You’re in the market to buy a new home and working with a real estate agent, your cousin Sara. She has shown you countless homes, but none of them check all of your boxes. Instead of sitting around waiting for Sara to send you new listings you decide to start looking on your own.
Lo and behold you find a few homes online that you like. So you call the number on the website. The agent you called isn’t the listing agent for the homes so they aren’t able to answer all of your questions. However, they take time out of their day to obtain the answers for you. Based on the response there are a few homes you’d like to see so you schedule a time to view them with the agent.
Situations like this happen daily. Some buyers just don’t want to bother cousin Sara on a Sunday. While others believe it’ll be more beneficial to have multiple agents looking for their new home. Then there are buyers who just don’t understand how real estate works.
In this article, we’re going to discuss if buyers are allowed to work with multiple agents and the repercussions if they do.
Can a Buyer Work with Multiple Real Estate Agents?
Yes, a buyer can work with multiple agents as long as they don’t have a written agreement with an agent. In most areas this is called a buyer’s broker agreement or buyer representation agreement. This agreement basically states a buyer agrees to work with a specific agent and buy a home through that agent. If they decide to buy a home with another agent they may have to compensate the agent they have the agreement with. While a buyer can work with multiple agents let’s examine if they should.
Should Buyers Work with Multiple Real Estate Agents?
Finding a home and getting to the closing table can take time, a lot of time, energy and money on the buyer’s part and an agent’s part too. Real estate agents only get paid when they successfully sell a home. So from a real estate agents perspective buyers should only work with one agent.
Who wants to go to work every day and not get paid? Nobody. However, from a buyer’s perspective, they may feel it’s beneficial to work with more than one agent. So let’s look at the pros and cons of working with multiple agents.
Pros of Working with Mulitple Agents
Areas of Expertise
If a buyer is looking in a broad area, multiple counties, working with one agent probably isn’t unrealistic. With that being said buyers need to let their agent know they are looking in other areas with other agents.
No two agents are alike therefore buyers are going to get different results and different expertise, some good, some bad. Real estate agents have access to the same exact information, so it comes down to how they search for homes. Some might use specific criteria resulting in minimal options. While others might use broad criteria resulting in a lot of options to choose from. Buyers will quickly learn which agents know their craft and which ones don’t.Can a Buyer Work with Multiple Real Estate Agents?
Cons of Working with Multiple Agents
Yes, different information was a pro, but it’s a huge con too. Since agents have access to the same information odds are a buyer is going to be bombarded with the same information from multiple agents. Not only that, multiple agents can send hundreds of properties that don’t even meet the buyer’s search criteria. In order for a buyer to ensure they don’t miss the “perfect home” they’ll have to take the time to review all of the listings. With that being said they might scroll right by the perfect home because they’re overwhelmed and not paying attention.
When a buyer works with one agent they’re only going to receive useful information. Not duplicate listings or listings that don’t fit their needs.
Working with multiple agents can be exhausting! Trying to keep track of who sent what, who showed what, who said what. Even the most organized person will have difficulty keeping track of everything. And if the buyer is looking on their own they will certainly waste time inquiring about properties that aren’t even available.
When a buyer works with one agent that one agent will keep track of everything for them. What listings they’ve sent and what homes they’ve seen. They’ll also be able to investigate any listings a buyer finds, for those buyers who can’t help but look on their own.
If a buyer is not committed to one real estate agent odds are a real estate agent isn’t going to be committed to the buyer. How much effort is an agent going to put forward when there is a strong possibility they won’t get paid? Not only that, what type of agent is going to work with a buyer who’s working with multiple agents? Odds are not the best in the business.
Now, this is assuming buyers working with multiple agents are upfront with every agent, which a majority probably won’t be. Here’s the thing, outstanding agents will quickly figure out a buyer’s loyalty to them and fire them on the spot or just stop communications.
When a buyer works with one agent that one agent is going to bend over backwards for their client. When that new listing hits the market they’ll make sure their client is the first one in the door. When a fire starts they will promptly put it out.
The home buying process can be a long, sometimes stressful process. How is a buyer going to build rapport with an agent when they’re basically using multiple agents as door openers? The answer is they’re not. When a buyer is working side by side with one agent that agent will quickly learn what type of home they’re looking for. This, in turn, is going to keep a buyer from looking at homes their agent knows won’t work. There agent will also have suggestions they won’t have even considered. Top Realtors now their market. They know the builders, the inventory and pricing.
Working with one top agent is priceless. It makes buying a home fun and exciting, not stressful and a constant scramble.
Just because a buyer can work with multiple agents doesn’t mean they should. Buying and selling real estate is a full-time job. A job only licensed real estate agents know how to do effectively. Buyers can certainly work with multiple agents and the agent who finds them a home “wins,” but is the buyer really winning?
When it comes to negotiating an offer do they have the best agent in their corner? If inspection or appraisal issues arise do they have the best real estate agent advising them? There is more to real estate than finding a home, that is the fun and easy part. ANYONE can open a door, but can they provide the best advice?
Purchasing a home is usually the biggest investment a person will make in their lifetime. So the agent guiding them through this process shouldn’t be whoever opened the door.
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Additional Home Buying Resources
- One of the biggest real estate myths is a buyer will save money if they go directly to the listing agent. Real estate commission is determined before a home even hits the market. So cutting out the buyer’s agent doesn’t mean their commission goes into the buyer’s pocket. Not to mention who does the listing agent represent, are they a seller’s agent, dual agent or transaction broker?
- There are lot of do’s and don’ts when buying a home, there’s a certain buying etiquette that should be followed. In addition to working with one Realtor buyers should follow “home viewing rules.” Always be on time, don’t bring children or pets, don’t touch personal items, don’t keep revisiting the same property, don’t drink or eat while walking through the home. Buyers need to remember the home they’re looking at is still someone else’s, not theirs and need to respect that.
- Thinking about buying a fixer-upper? Some buyers think buying a home that needs work will be a great investment, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Sometimes a fixer-upper can become money pits and easily drain a person’s life savings or create massive debt.
- Before a buyer enters the real estate market they need to know the costs associated with buying a home and how much they can afford. The best way to obtain this information is by contacting a mortgage broker. A mortgage broker will be able to go over the different loan options and costs associated with each. By doing so will ensure a buyer isn’t falling in love with homes that can’t afford or qualify for.
About the Author
Top Wellington Realtor, Michelle Gibson, wrote: “Can a Buyer Work with Multiple Real Estate Agents?”
Michelle has been specializing in residential real estate since 2001 throughout Wellington Florida and the surrounding area. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell or rent she will guide you through the entire real estate transaction. If you’re ready to put Michelle’s knowledge and expertise to work for you call or e-mail her today.
Areas of service include Wellington, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Greenacres and more.