Calling the listing agent is the BIGGEST mistake a potential buyer can make!
The listing agent is legally working for the seller to get them the very highest price and best terms possible!
The listing agent is required, by law, to disclose three important facts to an unrepresented potential buyer:
- They are working FOR the seller,
- They are NOT working for you, and
- The buyer will likely get a better deal with their own agent.
The listing agent is prohibited from sharing with the potential buyer knowledge they may have about a home or the seller – unless the seller gives them authorization to share the information ahead of time. And why would the seller offer to share negative information?
The listing agent is going to try to push a sale of the home – whether or not it meets the potential buyer's criteria. Keep in mind they work FOR the seller.
The seller has already agreed to pay a certain fee to sell their home through the listing agent. They pay no more or no less if the buyer brings their own agent. The total fee remains the same as what is written in the listing contract. If the buyer decides not to bring their own agent, expect the seller's agent to try to sell the buyer twice as hard since they working towards being paid twice as much.
The agent hired by the buyer (and paid by the seller) will research a property and the seller and is obligated to share with the buyer what they find since they work for the buyer (and not the seller). This is both the good information AND the bad information. A good buyer agent that represtents the buyer's interests will find out (and share) more about a home than the listing agent even knows!
The agent that works for the buyer can suggest terms and conditons to enter into an Offer to Purchase to protect the buyer's interests while the seller's agent is prohibited from doing so. Remember, the seller's agent must work in the seller's best interests!
An agent working for a buyer can provide any incentive commissions offered by the seller to the buyer as a rebate. A seller's agent cannot since they don't work for the buyer – as a result, they will be keeping any incentive commissions offered by the seller.
In hiring your own agent, you can control how much they will be paid when they help you buy a home. When you work with the seller's agent, there is absolutely no legal way to do this – they get paid what the seller agreed to pay the two agents. If you didn't know, it's called double dipping! It's a win-win: a win for the seller, a win for the agent... and a LOSS FOR THE BUYER.
Picture yourself as a seller's agent. You already know you're going to get paid to sell the home, so you can sell a potential buyer this home or help them buy a home down the street. Both will most likely pay the same for the buying side of the transaction. There is no advantage to the agent to cut the commission offered by the seller in order to make the sale.
I don't know how many times I explain this when I get called and the first question asked is if I'm the listing agent on a property listing and they only want to talk to the listing agent in order to try to get a better deal. I can guarantee there is absolutely no savings possible in working with the listing agent directly – in fact, the buyer could be losing tens of thousands of dollars by doing so! That's why you see signs that say, "call me first." Of course they want you to! The more you pay, the more they get paid.
You just CAN'T get a better deal than using your own real estate agent to represent your interests. There are about 5,200 other REALTORS® registered to use the MLS® System in Calgary. Pick one! Just DON'T call the agent that represents the seller!