What do you mean I already "picked" MY agent!?!

“I was told at work that if I see even ONE house with an agent, that agent becomes MY agent.”

It’s a scary thought that seeing one single house with an agent, locks you into some kind of long term unwritten contract with that agent. I have heard the quoted statement more than once from my clients, so to keep this article as short as possible, I’m going to answer it with examples. The underlying principles involved can be addressed by responding to questions in the comment portion.

Example #1:

Buyer Consumer passes by a house for sale, pulls out their cell phone and calls the number on the sign and asks to see the house. Agent who answers the phone says I’m two minutes away, if you wait there I’ll show it to you. Buyer sees house and decides to make an offer, but doesn’t like the agent who showed up and intends to leave and submit an offer through an agent who is NOT the agent who showed them the house. Can they do that?

Clearly a consumer cannot be forced to use an agent they don’t like or know. The question is not what the buyer can or cannot do as their next step. The question is can the agent who they choose to write the offer and represent them end up not getting paid? More to the point, can the agent who gets paid be required to give the money back months after it closes? That answer to both of those questions is yes.

Buyer can choose their agent always, buyer can’t guarantee that the agent will get paid for their efforts in most cases.

Example #2

Buyer Consumer calls phone number in an ad and asks to see the property in the ad. Agent shows up and shows them the house and they want to make an offer.

Example #3

Buyer consumer goes into an Open House, likes it, wants to make an offer.

Example #4

Buyer consumer looks at houses on several separate occasions with an agent. They find house they like and ask the agent several questions. Buyer not satisfied with answers regarding advices at this point and decides to find a different agent to make an offer.

Example #5

Buyer consumer sees that they can get a “rebate” if they use a certain agent to write the offer. They thank the agent, who they liked very much, but decide to use a different agent in order to get “cash back at closing”.

These are all real life every day examples of what happens out in the real world. So let’s get back to the original statement. “I was told at work that when I see a house with an agent…that agent becomes my agent.”

The people who quoted that statement seemed to think that the agent who showed that one house became “their” agent, even if they didn’t want to buy THAT house. So the simple answer to those people is NO. If you see a house with an agent, that agent does not become your agent long term when you decide to buy a different house. UNLESS you signed a Buyer Agency Agreement with that agent in order to see that house.

Never sign a Buyer Agency Agreement just to see one house (or make an offer on one house) with someone you are not choosing to be your agent long term. I would think that is obvious, but for what it’s worth I’ll say it again. NEVER sign a buyer agency agreement with someone you are not selecting to be your agent into the future.

Once you DO, IF you do, sign a Buyer Agency agreement in order to see a house or make an offer, understand that piece of paper could come back to bite you in the butt, when you least expect it, many months later.

If you do not sign a Buyer Agency Agreement you have the freedom to choose your agent at ANY time. What you can’t decide is whether or not that agent will be paid. But there is no rule for consumers that says they are not free to choose their own agent, as long as the agent is willing to risk not getting paid.

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About ARDELL

ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties RE Seattle/King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 28 years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: ardelld@gmail.com cell: 206-910-1000

72 thoughts on “What do you mean I already "picked" MY agent!?!

  1. Ardell,

    Normally, I agree with you, however this time you have things all wrong.

    First, let me point out that you are violating the law by not having the brokerage’s name you work for on every advertising piece. Frankly, your website lacks any mention of the company you work in conjunction with. If you violate this law, what other laws are you violating?

    Secondly, with regards to your statement, ” The question is can the agent who they choose to write the offer and represent them end up not getting paid? More to the point, can the agent who gets paid be required to give the money back months after it closes? That answer to both of those questions is yes.”

    Actually the first part of your question is yes. However, you should point out that you would need to prove that you were the procurring cause of the property. Frankly, in Washington State, procurring cause issues are never won by the agent that claims procurring clause. More so, its won by the agent that writes the deals. Now, if you would like to talk about variable commission rates in order to prevent buyers from using limited service companies, that’s an entirely different story.

