31 am

A lot of good advice in this thread. Looks like I made a couple of mistakes along the way.

Going forward, I will avoid meeting with the seller's agents alone, giving them my contact info, or even contacting them. I'll also go out of my way to make sure they know I have a buyer's agent if I go to any open houses.

Thanks for the help, guys.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by wilshuer » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:33 am

DesertDiva wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:35 am
Procuring cause means that the agent who "performed the tasks that led you to buy would be the agent who ‘earned’ the commission,”
Read more about Procuring cause here: www.realtor.com/advice/buy/if-i-first-s ... ther2.amp/

This is why I generally avoid going to open houses. If you decide to go to one without your buyers agent, I would bring the agent’s business card and explicitly state you are working with someone.

This is well established and you won’t have any recourse. Your buyers agent should have warned you and given you instructions.
Seems pretty clear in that article it talks about having a contract for representation, even then says difficult to enforce. In case of an open house, very simply tell them you don’t need their representation, none of their business who it is.

I would either negotiate so that there is a 4% commission for dual representation, use your own agent, or find another house.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by ramsfan » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:36 am

KyleAAA wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:41 am
The sellers agent is legally obligated to relay your offer to the seller. Just let your agent deal with it.

THIS!!!

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by Lee_WSP » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:51 am

wilshuer wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:33 am
DesertDiva wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:35 am
Procuring cause means that the agent who "performed the tasks that led you to buy would be the agent who ‘earned’ the commission,”
Read more about Procuring cause here: www.realtor.com/advice/buy/if-i-first-s ... ther2.amp/

This is why I generally avoid going to open houses. If you decide to go to one without your buyers agent, I would bring the agent’s business card and explicitly state you are working with someone.

This is well established and you won’t have any recourse. Your buyers agent should have warned you and given you instructions.
Seems pretty clear in that article it talks about having a contract for representation, even then says difficult to enforce. In case of an open house, very simply tell them you don’t need their representation, none of their business who it is.

I would either negotiate so that there is a 4% commission for dual representation, use your own agent, or find another house.
LOL. You're all going to accept 'legal' advice from a realtor website?

Unless it was made clear to the buyer that the act of showing the house means the buyer explicitly agrees to give the realtor first crack at it, no contract was made. You implied that you would give the agent first crack at it, but you also have the right to fire them. Just like you can fire your attorney.

If a contract was signed, the repercussions would be in that document.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by DesertDiva » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:57 am

Lee_WSP wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:51 am
wilshuer wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:33 am
DesertDiva wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:35 am
Procuring cause means that the agent who "performed the tasks that led you to buy would be the agent who ‘earned’ the commission,”
Read more about Procuring cause here: www.realtor.com/advice/buy/if-i-first-s ... ther2.amp/

This is why I generally avoid going to open houses. If you decide to go to one without your buyers agent, I would bring the agent’s business card and explicitly state you are working with someone.

This is well established and you won’t have any recourse. Your buyers agent should have warned you and given you instructions.
Seems pretty clear in that article it talks about having a contract for representation, even then says difficult to enforce. In case of an open house, very simply tell them you don’t need their representation, none of their business who it is.

I would either negotiate so that there is a 4% commission for dual representation, use your own agent, or find another house.
LOL. You're all going to accept 'legal' advice from a realtor website?

Unless it was made clear to the buyer that the act of showing the house means the buyer explicitly agrees to give the realtor first crack at it, no contract was made. You implied that you would give the agent first crack at it, but you also have the right to fire them. Just like you can fire your attorney.

If a contract was signed, the repercussions would be in that document.
The article may have been on a realtor website, however it is a well-established doctrine. The buyer has no choice but to accept dual agency if they still want that specific property. Going to the local board won’t change that - they will side with the sellers agent. Procuring Cause is something every agent is fully aware of. The Buyers Agent failed to educate the OP.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by Lee_WSP » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:03 am

DesertDiva wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:57 am
Lee_WSP wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:51 am
wilshuer wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:33 am
DesertDiva wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:35 am
Procuring cause means that the agent who "performed the tasks that led you to buy would be the agent who ‘earned’ the commission,”
Read more about Procuring cause here: www.realtor.com/advice/buy/if-i-first-s ... ther2.amp/

This is why I generally avoid going to open houses. If you decide to go to one without your buyers agent, I would bring the agent’s business card and explicitly state you are working with someone.

