I was recently having dinner with a group of friends and was asked "Is it better to call the listing agent or have a buyer's agent?" I love this question. It allows me the opportunity to educate people. There are many points that can be made on either side of the argument, some good and some bad. I like to tell people that a good Listing Agent is working to protect the Seller's best interest. This then begs the question, "who is looking out for the Buyer's best interest"?
If you refer to the Working with a Real Estate Agent brochure, it explains to both buyers and sellers the concept of agency. There are 3 types of relationships that you can have with a Real Estate Agent.
First, there is a client relationship (also known as Designated Agency), very briefly, it points out that your agent is working on your behalf, providing undivided loyalty to you by protecting your negotiating position at all times. There are other factors that go into this type of relationship, but since we are talking about having your interests protected, this is all we will cover in this post.
Secondly, there is a Limited Dual Agency relationship. As stated in the WWR brochure, the agent must get the consent of all parties involved to agree to such a relationship. This type of relationship can be tricky, as the agent is more limited in the way they are able to protect all parties. The agent is required to act impartially to all involved.
Lastly, you can choose to have a customer relationship, which means that there is no agency. What this means to the buyer is that the Agent is very limited in the services that they can provide to you. The Agent can not recommend or suggest a price to you, they can not negotiate on your behalf.
Real Estate Agent's are professionals and as such you should be able to rely on their expertise to guide you and advise you in your Real Estate transactions.
My suggestion, is that if you do have the Listing Agent show you one of their listings and the property isn't a good match but you and the agent are, work with them, let them do their job and protect your best interest by enlisting them to help in your home search.
You will be happy you did.
If you have any questions about this article, or any other real estate matters, contact us.