    To the second portion of your question, that answer is no! If an agent and brokerage has earned the commission, as posted on the MLS, they are not required to give back any commission to the buyer or seller, unless directed to do so by a court of law/arbitration hearing.

    I realize that buyer brokerage agreements are not common in your industry, but I would never work with an agent unless I had a contract with that agent to provide services and in turn, a promise from me to use their services. Any agent that doesn’t ask for a buyer brokerage agreement is an agent that is not worth a grain of salt, in my humble opinion.

    I wish you were part of a larger organization than the company you do work for… I think then you would have more up to date information.

  2. Jason,

    Your first point is interesting. My website hosting company put that header on without asking me “temporarily”. I’ll have them fix that ASAP and thanks for the heads up. I honestly don’t go there often and sincerely appreciate your picking up on that. I’ll read the rest after I address that right now. When they split out SearchingTheSound.com and SearchingSeattle.com, they removed the company logo. Not sure why. I’ll call right now and have them fix that. I’ll check SearchingtheSound.com also, though I think that one has the original format that we approved.

  3. I called my website hosting company and they assure me that my site DOES comply with the law. Whew!! They will post here shortly.

    That was scary for a minute. Glad Jason was wrong on that. I’ll read the rest of what he had to say.

  4. I’m Ardell’s webmaster. Regarding “…that you are violating the law …”
    I’m afraid you’re mistaken. ( It’s okay, I look for these things also when visiting websites. ;^) In 2000 the state drafted “Washington State Guidelines for Advertising and Procuring Prospects on the Internet” that describes “disclosure” and states that full disclosure must be within one click of every viewable page.

    http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/realestate/reinternetguidelines.pdf

    Ardell’s “Contact Us” page has full disclosure as required by the law.

  5. Thanks Jan. I rely on you to know the rules and laws associated with sites and am VERY GLAD to hear that you know what you are doing πŸ™‚

    We selected Jan intitially because she was recommended by NWMLS as a website provider who would keep us in compliance with laws and mls rules as they change from time to time. And she DOES! One of the advantages of picking providers who host real estate websites for others in the same area and mls.

  6. Jason,

    It seems the tone and content of your entire comment is a “slam”, but for what it’s worth, let’s see where else you may be incorrect.

    A PC decision is almost always AFTER the transaction closes, so if the answer to one is YES then the answer to the other is also YES. How that happens was not mentioned…so your point is moot as to whether that happens by PC for one and the Court for the other or both PC or how it happens…I never mentioned how, so you are arguing with yourself on that one. Personally I think the whole thing will change over the next couple of years, so it will be interesting to follow as new business models challenge the old underpinnings.

    The purpose of the article is to answer the question, MUST consumers USE an agent they didn’t electively select? I stand by my article…the answer is NO. Consumers cannot be forced into being represented by someone they did not electively select.

  7. Let’s see, the rest of your comment doesn’t have a question. Every time I negotiate a commission with a buyer I offer them the opportunity to have a Buyer Agency Agreement for their protection. Sounds like you would say yes. Whatever. As far as I’m concerned it is the Buyer Consumer’s choice. Your choice may be different from someone else’s choice. I don’t MAKE my clients sign them. They don’t want one…that’s fine with me. You don’t like that…oh well.

  8. Hi Ardell, this is an interesting post. If you have two buyers, “buyer a” has signed a Buyer Agency Agreement and “buyer b” has elected not to. If they both wanted you to show them a home at the same time, would you show priority over the client you have a contract with (buyer a)?

    I wish Mortgage Professionals had buyer agreements! πŸ˜‰

  9. Rhonda,

    I won’t accept two clients who want the same thing, haven’t in 17 years. People deserve to know that when I see something they may like, that I’m only making one call…to THEM.

    As far as I’m concerned a client is a client is a client…with or without agreement doesn’t make any difference. WA Law says licensees REPRESENT buyers they work with…it doesn’t say agents ONLY represent them IF they sign an agreement, and it doesn’t say that agents have the right to treat them differently if they sign an agreement. It’s the law.

  10. …If you violate this law, what other laws are you violating?