This is well established and you won’t have any recourse. Your buyers agent should have warned you and given you instructions.
Seems pretty clear in that article it talks about having a contract for representation, even then says difficult to enforce. In case of an open house, very simply tell them you don’t need their representation, none of their business who it is.

I would either negotiate so that there is a 4% commission for dual representation, use your own agent, or find another house.
LOL. You're all going to accept 'legal' advice from a realtor website?

Unless it was made clear to the buyer that the act of showing the house means the buyer explicitly agrees to give the realtor first crack at it, no contract was made. You implied that you would give the agent first crack at it, but you also have the right to fire them. Just like you can fire your attorney.

If a contract was signed, the repercussions would be in that document.
The article may have been on a realtor website, however it is a well-established doctrine. The buyer has no choice but to accept dual agency. Going to the local board won’t change that - they will side with the sellers agent.
In this particular case, the seller's agent knows and could try to enforce the doctrine but tank the sale. But in all other cases, the showing agent would have no knowledge. Plus it's all enforced within the realtor's board, it's not an actual law.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by fredflinstone » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:42 am

OP, you did nothing wrong. Have your agent submit an offer. The seller's agent is legally obligated to show it to the seller. The seller will be happy to sell you his or her home.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by HoosierJim » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:48 am

trueblueky wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:21 pm
The agent has a fiduciary responsibility to represent the seller.
I hear this a lot but it's almost never borne out in practice. It's best to operate under the assumption that the agent's fiduciary duty is to themselves and to close the deal. If the agent was truly acting as a fiduciary they would present the deal you want to make.

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Last edited by HoosierJim on Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dave55
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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by Dave55 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:58 am

jks1985 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:37 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:32 pm
If you had a Buyer's Agent, they should have been with you from the first visit. You were asked if you had an agent, and you said no.

For what purpose would you use a Buyer's Agent at this point? Negotiating? Hire a real estate attorney, which you should do before you sign anything.
We visited probably 30 houses before deciding. Some open houses. Some not. I didn't want to drag the redfin agent to us on every tour. I also wasn't aware that scheduling a showing with a seller's agent obligated me to use them in dual agency.

Is it good practice to use the same agent as the seller? Wouldn't there be a conflict of interest?

So you did not want to "drag the redfin agent" on every tour while you looked. From your statement here, you had an agent when you viewed the house you want to buy, so why did not tell the seller's agent that you have an agent? Did you forget?

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by 8foot7 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:18 am

DesertDiva wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:57 am


The article may have been on a realtor website, however it is a well-established doctrine. The buyer has no choice but to accept dual agency if they still want that specific property. Going to the local board won’t change that - they will side with the sellers agent. Procuring Cause is something every agent is fully aware of. The Buyers Agent failed to educate the OP.
This is completely untrue. Buyer can do whatever they want - they’ve committed to nor agreed to nothing. Buyer is not obligated to accept anything. The buyer can submit any offer directly to the sellers. If the seller agent refuses to present your offer then that’s a breach of conduct and the seller agent can be cut out of the deal entirely. The buyer agent is the one with the problem of being compensated or left out of the deal and I suggest you let the agents work it out between themselves.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:27 am

jks1985 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:10 pm
My wife and I have been looking for a house for about a year now.

We've had our eyes on one of them. It's been on the market for 100 days.

We went to its open house 2.5 months ago.

Two weeks ago, we wanted to see it again, so we called the company (C21) on the sign outside and had the seller's agent show us the house.

My wife and I decided that we wanted to make an offer, so we got pre-approved and scheduled one more showing just to make sure there wasn't anything we missed. If everything looked good, we were going to submit an offer that day.

So I told the seller's agent that our buyer's agent would be present at the final showing, and he refused. He said if we wanted the house, we had to do dual agency and use him as our agent.

