Buyers can inadvertently lose the opportunity to have a REALTOR® on their side if they make some very common mistakes. Not having a REALTOR® can be an expensive error by costing thousands of dollars as well as a lot of headache!
Please stop being your own worst enemies.
You know that open house that you decided to “just stop in on” when you passed by the sign on Sunday? You should have told the agent immediately that you have representation through your own agent.
Remember when your neighbor listed their home and you nonchalantly walked through it with their listing agent? Shouldn’t have done that.
You may have burned yourself when you were “just doing research” and stopped into a new construction site. It may have cost you thousands.
Why do I say this? Because when buyers walk into any home sale situation without their own agent present or without mentioning that they’re working with an agent, they’re giving up all their rights to exclusive representation. They’re essentially hurting themselves.
The REALTOR® rule is: The first agent to show the property to the buyer becomes the buyer’s representative. This means that if the agent is also the listing agent, he or she will be representing both the buyer and the seller in the transaction.
How does this hurt you, the buyer? Imagine walking into the courthouse and finding out that your lawyer is also representing the opposing side. Yep. That’s what you’re doing to yourself. You’re selling yourself short of personal, confidential representation.
Be upfront with all other agents. Before even asking your first question, clearly state that you’re working with an agent. “Hi, I’m John Brown. I’m working with Chris Farrugia of Premiere Plus, but he’s not with me right now. I’m interested in this property, but I want to make sure my relationship with Chris is protected.” You’ve just covered your butt.
Carry your agent’s card. When the urge strikes to stop into an open house, grab a card out of your purse or wallet and hand it to the agent in the open house as soon as they speak to you. Use the script from above: “Hi, I’m John Brown. I’m working with Chris Farrugia of Premiere Plus, but he’s not with me right now. I’m interested in this property, but I want to make sure my relationship with Chris is protected.”
Do not assume anything! Don’t assume that the other agent is just being nice. Don’t assume that the other agent is just helping you out. Don’t assume the agent doesn’t see a dual transaction in his future by answering your questions. If you want to protect the representation you have with your own agent, do not ask a single question or walk into a home without clearly stating that you are working with an agent.
In the end, you’ll be relieved to have your own advocate in your corner. Feel free to walk into open houses and speak to other agents, just be sure to be upfront about your existing relationship.