    Yes, ARDELL please let us know right now what other laws you are violating. You ‘law violator’!

  11. Now Kevin, you’re supposed to be building credibility around the Blogosphere by leaving intelligent comments that make people ask “who was that masked man!”

    You are also supposed to be blue. LOL I’ll send you the insructions with your next blog lesson πŸ™‚

  12. Rhonda,

    It’s not usually about what someone “wants”. It’s about the priority of the situation. Say one house has two offers and we have to get there and decide if we want to make an offer fast. The other is a meet over coffee. The meet for coffee can move a bit for the “must see fast” client. My clients understand that I will run and jump for the person who really needs me now, as they know I do the same for them when the situation calls for it.

    Priority is set by the marketplace. New property comes on today perfect for X, moves X to top proiorty. Usually the two places at once doesn’t involve two clients. It involves meeting someone in the industry, and then client takes precedence.

    Ask Brian Brady. I signed up for his podcast and then a new client emailed and asked to meet me within a couple of hours. Client ahead of Brady, and now I have to buy him a beer in San Francisco.

  13. Well Chris, if you hear it EVERYday, there must be something to it. That’s the point of blogging, isn’t it? Trying to bring transparency to every day “mumbo jumbo”. It’s only mumbo-jumbo if you don’t understand the language.

    Which part sounds like mumbo and which like jumbo to you?

    Welcome BTW. I’d welcome your elaborating on your comment.

  14. Hi Ardell

    I understand that you wanted to make the point that a buyer is not “stuck” with the first agent they meet. That is good info for buyers. However, you went on to say a couple things that maybe need a different perspective.

    While it is certainly true that the “first” agent in all your examples could bring a Procuring Cause claim against the actual agent involved in the closed sale, the likelihood of success in the overwhelming number of cases is nil. It’s kinda like saying it won’t rain in any given month in Seattle. While possible (I think it has actually happened a time or two), the probability is slim and no reasonable person (who lives here) would make decisions based on that probability. Simply put, buyers need not worry that someone may “steal” away the commission from the agent they chose to work with.

    The other issue is your apparent perspective that all buyer agency agreements are alike. I say that because you state “NEVER sign a buyer agency agreement with someone you are not selecting to be your agent into the future.” Since there is no single BAA but rather many forms of the agreement, making any conclusion of what a BAA will or won’t do to bind a buyer is not responsible blogging. I realize you don’t like them and don’t use them. That’s ok for you and your clients. But to shout to the world that any agent that does use a BAA is somehow trying to trap the buyer in their commission web is misleading. The better statement is a simple one: Read and understand the BAA before you sign it. It’s amazing how this simple rule can cure many ills in the world of business.

    Russ

  15. Russ,

    It’s not a bias of mine, it’s just the simple truth. Question: Does an agent become MY agent if I see a house with them?
    Answer: NO…UNLESS you signed a Buyer Agency Agreement. That is just the only way to answer that question. It is a real question people asked me. I didn’t make it up.

    You can take the same question and answer it any way you like. That is my answer.

    I said don’t sign a Buyer Agency Agreement unless you intend to work with the agent for the long term. Sure, you can sign an agreement for ONE house. But what if you are at the beginning of your home search? What if two monthls later AFTER you select the agent you want to represent you, you decide to buy that particular house? Now you are stuck with having an agent represent you who is NOT the agent you want to represent you, because you signed one single house agreement two months ago.

    The article is merely suggesting that a buyer consumer should have their choice of whom they wish to represent them. It’s a big decision and a big purchase and they shouldn’t sign agreements with people until they are SURE that this is the person they want to represent them.

    It doesn’t say not to sign one EVER, it says NEVER sign one unless you are CHOOSING that agent, and not because you feel obligated to sign one just to see a house or just to write an offer on a house.

    It casts NO aspersions on agents as you suggest. In fact I never talked about agents who do or dont want agreements. I only talked about buyer consumers and how they can retain their right to choose their own agent.