Everything we've heard or read has been to steer clear from using the same agent as the seller. It just doesn't make sense. How can he truly represent both parties? (Not to mention that this seller's agent, by his own admission, is long-term friends with the owner.)

I don't know why he thinks he deserves to be our agent. He showed us the house once and we never signed anything with him.

Although I realize that there are plenty of houses in the sea and that another will pop up, I'm kind of mad we are missing out on our favorite house because of this.

Was I in the wrong for having the seller's agent privately show us the house that one time?

I guess in the future, I will stick to using Redfin tours only and never contact seller's agents again.
Yes. At least if you wanted to use a different agent for the sale.
Last edited by michaeljc70 on Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:29 am

ramsfan wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:36 am
KyleAAA wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:41 am
The sellers agent is legally obligated to relay your offer to the seller. Just let your agent deal with it.

THIS!!!
They are not legally obligated to pay the agent a commission though and your agent probably doesn't want to work for free. There is a reason agents insist on people coming to an open house sign in.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by Lee_WSP » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:47 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:29 am
ramsfan wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:36 am
KyleAAA wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:41 am
The sellers agent is legally obligated to relay your offer to the seller. Just let your agent deal with it.

THIS!!!
They are not legally obligated to pay the agent a commission though and your agent probably doesn't want to work for free. There is a reason agents insist on people coming to an open house sign in.
Then buyer can either accept the dual agency or move on. Either way, buyer isn't screwed. This is a realtor v realtor issue. But isn't there some realtor rules regarding buyer who doesn't want dual agency?

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by corysold » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:57 am

The issue is the Seller's agent doesn't want to pay your agent a commission when they did all of the work. Why would they?

Your agent should have been "dragged" along to all of the showings, that's what they are there for. Redfin agents muddy these waters are they aren't full commission agents and don't offer the same services, but they shouldn't expect to get as such either.

The selling agent showed you the house twice, they deserve to get paid for that. You can still submit an offer through them, you should know what you want to pay for the house. The sellers and can take it or not, there isn't much negotiation at that point. Then hire your own attorney and inspector to get an independent review of the house.

Your agent did nothing, they don't deserve a big check for writing an offer after all of the hard work was done.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by KyleAAA » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:59 am

DesertDiva wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:57 am
Lee_WSP wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:51 am
wilshuer wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:33 am
DesertDiva wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:35 am
Procuring cause means that the agent who "performed the tasks that led you to buy would be the agent who ‘earned’ the commission,”
Read more about Procuring cause here: www.realtor.com/advice/buy/if-i-first-s ... ther2.amp/

This is why I generally avoid going to open houses. If you decide to go to one without your buyers agent, I would bring the agent’s business card and explicitly state you are working with someone.

This is well established and you won’t have any recourse. Your buyers agent should have warned you and given you instructions.
Seems pretty clear in that article it talks about having a contract for representation, even then says difficult to enforce. In case of an open house, very simply tell them you don’t need their representation, none of their business who it is.

I would either negotiate so that there is a 4% commission for dual representation, use your own agent, or find another house.
LOL. You're all going to accept 'legal' advice from a realtor website?

Unless it was made clear to the buyer that the act of showing the house means the buyer explicitly agrees to give the realtor first crack at it, no contract was made. You implied that you would give the agent first crack at it, but you also have the right to fire them. Just like you can fire your attorney.

If a contract was signed, the repercussions would be in that document.
The article may have been on a realtor website, however it is a well-established doctrine. The buyer has no choice but to accept dual agency if they still want that specific property. Going to the local board won’t change that - they will side with the sellers agent. Procuring Cause is something every agent is fully aware of. The Buyers Agent failed to educate the OP.
Completely false. The buyer is under no obligation to accept anything. The doctrine is a policy, not a law. What IS law is that the sellers agent has a fiduciary duty to relay the buyer’s offer to the seller. It is up to the seller whether or not to sell to that buyer. No such realtor nonsense comes into play, not even a little. If he sellers agent wants to fight the buyers agent for a larger share of the commission behind the scenes, go for it. But the buyer is not in any way obligated to accept dual agency. There is no contract in this case.
Last edited by KyleAAA on Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by RickBoglehead » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:02 am

