It’s often believed that a real estate agent can only show their own listings. After all, you can’t buy GAP jeans at the Express right? This is exactly the opposite of the truth in real estate. Our agents can show you any house listed by any agency in the state they are licensed in. That’s right! Any house!
Take a look at this scenario: A potential 1st time home buyer, “Mike”, walks into ABC Realty because they always seem to have nice homes listed in the paper. He asks what they have for sale but doesn’t see anything that they have listed right now that suits his needs. Then Mike walks across the street to 123 Realty and asks what they have for sale. Mike doesn’t like any of 123 Realty’s listings either. Frustrated, Mike drives by a property he likes and calls the agent on the sign to see if she could show it to him. The agent politely tells Mike that she would be happy to show him the house, but also lets him know that she is representing the seller. Now Mike is confused and frustrated!
That’s a lot of work that is counterproductive! Why is this and how can you make it easier? Let’s start with the basics…
It is important to understand that when you call the agent whose name is on the sign in front of a house that they are representing the seller – they want to get the most money for their client. This person is called the “Seller’s Agent”. The agent representing the seller has to provide all relevant information about the house, but cannot assist you with determining a fair offering price and terms or help you during the negotiation process. You want someone to represent you who can help you get the best deal on your dream home! Your top priority is to find a knowledgeable agent that you can trust. Build a strong working relationship with that agent and let them walk you through the entire home-buying process. This person is called the “Buyer’s Agent”.
How can my buyer’s agent show me other agent’s listings?
Most professional real estate agents subscribe to a Multiple Listing Service or “MLS”. This MLS is a large database of all of the homes listed in their area. Seller’s agents place all the information about their sellers’ homes in this database including price, features, tax records, showing instructions (and so on) so every agent in their area has access to their listings. Buyer’s agents can search through the MLS and find homes based on their client’s needs. In essence, the MLS allows seller’s agents to advertise their inventory of homes to buyer’s agents.
So my buyer’s agent knows what other agents have for sale, now what?
After finalizing a list of potential homes, your buyer’s agent will call other real estate firms to schedule showing times for those homes. Seller’s agents want as much exposure for their listings as possible so they allow buyer’s agents to conduct home showings. Walking through a home with a buyer’s agent allows them the opportunity to point out features and concerns that may exist in the home. Remember they are looking out for your best interest and not the home owners. Your buyer’s agent can also show you homes listed at their own brokerage. This is a type of dual agency, but because your buyer’s agent is not the seller’s agent as well, they can still offer you total loyalty.
So it doesn’t matter which real estate agency has the best homes listed. It all boils down to agent preference; who works well with you and who do you trust. Your buyer’s agent will help you select homes in your area that suit your needs, regardless of who has them listed. Your agent is there to make the process of home buying as easy and as effortless as possible. When it comes time to buy or sell a home, choose an agent who is more like a neighbor and friend, trust the agents at “Your Home Town Real Estate Company” to be your advocates and guides.