    Your statement: “But to shout to the world that any agent that does use a BAA is somehow trying to trap the buyer in their commission web is misleading.” does not refer to a statement of mine. You must have been reading between the lines and putting words in my mouth, as I never said that. In fact I never mentioned other agents or me. I only talked about buyer consumers actions and not the actions of agents at all.

    Saying I said something that I did NOT say is irresponsible commenting.

  16. Ardell,

    I know this might be hard to believe, but there are agents out there (unlike yourself, as you have proven a propensity for such) that are worth 3% of the commission. It’s called value. I have never worked with you, nor do I plan to work with you, but it’s interesting as an outsider that you are so blatant in your commission giveaways.

    You are much like the model Redfin puts out there. Limited Service…

    Most agents are horrible at negoitation, as evidenced by my agent before the last one I used. However, I feel as a consumer that if you can’t defend your value of 3% SOC or LOC, then it goes to reason that you will not be able to defend the value of my home when in deep negotiation.

    You may not chose to use a buyer agency agreement. Redfin requires buyers to sign a buyer agency agreement when submitting an offer. Why do traditional agents shy away from this?

    The reason is because they can’t defend their value. I would venture to guess you can’t defend your value as a Real Estate Agent.

    I don’t say this as a slam, as you said yesterday. I say it matter of factly. You are on one of Seattle’s most copious blogs, and you carry the clout of a mighty Pen. It would be wonderful if you could do something wild and outrageous such as give good advice (which you normally do), explain the pros and cons of issues (Which you mentioned NO positives for a Buyer Agency Agreement) and set a standard.

    Your standards, in my humble opinion, are too low. Then again, there are models that are working for agents… just ask Chris Nye! πŸ™‚

  17. Ardell,

    You said, “Does an agent become MY agent if I see a house with them? Answer: NO…UNLESS you signed a Buyer Agency Agreement. That is just the only way to answer that question. It is a real question people asked me. I didn’t make it up.”

    That is simply not correct. The real answer is “No, as long as that agent IS the listing agent.” If the agent is NOT the listing agent, then they absolutely begin representing the buyer the minute they provide real estate brokerage services. Showing a house fits that category. The BAA has nothing to do with it.

    Of course, if the Buyer signs a BAA and the BAA has some type of term of representation, then the Buyer may have limits on how and when they may terminate their agency relationship. Again, however, there are many, many, different forms of BAA’s and they apply across the board as to how long and tight they hold the agent and buyer together.

    Question for you: How the heck does a buyer really KNOW that they want to work with an agent long term? With any professional service, the client doesn’t know. They have an initial feeling about the person but in the end, that feeling may get stronger or weaker depending on how the service is delivered. As a result, there is a tension between buyers and agents. Buyers may not want to be “tied” to an agent so that if they decide at some point that they no longer want to work with that agent, the Buyer can become (no pun intended) a “free agent”. Conversely, the agent should be compensated for the work they do. I think most buyers would agree if you asked them. So the trick is to understand at the beginning, where neither Buyer nor agent really knows how long the relationship will last (one day, one month, one year), what the terms of divorce are. BAA are great for spelling those terms out in writing so neither party is disappointed if the relationship ends short of a happy ending.

    -Russ

  18. Ardell-
    Russ touched on two thoughts that come to mind.

    First, I believe under WA agency law that we owe agency duties to a consumer as soon as we begin providing services to them While they may want to switch agents, and may, we as agents owe a duty to them.

    Second, for those of us who are REALTORS, we have an ethical duty to ask consumers if they are working with another agent. This is particularly helpful when unaccompanied consumers come to open houses or call about ads and signs in yards.

  19. Jason,

    I would think your first comment would be an apology for announcing to the world that I was breaking a law, when I was NOT. Seems you skimmed over that part.

    I don’t discuss commission specifics here in RCG because it is a multi-agent/company site, and as such inappropriate to do so. Sounds like you are pointing to an article I wrote regarding $68,750 to RCG readers. That is not about me or my business model. That was an exercise in how consumers might be advantaged if agents paid TO the client, that which they would have paid in referral fees. It only involved clients who came to me through my writings here, and not an entire “business model”.