Still haven't seen where OP stated whether they have a signed agreement with the Redfin agent, and if so WHEN in the process they signed it.
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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by corysold » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:13 am

KyleAAA wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:59 am
DesertDiva wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:57 am
Lee_WSP wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:51 am
wilshuer wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:33 am
DesertDiva wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:35 am


Read more about Procuring cause here: www.realtor.com/advice/buy/if-i-first-s ... ther2.amp/

This is why I generally avoid going to open houses. If you decide to go to one without your buyers agent, I would bring the agent’s business card and explicitly state you are working with someone.

This is well established and you won’t have any recourse. Your buyers agent should have warned you and given you instructions.
Seems pretty clear in that article it talks about having a contract for representation, even then says difficult to enforce. In case of an open house, very simply tell them you don’t need their representation, none of their business who it is.

I would either negotiate so that there is a 4% commission for dual representation, use your own agent, or find another house.
LOL. You're all going to accept 'legal' advice from a realtor website?

Unless it was made clear to the buyer that the act of showing the house means the buyer explicitly agrees to give the realtor first crack at it, no contract was made. You implied that you would give the agent first crack at it, but you also have the right to fire them. Just like you can fire your attorney.

If a contract was signed, the repercussions would be in that document.
The article may have been on a realtor website, however it is a well-established doctrine. The buyer has no choice but to accept dual agency if they still want that specific property. Going to the local board won’t change that - they will side with the sellers agent. Procuring Cause is something every agent is fully aware of. The Buyers Agent failed to educate the OP.
Completely false. The buyer is under no obligation to accept anything. The doctrine is a policy, not a law. What IS law is that the sellers agent has a fiduciary duty to relay the buyer’s offer to the seller. It is up to the seller whether or not to sell to that buyer. No such realtor nonsense comes into play, not even a little. If he sellers agent wants to fight the buyers agent for a larger share of the commission behind the scenes, go for it. But the buyer is not in any way obligated to accept dual agency. There is no contract in this case.
No one has to accept dual agency. But the buyer needs to understand that their agent isn't going to get paid if they buy this house. They can decide if they want to still make the purchase or not. The buyer's agent should have informed them how the process works. That's Realtor 101. They didn't, so now they lose a commission. Every one learns a lesson.

You can ask the seller's agent if they will allow another agent from their office to represent you. That way the commission stays in the same office, they can work out their agreement behind the scenes, it's the same broker, but you are using a different agent who in theory is representing only you.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by Lee_WSP » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:27 am

corysold wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:57 am
The issue is the Seller's agent doesn't want to pay your agent a commission when they did all of the work. Why would they?

Your agent should have been "dragged" along to all of the showings, that's what they are there for. Redfin agents muddy these waters are they aren't full commission agents and don't offer the same services, but they shouldn't expect to get as such either.

The selling agent showed you the house twice, they deserve to get paid for that. You can still submit an offer through them, you should know what you want to pay for the house. The sellers and can take it or not, there isn't much negotiation at that point. Then hire your own attorney and inspector to get an independent review of the house.

Your agent did nothing, they don't deserve a big check for writing an offer after all of the hard work was done.
Showing a house is two hours of work all in at the high end. Hardly worth 3% of the selling price.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by JGoneRiding » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:40 am

jks1985 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:37 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:32 pm
If you had a Buyer's Agent, they should have been with you from the first visit. You were asked if you had an agent, and you said no.

For what purpose would you use a Buyer's Agent at this point? Negotiating? Hire a real estate attorney, which you should do before you sign anything.
We visited probably 30 houses before deciding. Some open houses. Some not. I didn't want to drag the redfin agent to us on every tour. I also wasn't aware that scheduling a showing with a seller's agent obligated me to use them in dual agency.

