Buyer's "agents" in CA? - Posted by Lisa


Posted by Lisa on January 11, 1999 at 15:07:57:

Yes, thanks Berwyn. I thought I’d try somewhere else, too. So I guess I’m wondering if I should really insist that my agent work in a buyer’s agent capacity? Do you think it makes any real difference in the long run? A book I have on buying property in CA states that I should “run, don’t walk” from a seller’s agent relationship when I’m the buyer.


Buyer’s “agents” in CA? - Posted by Lisa

Posted by Lisa on January 11, 1999 at 02:18:50:

Can someone please explain the California law that allows my agent to serve in one of three capacities (seller’s agent, buyer’s agent or dual agent)? My husband and I are getting ready to buy a home, we’ll do conventional financing if needed to get the right house, and I’m not sure if I should require our realtor to serve as a buyer’s agent or not. Any advantages or disadvantages to any of the approaches?

I asked one realtor about serving as a buyer’s agent (not a buyer’s broker) and he quickly got very huffy, said his dealings were “built on trust and 13 years of experience,” he wasn’t interested in taking advantage of his sellers, and if I wanted to do that go somewhere else. What the hell?


Re: Buyer’s “agents” in CA? - Posted by Berwyn

Posted by Berwyn on January 11, 1999 at 11:19:54:

I’d suggest you follow his advice and go somewhere else.

I’ll paraphrase briefly from the statrement given me by my Realtor. This doesn’t explain the law, but does give definitions. (If you want to e-mail me your FAX number, I can send you the whole thing. It ain’t California law, but its probably similar everywhere)

Seller’s broker: Lists the property for sale and has a fiduciary duty to the seller. Anything you tell the seller’s broker he is obligated to pass on to the seller, and look out for the seller’s best interests. (Until recent years, all real estate agents were seller’s agents)

Buyers’ broker: Acts on behalf of the buyer, even if paid in whole or part by the seller (My agent’s contract has the commission paid by the seller) The broker must discose any material facts of which the broker is aware that could adversly affect the buyer.

Duyal agency: One agent represents both parties (EX: you have a buyer’s agent contract, and the seller has listed with the same agency) Agent is prohibited from acting exclusively for either party. This limits what the agent can do.

I decided to try a buyer’s broker because I have a tendancy to talk too much and didn’t want to tip my hand to the seller. (Made that mistake when I bought the 4-plex in '96.) So far, she hasn’t shown me anything I want to buy, so I’m waiting for our contract to expire at month’s end so I can start persuing my own leads. (Fine print she wouldn’t change, she gets commission even if I find the deal myself. Won’t fall for that again.)

To find a buyer’s agent in yor area, check out the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council at