    You are clearly entitled to your opinion, but negotiation is not a war of wits, particularly where it involves commission dollars. I met with a client the other day. I proposed that $55,000, which is what the commisssion would be for our interaction, was simply ludicrous. I don’t make decisions based on percentage any more than a buyer or seller looks at % of asking price. Percentage works sometimes and sometimes not. Depends on the dollars.

    That I refused to charge him $55,000 has NOTHING to do with “limited service”. It’s just too much money. Pure and simple. He didn’t have to tell me that or ask me to charge less. I have my own policies with regard to what is a fair and reasonable charge for services, and it is NOT $55,000.

    You think that makes me lesser because I didn’t try to prove to him that $55,000 was a fair and reasonable amount…well, I guess you are entitled to your opinion. I’m sick of hearing that every dollar amount is justifiable. I don’t believe that.

  20. Russ,

    I personally don’t think anyone can tell if the relationship is a good match prior to seeing a house together, anymore than an agent can set a sale strategy for a property without seeing the property.

    I don’t think an agent and buyer consumer should enter into a written contract without seeing a property together, anymore than I would hire a dentist before talking to him about MY mouth and whether or not that dentist is suited to my particular needs.

    Informed consent involves more than just generic discussion. It involves knowing what you are getting yourself into, and I don’t think a consumer can know that without seeing how you react to the value and particulars of at least a house or two.

    Say they get to the house and the buyer says “What do you think this one is worth?” And the agent says, “Oh, you have to decide that for yourself. It’s worth what you are willing to pay for it”. If the buyer signed a contract BEFORE going to that house and learning this agent doesn’t provide the type of advices they are seeking…too late.

  21. Russ asks, “How the heck does a buyer really KNOW that they want to work with an agent long term?”

    They don’t know it in the first meeting, and so I suggest they should not sign any agreements until they DO know. What’s wrong with that, Russ? Why should anyone sign an agreement until they DO know how they really feel about the agent? Why can’t they take the time they need? I’m not sure why that seems to upset you.

    Attorneys have an initial consultation where both the attorney and the proposed client try to determine if they are suited to one another. All I’m saying is that in order to get to that place with a buyer consumer, we have to see at least three properties together. Why is that a problem?

  22. Geordie,

    You raise some interesting points in your short comment. I agree that we always represent buyers, unless we are the listing agent, as that is the law. The question raised by the consumer was that they took that to mean they became “obligated” to that agent once they saw a house…for the long haul. I had to answer the question, since it was a real question posed to me, in the spirit it was asked.

    It is amazing how people answer the question “Are you working with another agent?”. No I don’t always ask that, as I am fully prepared to show my listing and then they choose which buyer agent they want after they decide if they like the house or not. Doesn’t matter to me if they are working with an agent if they call from a sign. I go and show and determine if they have an agent if needed. If they hate the house, there may be no reason for me to need to know all their business.

    Besides if they are calling me from my sign or ad I already know that I can’t be their agent, because I already represent the seller in that case. So they either take the 3% and represent themselves or they use it to hire an agent. That’s their call, not mine. If they like the house, then I ask if they have an agent. If they don’t, I don’t need to know.

  23. Okay, is Ardell talking to Ardell or what? I read the first few comments and then realized that most of the remaining comments were what it seemed like, Ardell talking to herself.

  24. LOL, Burress. That was me freaking out. You should recognize it by now. Since I never told the webmaster what to put on that site, just told her to split it out from the Company site, I thought the writer was correct at first glance. In fact, while I am in “compliance”, I don’t like the fact that someone could perceive it to be illegal, so will likely change it anyway when I get a chance.