Is it good practice to use the same agent as the seller? Wouldn't there be a conflict of interest?
When I bought my first house 12 yr ago the local agents had a lot of animosity towards big city agents coming in with buyers from 2 h away but not wanting to be there for every showing. They wrote the sell contracts so if the buyers agent missed any showings they were cut out. So not as unusual as you think. I needed to recheck a house and my agent was not immediately available they agreed that the sellers agent could reshow me THAT house. I promised I wouldn't allow him to show me others but if he had yes my agent would have been cut out of the deal.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by Watty » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:41 am

A lot of what is legally required may vary by state so take anything that is said here with a huge gain of salt since it might not apply in your state.

You have a huge amount of bargaining power since the house has been on the market for 100 days and the winter is a really bad time of year to try to sell a house in many areas.

In some ways what is legally required, or customary in your area, does not really matter a lot since in a real estate deal everything is negotiable, including commissions. Even if the selling agent does not like it, or think it is what is legally required, they might be a lot better off with accepting part of the commission than letting the listing expire and getting paid nothing.

The odds of the selling agent being able to find some other buyer without an agent is not all that great. If your offer does not work out then and they do eventually sell the house they would likely only get part of the commission anyway since any other buyer would likely have a real estate agent.

There are egos involved which can cause problems from from a financial point of view it makes sense for the selling agent to proceed with an offer from your agent.

You have got a bit of mess and the best thing to do is to let your agent figure out how to clear it up. Cleaning up messes to make transactions work is a big part of what they get paid for. They may talk to their legal staff and even decide to withdraw to prevent problems or have a complaint filed against them.

One consideration though is that if you were expecting to get some sort of rebate from the Redfin agent then you may need to give that up to make the deal work.
Last edited by Watty on Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by averagelonghorn » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:44 am

Did you sign a Buyer's Representation agreement with the Redfin agent? If so, it might spell out the commission your buyer's agent is entitled to, and probably says they will try first to collect from the Seller (or Seller's agent.) But you could be obligated to pay it if they can't collect from the seller/listing agent.

I do agree that you should discuss the situation with your buyer's agent, but read any agreements you have with them to understand what you have committed to. Of course it's better for you to be represented.

I'm a Realtor, and in general don't tend to have potential buyers sign a buyer's rep agreement until they're ready to actually make an offer, but many buyer's agents do.

In future, feel free to go to Open Houses, but always tell them you are working with an agent already. (For the most part, at least in my market area, Open Houses mostly have the purpose of the agent getting leads on buyers generally, not necessarily just that one house.... Actually selling the house to a prospect that attends the open house is a rare bonus.)

And in the future, any other showings should be through your buyer's agent; that's their job, make 'em work for it.

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:58 am

Lee_WSP wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:27 am
corysold wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:57 am
The issue is the Seller's agent doesn't want to pay your agent a commission when they did all of the work. Why would they?

Your agent should have been "dragged" along to all of the showings, that's what they are there for. Redfin agents muddy these waters are they aren't full commission agents and don't offer the same services, but they shouldn't expect to get as such either.

The selling agent showed you the house twice, they deserve to get paid for that. You can still submit an offer through them, you should know what you want to pay for the house. The sellers and can take it or not, there isn't much negotiation at that point. Then hire your own attorney and inspector to get an independent review of the house.

Your agent did nothing, they don't deserve a big check for writing an offer after all of the hard work was done.
Showing a house is two hours of work all in at the high end. Hardly worth 3% of the selling price.
That's two hours more than the buyer's agent put in....

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Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

Post by Barsoom » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:06 pm

My story:

I was relocating out of state and needed to sell my home. My selling agent was a neighbor we've known for many years who was a realtor who specialized in our neighborhood (an upscale gated community). It was useful for us to have a neighbor/agent who could handle last minute issues by being just a few doors away.

After I relocated, we had a potential buyer who's financing fell through at the last minute. We didn't know it at the time, but our selling agent ended up working with the buyer to arrange new financing through her contacts. She ended up being the buying agent, too, in order to save the sale for us. We were under a bit of a time crunch, because we took out a bridge loan to cover the purchase of our new home in another state, and the term of the loan was coming due.

Everything worked out for us.

-B

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