Real Estate Chester County – Why NOT to call the Listing Agent when you are the Buyer


Think Before You Call!!

Whether you are buying Real Estate in Chester County or anywhere, it’s important to understand relationships between Realtors and their clients.   When a Realtor is representing a Seller, the Realtor has a duty of undivided loyalty to that Seller and pledges to protect and promote the interests of that Seller.  When a Buyer contacts that same Realtor, if the Buyer does not understand that relationship, he may offer information which could be advantageous to the Seller in a negotiation.  Information is king in a negotiation. Giving up any information to the Seller’s agent could be a mistake. It is in the best interest of the Buyer to have a Realtor who pledges to protect and promote his interests.

For example, Buyer A is driving past 123 Main Street and sees a sign in the yard for ACME Realty.  He calls ACME and says he wants to see 123 Main Street.  John Acme, agent for the Seller, agrees to show him the house.  While viewing the house, Buyer A tells John Acme that he needs to find a house quickly as his lease expires in two months and he thinks 123 Main Street is the perfect house for him.  He wants it really badly.  Can John Acme write up an offer?

John ACME has duties to his client, the Seller, of obedience, undivided loyalty, full disclosure, confidentiality, accounting and reasonable care.  Buyer A has just given up his bargaining power.  The agent is representing the Seller and it would be his duty to share this information with the Seller.  Do you think knowing that the Buyer has urgency and motivation would be helpful in a negotiation?  Absolutely!

In some cases, the Realtor for the Seller can also represent the Buyer; this is called dual agency.  By law, the agent must disclose this to both the Buyer and the Seller.  Dual agency is a delicate situation, and may not be the best for the Buyer and/or the Seller.   In my opinion, duties of loyalty and disclosure become cloudy in this arrangement.

So what is a Buyer to do?  They want to see 123 Main Street!  The Buyer should find an agent to represent him and him alone.  This is called Buyer Agency.  Under Buyer Agency, the Buyer has a Realtor 100% committed to his interests with duties of obedience, undivided loyalty, full disclosure, confidentiality, accounting and reasonable care.

And what does this cost?  Generally nothing!  How cool is that?  Traditionally for Real Estate in Chester County, the fees are paid by the Seller to the Listing Agent, who agrees to “cooperate” with the Buyer’s Agent (also called Selling Agent).  So the Buyer does not pay the Agent out of pocket; payment comes from the Seller via the Seller’s Agent.

So why would a Buyer call the Realtor on the yard sign?  I think that doesn’t make sense.  Now that you understand, would you agree? If you want to see 123 Main Street, or any other Real Estate in Chester County and want full representation, call Ann Byer 484-678-6445 today!

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