Southern New Hampshire Real Estate and Short Sales

Do Real Estate Agents Really Eat Their Young?

I recently received a phone call from a buyer looking for information on a property here in Southern New Hampshire. Our conversation was pretty short once I informed the buyer that I was not the listing agent (the property in question was actually not even listed by anyone in my office).   This buyer only wanted to speak to "The Listing Agent".  This happens with a fair amount of frequency since many buyers out there seem to be under the impression that dealing directly with the listing agent will give them an advantage over any other buyer and allow them to purchase the property for "less". 

This apparently grows out of the school of thought that since Real Estate Agents are, at best, one step above Langur Monkeys on the food chain and most probably eat their own young; throwing out all legal and ethical obligations to his/her client, if it means more money in their pocket, would present no problem at all. Will working with the listing agent give you an advantage

While I am sure there are some less than ethical agents out there that would do that (every profession has them), most agents that I've run across will not; and for many reasons.  So let's take a minute or two here and look at why dealing with the listing agent directly is probably not going to give the buyer an unfair advantage over everyone else.

When an agent enters into a contract to list a property, they are agreeing to a set of LEGAL obligations, one of which is to put the best interest of the client ahead of anyone else's interest, including their own.  They have an obligation to obtain the best price and terms for their client by fully exposing the property to the market.  This means putting the property into MLS and cooperating with other agents who bring the buyer.  So, on any given day there could be contracts coming in from any number of different agents on any given property.  The listing agent is LEGALLY obligated to present them all.

If it were discovered that a listing agent was giving unfair advantage to a particular contract because he/she would make more money...well, the doodoo would hit the proverbial fan.  The agent would most assuredly lose that listing and any other listings from that client (if we are talking about an agent that does heavy REO listing, the loss of a single bank client can mean a huge loss in revenue).  The agent could, and probably would, lose their real estate license. 

Finally, the agent is now potentially open to lawsuits from either their wronged client or a buyer who feels they've been wronged because their contract was held back or not properly presented.  All in all, it would be pretty foolish and short sighted of a listing agent to indulge in any hanky panky with a buyer who wants to buy one of their listings.

Does this mean you shouldn't work with a listing agent?  No, I'm not saying that.  Some agents work with both buyers and sellers and will have the time to work with you and, although they will not give you an unfair advantage, they will certainly treat you fairly.  You must understand, however, that in the instance where you are attempting to buy their listing the agent can, at best, offer you partial representation as they already have a legal obligation to the seller.

The agents that list a large amount of foreclosures probably will not have time to work with you.  Listing and maintaining their foreclosure inventory is their full time job.  They will just refer any buyers to other agents in their office.

So, what should you, as a buyer, do?  Find a knowledgeable agent that you like, that you trust, that you get a good vibe from and work with that agent.  He/she will have access to the MLS and will know when new properties come on the market that seem to meet your criteria. 

 A knowledgeable agent will help you find a trustworthy and reliable lender to get your preapproval through (a critical first step), will help you to educate yourself as to what your dollar will buy in your market area, will help you understand the ins, outs and potential pitfalls of buying a foreclosure or a short sale and will review the standard form Purchase and Sale with you and help you understand what you are really agreeing to aside from price.  They will also review the likely Addenda you will have to sign (particularly in the case of a foreclosure or short sale),  and will walk you through the entire process from offer through closing. 

This is a much more efficient way to find the best deal "for you" than running willy nilly from listing agent to listing agent.

For information about, and assistance with, purchasing foreclosures, short sales or (oh happy days!) non-distressed properties, contact me at 603-490-5344.

P.S.  Although I have met a few frightening agents in my years in real estate, I am happy to say I have never met one who actually eats their own young.


Comment balloon 14 commentsJoy Baker • February 02 2015 06:54PM
Do Real Estate Agents Really Eat Their Young?
I recently received a phone call from a buyer looking for information on a property here in Southern New Hampshire. Our conversation was pretty short once I informed the buyer that I was not the listing agent (the property in question was actually… more
Bank Bungling Short Sale or Mod Request? Don't Ask HUD For Help
According to a top HUD Executive, "It's between US Bank and us". This was the response upon, once again, being presented with documentation of US Bank's repeated mishandling of, first, the modification application and then, much later, … more
Short Sale Program Offers $10K Assistance To Struggling Homeowners
If you've been struggling with your mortgage you are an owner occupant, you don't have a government loan (FHA, USDA or VA) and your loan is not owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you may be eligible for a $10, 000 relocation incentive if you… more
2014 Real Estate - Things That Make You Go Hmmm…
2014 was an interesting year, complete with maddening absurdities courtesy of the CFPB and HUD, workplace rage and 12 myterious banking executive deaths. First up, the CFPB You remember the CFPB, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau,… more
Prospect Or Person? Which Would You Rather Be?
I ran into a colleague I hadn't seen in a while the other day and he was pumped about how well he was doing since he started following the "insert name of major national real estate trainer here" program. He talked about… more
Think Foreclosure Is A Way Of "Walking Away"? Think Again
I've long held the position that THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT REASON a distressed Southern New Hampshire/Northern Massachusetts homeowner should consider opting for a short sale over a foreclosure is the little known "right to pursue a deficiency… more
President's Day Groupon Ad - Boneheaded or Brilliant?
Late last week Groupon put out a press release indicating that they were "Celebrating President's Day by Honoring Alexander Hamilton ". The press release went on to say, "the $10 dollar bill, as everyone knows, features President… more
February 64 Doesn't Seem So Long Ago - The Beatles, Brad Delp And A…
February 9, 1964 was certainly a major date in the United States. The opportunity to see The Beatles for the first time on the Ed Sullivan show that night left an indelible mark on many. Two young boys whose lives were forever altered were… more
Short Sellers - Ability To Buy Again Becomes Easier
Over the last several years, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA have become more open to the idea of once again providing financing for folks who have been willing to cooperate in a short sale. Fannie and Freddie have both indicated that,… more
Freddie Mac on Short Sales: New Year, New Guidelines-Short Sales Are…
According to Freddie Mac's Senior Vice President of Single Family Servicing and Real Estate Owned, a short sale is a superior alternative to foreclosure if you have determined that you can no longer afford to keep your home and you have determined… more