  25. I have a friend who is experiencing the following, and hope you can help!
    My friend “Jane” found a suitable home in her price range offered by “Cindy”, the realtor. Jane makes an offer, offer is accepted, Jane pays Earnest money…Appraiser “Hagatha” enters..says..needs repairs for VA loan…siding, roof, etc. Owners comply…new roof, siding, AC, tree removal, new bathroom, sink, tub, toilet… Jane agrees to 4K up in price to help out (saves her from having to hire out, work already done and for only 4k). Hagatha returns, says NO…land now must be leveled. (land is fine, house standing perfectly since the 1930’s) only leveling needed is where new AC was added and space dug out. Owners say ..NO more… Cindy begins to scream at Hagatha, who raves back… Jane asks them to calm down, Cindy tells Jane not to speak above her… Jane is afraid of them both, and decides to get earnest money back and…just go! Now, the house is listed again.. for an additional 4K. Jane would like to use my agent “Kevin” to make an offer (even tho she is up in price now by 8K), and try conventional loan rather than VA. Is she still bound to Cindy? Even if she is afraid of her? Cindy says Hagatha hates her and that’s why she is being difficult. I dont think any of that should have been witnessed by a client and for Jane to use Kevin and Kevin not receive the commission would be totally unfair. Even under circumstances such as this, Cindy would still be paid and Kevin wouldn’t? Isn’t there an escape clause for “emotional instability of agent” for a buyer? πŸ˜‰
    What the expert opinion in this case?
    Thanks

  26. KB

    Let’s use a little common sense here.

    1) No a buyer should never have to use an agent they don’t want to use.

    2) No the first agent shouldn’t have to work for nothing.

    The normal solution would be for Kevin to speak with Cindy and work something out. Sometimes the Broker of Cindy finds someone else at Cindy’s Company, but that can be awkward for the buyer if they are in the office with the new agent and have to run into Cindy.

    Depending on how long they worked with Cindy, Kevin could suggest a 50/50 split or at minimum a large referral fee to Cindy. If Cindy starts screaming at Kevin, then Kevin should work this out with Cindy’s broker.

    I would simply call Cindy and say I’m going to give the consumer what they need and have escrow put the fee aside. You and I can deal with it after the fact. Let’s just get the buyer covered and into the house they want.

    If Jane did not sign a Buyer Agency Agreement, then it’s up to the agents to figure it out, not the buyer consumer. If Jane did sign an Agency Agreement, then Jane should call Cindy’s Broker and tell the broker the problem.

    Seems from the story that Cindy was screaming on the buyer’s behalf. Seems from the story that Cindy worked her butt off too. Doesn’t seem fair for her to be left with nothing…does it?

  27. KB,

    There are no “rules” for consumers if they did not sign a buyer agency agreement. There are rules for agents. The Listing Broker (not Cindy or Kevin) is the one who pays Cindy or Kevin.

    Agents are supposed to cover the seller and buyer’s backs, get the house sold, and figure out the who gets paid AFTER it closes and not involve the consumers, other than a notarized statement maybe of why they used Kevin and not Cindy.

    That’s what fiduciary means. Addressing the client’s needs without regard to self interest. Doing the job at hand, and not worrying about whether or not they are going to get paid, until after the consumer is done with their business at hand.

    If Jane wanted to switch just to save some money, then the listing agent and the buyer agents would be in a bit of a pickle. But in this case, someone has to step in and give the buyer what they need to get through this, even if it turns out to be pro bono.

  28. The responses to my question make perfect sense, the agent did work and probably should be paid. (Cindy is the listing agent, Jane found the home on a drive by and called the number, Cindy submitted the offer, and met with the Appraiser during the inspections).

    However, it does seem that more professionalism should have been shown in front of and towards Jane, from both Cindy and Hagatha. The shouting, the high school mentality (my teacher doesnt LIKE me, that’s why she gave me failing grade) does not represent either of them as professional.

