I am amazed at the number of home buyers who call the listing agent to show them homes. While it is possible for the listing agent to work as a transaction broker, until that designation is put in writing the buyer should just naturally assume that the listing agent is working for the seller, not the buyer.
So, should you use the listing agent or should you choose your own buyer’s agent to assist you?
If you want to make certain that your interests are placed first and foremost, you should definitely select a qualified and Accredited Consultant in Real Estate® to work on your behalf.
Viewing Jacksonville Homes for Sale
The fact is that any Florida licensed real estate agent can show any home listed for sale in the Northeast Florida Multiple Listing Service (NEFMLS). Just because the for sale sign says, “Century 21”, “RE/MAX”, “Watson” or “Jax Generic Real Estate Company” doesn’t mean only those agents can show you the houses they have listed.
Most homes for sale in the Greater Jacksonville real estate market are in the Northeast Florida MLS, and most have an electronic lockbox that allows member agents access to the houses.
In fact, if you use the listing agent to show you the home, you likely have just taken the first step toward accidentally revealing personal information that might hurt you in negotiating the best price and terms possible. You also may be jeopardizing your option of using your own agent later because of a relationship issue known as “procuring cause.”
Procuring cause is, “the uninterrupted series of causal events which results in the successful transaction”. Real estate agents get paid their commission if they are considered the procuring cause of the sale. Although it isn’t necessarily true, a lot of agents think that simply showing a home entitles them to be deemed the procuring cause in a sale.
Although it isn’t necessarily true, having a listing agent show you a home can be the beginning of a procuring cause claim. Save yourself the potential trouble and choose your own buyer’s agent before you begin your search. In fact, this should be your first step (along with getting pre-approval for a loan) in the buying process. — You may obtain your pre-approval prior to choosing your agent or you may want to ask your agent for referrals to lenders who will also work in your best interests.
Don’t cause yourself needless trouble. Use YOUR OWN buyer’s agent to show you homes. Don’t call listing agents even for basic information, don’t go to open houses on your own, and don’t step into a new home builder showroom without first consulting with YOUR OWN BUYER’S AGENT.
Writing Offers to Purchase Jacksonville Real Estate
The listing agent has a close working relationship with the SELLER. They may even have a contractual and fiduciary duty to the SELLER. Even if working as a “transaction broker” they naturally have an established relationship with the seller – not with you, the buyer.
What do sellers want? They want the most money for their home under the best terms possible FOR THEM. One of the primary jobs of the listing agent is to get this done FOR THE SELLER. If they are working for the seller, trying to get them the most money they can, they simply cannot possibly represent your interests – you want to pay the least amount possible for a home under the most favorable terms FOR YOU!
Oh, some will claim they can fairly represent both sides of the transaction as a “transaction broker.” Many agents like representing both parties in a transaction because it enables them get earn both sides of the commission – a double payday if you will.
Transaction brokerage – where one agent represents neither the buyer or seller in a real estate transaction, but rather he represents the “transaction” – is legal in Florida and is the “assumed agency” unless otherwise put in writing. But just because something is legal doesn’t mean it is the best thing for YOU in getting the best deal possible FOR YOU.
Consider this, if you were being sued would you want the plaintiff’s attorney to represent you or would you prefer to have your own attorney working on your behalf?
Of course you wouldn’t. And you shouldn’t use the same agent to help you buy a home that represents the person you’re trying to buy it from.
The Solution for Jacksonville Homebuyers
Choose YOUR OWN buyer’s agent before you begin your home search. And make sure that agent is an Accredited Consultant in Real Estate® so that you will have someone interested in consulting with you, rather than selling to you. How comfortable do you think you would be if YOUR agent is only interested in selling a house to you, rather than consulting with you to find the right house FOR YOU?
How do you find an Accredited Consultant In Real Estate®?
In the Greater Jacksonville metro area you have of thousands of licensed agents to chose from. Many of them are absolutely brilliant and will represent you competently and efficiently and some will call themselves consultants. But let’s be honest and realistic; as easy as it is to obtain a Florida real estate sales license, it only stands to reason that a large number of them are not all that sharp and given the current economy a lot of them don’t practice real estate full time.
Not only are we full time agents who are Accredited Consultants in Real Estate® but we are also Florida licensed real estate brokers working as Broker Associates under the Legends of Real Estate, REALTORS®. We have more than 30 years of full time experience in JACKSONVILLE REAL ESTATE as agents and as personal real estate investors. You see, we’ve not only helped thousands of other people buy and sell real estate but we have bought and sold many properties ourselves. We have the experience you need!
Search the nnternet. Read agents blogs and websites to get a feel of who they are and what they know. (By the way, our real estate blog is the number one blog in Jacksonville on the number one real estate blogging platform in the world.)
Choose three or four agents and interview them. Delve into their business and personal philosophy toward clients – what is important to them – ask them for references from past clients.
Trust your instincts. Listen to your gut. Most people have encountered enough “salemen” to know when they’re being fed a line versus when they are talking to a genuine person. Choose the Consultant you know will put you and your interests first!
Any agent can show any home. Any agent can write an offer on any home. Why use the seller’s agent, when you can have your own consultant working on your behalf?