Should a home buyer go directly to the listing agent and try to get them to represent them to buy a house?
It's a common tactic and an even more common "good idea" that's floating out in the marketplace.
But in fact it's a terrible idea and there are 5 reasons (some or all of which will be going on during a dual-representation or "double-ending" transaction - even if the buyer is completely unaware of it:
1) Fiduciary Responsiblity - the listing agent already has a contractual and fiduciary responsiblity to the seller. And they will almost always figure out a way to keep that promise...
2) Misaligned Agendas - the listing agent's goal will be to get the buyer to close on that house and not determine if it's actually the best house for them, or to make sure that all the terms in the deal are as advantageous as possible.
3) Divided Loyalty - the buyer will never know the nature of the relationship between the agent and the sellers -- and how they fit into that. Would a buyer really want to be aligned with an agent whose loyalty temptation is severely tilted against them?
4) Coach VS Referee - even in the best of circumstances, the double-ending agent is to act like a netrual referree, a Switzerland between the parties. But as this will likely be the largest financial transaction of the buyers' lives up to that point, wouldn't it be better to have a coach, someone who knows the rules and strategies and can offer advice in that regard?
5) Competency Dice-Rolling - what if the listing agent is brand new to the business or a total moron?California is one of the few states that still allows dual-representation - and the lobbying efforts to maintain this are done by the brokerages in order to collect greater commissions, not because that's the best way for the buyer/sellers' interests to be judiciously and passionately defended.
Just like in a lawsuit, where someone would never consider hiring the opposing counsel "to save some money" or "make things easier" - in buying a home one needs their own representation, someone whose interests are perfectly aligned with theirs.
For a buyer: the first step is my Home Buyer Strategy Session, where I will show you the system I've developed for helping buyers find the house that's right for them in the timing that's right for them. I will also show you the 5 Strategies I use that very few agents even know, let alone put into successful practice every single day...
Michael Hausam is a licensed Real Estate Broker (BRE Agent #1319560) and Mortgage Loan Originator (NMLS # 1577195). He's been a resident of Orange County, CA since 1990, he funded his first mortgage loan in 1991, has had a B-1 general contractors license since 2005, and he has had his real estate license for over 21 years.
Thank you,Michael Hausam