I receive a fair amount of calls from buyers who ask me if I am the listing agent on the property. While I do have listings of my own, I will often times get these calls on other listings in the Newport Beach area.
My question for those Newport Beach home buyers is why do they want to work directly with the listing agent? Is it because they think they will get a better deal by going direct to the listing agent? Think again!!!
There are some considerations when working with the listing agent.
When the listing agent signs the listing agreement, the commission is agreed upon at that time. If a buyer decides to work with the listing agent, then that agent will “double end” the deal meaning they get both sides of the commission. If the Newport Beach home seller has agreed to a 6% commission, then the listing agent will get both sides.
The Newport Beach Listing Agent has fiduciary responsibility to the Seller. Their job is to get the highest and best offer on the property. And that relationship has already been established.
As a buyer, you should sign an Agency which is a disclosure. And there is another disclosure which is utilized. The C.A.R Form DA 11/06 “Seller and Buyer agree that: (a) Broker, without the prior written consent of the Buyer, will not disclose to Seller that the Buyer is willing to pay a price greater than the offered price; (b) Broker, without the prior written consent of the Seller, will not disclose to the Buyer that the Seller is willing to sell property at a price less than the listing price and (c) other than as set forth in (a) and (b) above, a Dual Agent is obligated to disclose known facts materially affecting the value or desirability of the property to both parties.”
This is a disclosure that is utilized in California Real Estate transactions. Lets discuss what it means, and then we can discuss the benefits of utilizing your own Buyer’s agent with your Newport Beach home purchase.
The paragraphs (a) and (b) are pretty straightforward in my opinion and basically state that the Listing agent shall not disclose what the Seller is willing to sell the home for, and the Buyer’s agent shall not disclose what the buyer may actually be willing to pay for the Newport Beach home. Referencing (c) above is important as well, because a Dual Agent must disclose facts that perhaps the Seller has mentioned in passing (the neighbors have a dog who barks incessantly, the neighbor built that house without a permit, the dogs yard is never cleaned up) are just a few comments that I have heard from Sellers. If you disclose to me, then I am obligated to disclose.
- The Listing agent has a pre-established relationship with the Seller before a buyer comes along. It may be difficult for the Listing agent to be completely objective.
- The Listing agent is inherently loyal to the seller; no matter how ‘honest’ one is, it is difficult to be completely objective and fair to both parties.
- The commission is already established in the Listing Agreement. The Seller is the compensating party when the property closes escrow.
- Listing agents have a fiduciary responsibility to the Sellers, and that relationship was established prior to a buyer establishing a relationship with the agent.
- Having an independent objective Realtor as a Buyer’s Agent provide the comparable sales for you so that you can make a fair market value offer.
What are the benefits of utilizing your own agent?
- The Newport Beach buyer’s agent will negotiate in your behalf, and will maintain your best interest.
- Your buyer’s agent will make you aware of new listings as they come available, and often times have pocket listings as well (listings that are not in the MLS).
- Research comparable sales so that a Newport Beach home buyer can make an educated decision on what to offer on the property.
- The Buyer’s agent will guide you through the Newport Beach home buying process.