    If Cindy is essentially saying, “Yes, I acted unprofessionally, but I did it FOR YOU!” doesn’t excuse the actions taken in front of Jane, does it? And, if they both chose to “show themselves”, there will probably be a lingering “bad blood” when VA sends Hagatha to do other inspections involving Cindy’s future clients. (of course, not Jane’s problem)

    I really can’t see Cindy’s turning her anger to Jane (who asked politely for them to calm down and just talk things out), and telling her, “DO NOT SPEAK OVER ME.” In any job I’ve ever held, I know that the client is the most important thing, whether they’re right, wrong, rude, yelling, etc.. I doubt any of my supervisors would have stood for my addressing a client in such a manner or having a verbal altercation with another employee in view of my client…even if I did say…”I did it for YOU. I did it so this company could get PAID.” (They’d probably make that money up with my former salary after I was dismissed.) I also know of other situations where the work was performed, such as a food server who takes your order (writes your contract), gives it to the chef (submits the order), is told that something is wrong with the food (the appraiser)… What would happen if she began to scream at the cook, tell the customer to be quiet she is doing this for THEM, and then say..Eat it anyway…if it makes you sick, you always have ten days to let us know. (Cindy: Just sign the papers, if it’s inspected and something is wrong, you arent bound to contract.)

    I can bet in that situation, the customer might receive a free meal and choose to eat future dinners at the competition across the street, where she is important regardless…

    Anyway, Jane was left with a bad taste of the home buying process and without her new home… Seems a little unfortunate for her.

    But, live and learn.

    Thanks again!

  29. I probably did miss it…as I am not involved in real estate at all…and have no idea how the listing/selling companies decide how and whom to pay…merely a consumer…and friend of Jane.

    Maybe I wasn’t clear when I said Cindy was the listing broker ( I used the term agent, when in actuality she is the owner/broker of the company as well as the agent.) I probably would not have made that error had I any training or experience in Real Estate. )

    So Cindy will confer with Cindy to see if she wants to give anything to Kevin? And if Cindy agrees, all is well..if not, Kevin sees to the priorities and needs of Jane, earns respect from her and perhaps a handful of client referrals, Jane has her home.. pretty much win win, in a way. In a low dollar amount transaction such as this one, the few dollars Cindy receives for losing dignity in the eyes of her client won’t amount to as much as Kevin who is her “fiduciary” agent, will receive in the long run..(reputation, referrals, etc.) yep… win win..

    Thanks! πŸ™‚
    KB

  30. HUGE difference there KB.

    RARELY can a buyer consumer be forced to use the Listing Broker as the Buyer Broker. That requires written consent of all parties, and Jane probably gave that, but likely can rescind it.

    Tell her to talk to Kevin about it, and as long as he is OK with it, and he likely should be, then the rest is all moot. Kevin will handle it or Kevin’s broker will handle it.

    NO ONE can be FORCED to use the listing agent. Buyer’s are entitiled to separate representation in most areas. Maybe not NYC πŸ™‚ FL has some quirks in that regard too.

    What State are you in?

    As to the rest of it, agents do get into heated discussions often. Not usually in front of their clients though. I almost always wait for the consumer to leave before talking to other agents or lenders or closing agents. I was in the car with a client the other day when the listing agent called and we were cancelling the contract. It was a bit uncomfortable for me. Usually I wouldn’t have that conversation with the buyer client next to me.

    Agents do freak out at least once a year, hopefully not in front of their clients.

  31. KB: I lost you at “I dont think any of that should have been witnessed by a client”.

    If Cindy is the listing agent, then the seller was her client when she met Jane. Depends on what state she is in at that point. Was Jane ever a “client” of Cindy’s? Maybe not if the seller is her client.

  32. What I’m saying KB, is the answer to your original question, can Jane now use Kevin, involves some analysis. In most states, Jane can use anyone she wants if Cindy represents the seller, as the work prior was for the seller’s benefit and not Jane’s.

    Can you see why these roles become important to answer your original question? Not being anymore nitpicky than I need to be, to answer your question. Simple questions sometimes have complex answers.

    Cindy would have been the Seller’s Agent. She might have been a Dual Agent (the contract that failed would say) but Dual Agency can’t be forced on anyone, so I think it’s a pretty safe bet that Jane can use Kevin now. Cindy may freak out and scream about it. But not likely she would win on that. But she could convince her sellers to not go down the same road with the same person Jane should have a full pre-approval and quick close, if she expects the seller to give her a second go at it.

    I have met many agents who freak out and scream at other agents to scare them into backing off.Β  It is also often effective.

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