Posted by Eduardo (OR) on February 15, 2000 at 22:06:55:
- Up until about 10 or 15 years ago it was the case in most States that the listing broker worked for the seller. The laws have been changed since then and in many States, perhaps most, real estate agents are now considered “facilitators” instead of agents of the seller. This change came about as a result of lobbying by Realtors who didn’t want to be held accountable under agency law. In these States primary fiduciary responsibility is no longer owed the seller alone. So here the listing broker is NOT violating r.e. laws or Realtor ethics in negotiating on behalf of both parties. He is trying to put a deal together without owing allegiance to either party OR the one who pays him. (In my opinion, the old way was better.)
- Contacting the owner directly on listed property without the listing agent’s knowledge is risky because of the following possibilities: Seller is related to agent; seller hires agent because he/she does NOT want to be dealt with directly, seller and agent have an ongoing relationship (such as friends or agent has sold other properties for seller over the years;–for whatever reason, seller knows and trusts agent). For a beginner (who asked for advice here) to attempt to insinuate himself between seller and agent during the listing period is indeed very risky if the goal is to buy the property at the best price. Much better to either work with the agent or wait until the listing expires to contact the seller.
- I would agree that I would want to be present when my offers are presented, but I am an experienced investor with an extensive knowledge of negotiation techniques. If the object of the beginner in this case is to acquire this property as opposed to learning how the “mating-dance” works in general, he should stay out of the process and let the agent handle it. Nothing scares sellers more than detecting inexperience in would-be buyers. Good agents can soothe these fears. There is more in “how you say it” than in “what you say.” --Eduardo