another 'getting around realtor' ?-long - Posted by becca

Posted by Stacy (AZ) on February 01, 2001 at 12:40:22:

Becca, I think I understand what you’re trying to do. You knew about this property before the agent was ever involved, correct? The agent, or his sign, is not responsible for getting you interested in buying this property, correct?

If true in this case, I have to disagree with the others. I would look-up the owner’s current address in the tax records, and send him a letter or post-card. It would be the standard “I buy houses, noticed yours a few months ago, and if you’re interested, please call me”.

If he calls, ask him if it’s listed. If not, buy it from him. If it is, either make your offer through the Realtor (letting the seller know that’s what you’ll do), or tell him to give you a call after the listing expires. It’s up to you.

However, truthfully, if you weren’t going to make an offer on this house until you saw that it was listed, I think you should deal with the agent.


another ‘getting around realtor’ ?-long - Posted by becca

Posted by becca on January 31, 2001 at 20:43:18:

There is a home in our neighborhood in the middle of another 6 month listing with a different agent. It is vacant. My parents went to the one and only open house and the agent didn’t have any papers (forgot them), and although the sign said ‘new lower price’ it was actually higher than the ending price with the other firm. Now I went to the agents web site (a remax agent) and looked at his listings - not even on the site. Had another friend check MLS - not under contract. Owner is in another state - retired to sun and fun. I’m thinking of approaching owner for purchase - don’t want to include agent- also suspicious agent isn’t even marketing property. Home is in an affluent area with a lot of potential for a little investment in updating. Any advice?

Re: If-What if-possible maybe… - Posted by Ed Copp (OH)

Posted by Ed Copp (OH) on February 01, 2001 at 18:22:51:

This post is wearing me out.

If you want to know if the house is listed, call the seller. Don’t write, or send a telegram, or an e-mail. Just call them. If they want to deal with you directly they will tell you. If they do not, they will tell you to call the agent. Pretty simple, should take about 10 minutes tops.

The matter of commission is between the seller and the listing broker (and the brokers agent). If you are concerned about the amount of dollars involved here, and the fact that the money will come from the seller (likely from the funds that you will bring to the table) YOU need to sharpen up your negotiating skills.
If you are not willing to do this then another six month listing will most likely expire, and the property be relisted without anyone ever knowing that you even exist. What if? What if you just call the seller and say hello I am interested in your house, where do we go from here?

Always end your communication with a question mark, that is a negotiation tactic that works; did you know that?

More and more in the real estate business I see brokers moving away from using listings. I see brokers using OPTIONS to replace listings (often). If you would like to know why, just read the threads on this post.

One more thing, If I were the seller and you called me in an attempt to get around the realtor; I would automatically assume that you were a crook. So be careful how you present yourself.

Don’t do that…there are alternatives - Posted by George

Posted by George on February 01, 2001 at 11:29:13:

It is not only unethical, but it could get you in trouble. If you are caught, it could bring legal consecuences to you and the property owner.

Instead going around the realtor, make an offer negociating his/her commision down. It is possible because a lot of times the listing agent receive only 1/2 to 1/4 of the commision after sharing it with other real estate brokers and offices involved in the the sale of a property.

Another reason you don’t want to go around a real estate broker is that the word goes around VERY fast, then you may have problems working other deals, specially if you need broker’s assistance (And you will at one point or another)

Why sacrifice million of dollars in potential for a few thousand?


Re: another ‘getting around realtor’ ?-long - Posted by Kidholdem

Posted by Kidholdem on January 31, 2001 at 23:25:07:

Instead of trying to go around the realtor, you should spend a couple bucks and a few hours on a class or book on ethics.

no personal attacks - read editorial policy! - Posted by becca

Posted by becca on February 01, 2001 at 06:38:50:

My ethics are just fine…the guy hasn’t done any work for me so why should I pay him? I have done all the research, drive by house every day, know previous owner in passing. No problems paying commisions when it is earned!

Hold on there … - Posted by Redline

Posted by Redline on February 01, 2001 at 22:54:09:

You need to understand a realtor’s relationship in listed property.

The SELLER has a contract with the agent. YOU have no contract with the agent.

The SELLER pays the agent’s commission. YOU do not.

The only way you “go around” a realtor (and you do it by using ANOTHER realtor) is if they do not present the offer you submit or prove incompetent. This is CLEARLY not the case here since you’ve made a judgement based solely on your opinion and what you perceive to be happening.

Have you talked with the realtor?
Have you submitted an offer?

As far as yelling about the editorial policy - if you’re going to jump up and down and call for the teacher every time someone disagrees with your methods then you’re going to have a hard time in this biz.

There’s one thing you’ll find out REAL fast about people on this site - they WILL tell you their opinions … like it or not. It’s not personal. He didn’t call you names, he questioned your methods - as I am.

Either work deals that are NOT listed - or exhaust the proper channels before you decide who’s doing their jobs and who’s not.

Just my opinion,

Re: no personal attacks - read editorial policy! - Posted by Nate

Posted by Nate on February 01, 2001 at 08:44:20:

Becca, I hate to seem like I’m picking on you personally, when in fact there have been many people making this same error on the message board lately, but I’ll say it here to you and everyone else that has been discussing this recently:

You, as the buyer, are NOT paying the commission. The seller is. Furthermore, if the seller has listed the property with an agent, this clearly indicates they don’t mind paying the commission.

Whether or not you like the seller’s agent or not does not matter. Whether or not you think they are doing a good job does not matter. If they refuse to present your offer to the seller, they are in violation of their fiduciary duty to the seller and should be reported to their broker and the state real estate commission. Otherwise, too bad!

Becca - in this particular case, you haven’t even TRIED to make an offer through the agent. To me, you would at least need to do that, at a minimum, before having grounds to complain. Even if you don’t “want” to work with the agent - you don’t get to unilaterally decide that and then proceed accordingly!

NB: I am not a real estate agent, have never been one, and don’t particularly care for most agents.

Good luck.


Here’s a more polite way… - Posted by SueC

Posted by SueC on February 01, 2001 at 07:50:57:

…to put it: If you want to keep your reputation intact in your farming area, it’s probably best to wait until the sign is down. Just in case. Or, if you’ve done all that digging and you are not seeing that realtor listing that property, meaning the sign is on there wihtout a contract because the agent knows the seller won’t see it, maybe contact the seller and first ask whether the property is truly still under a listing contract with that agent. If so, then deal with the agent, if not, then deal with the seller and call your state RD board because that agent is probably not allowed to do what s/he’s doing!

Just my $.02

clarification - Posted by becca

Posted by becca on February 01, 2001 at 09:08:19:

Nate and Sue - appreciate your kind words. In my area homes go for less when an agent isn’t involved - usually, as they say, I can/can’t afford to take your offer after the commission (this has happened to me several times!). I wasn’t planning on making any offer on this particular home until I know for sure the listing is expired and I wanted to contact the owner directly. (hoping for motivated seller and a great buy). I haven’t been in the home or had any contact with this past/?current listing agent so I don’t feel that I need to offer through him. BTW, I have paid (through my selling price) commisions on my last 2 purchases - I am not entirely agent unfriendly - My question really is how to find out the status of the listing without contacting the agent/office and thus engendering a contractual-like obligation. I think if I contact the owner and the listing is still in place I am forever stuck to pay a commision even if I buy when it isn’t listed. Am I making sense? I believe that this particular seller listed with an agent only because he lives 1000 miles away - hard to fsbo. He has been gone about 9 months now. Also, another question in this vein is - the books I read say ‘talk to the seller’ and give some great questions, etc…How do you talk to the seller when an agent is involved?
Thanks for your help!