I decided that a great way to start blogging about the things that an average real estate consumer wants to know was to pull questions left over at Trulia Voices and other real estate forums and respond to them here. The question from the title of this post was left very recently and seemed like one I had heard enough myself to warrant writing more.
“Should the Agent who is Listing and Marketing my Home Bring in Buyers?”
First, the agent who you have hired to list your home is really there to market it and make sure that your home gets the greatest possible exposure to the greatest number of qualified buyers that it possibly can. Unfortunately they won’t often be working with that perfect byer at just the right time, but their job, rather, is to figure out where those buyers are, which Realtors would likely be working with them, and how to target them in general.
I typically will not show buyers a home that I am listing. This scenario often results in a dual agency type of situation, wherein both the home seller and the potential home buyer would be represented by the same agent, and as a rule I do not practice dual agency. If I receive a call from an unrepresented buyer who is interested in seeing the home, I will either tour them through it with the understanding that I cannot represent them, or I will refer them out to another agent in my firm.
On a more general note, I also don’t believe the listing agent (or the sellers!) should be present for tours and showings of the home. While some people might think that the listing agent should be there to highlight the best features of the home, this is something that is much more comfortably done by the buyer’s agent when possible. It is my job as a listing agent to make sure that the buyer’s agent is well informed of the great features of the home, and that the home is chock-full of great information, photos, the plat, floor plans, recent utility bills, etc so that the buyer and their agent has no trouble getting the answers they need, but I do not typically want to be there physically pointing it all out.
Nobody buys a home before they look in the closets and cabinets, and this is something that 99% of people just aren’t comfortable doing in front of the owner of the home or the agent who represents them. I also find that as a buyers agent it can also be extremely uncomfortable trudging through a 30 minute “guided tour” on a home that we knew upon walking in the front door was not “the one.” There are many reasons to work with YOUR OWN agent, not the least of which to enjoy the comfort of working alongside someone you trust and someone who won’t judge you when you peer into the pantry or mentally place every shoebox in the walk-in closet.
Long story short, a listing agent should be guaranteeing that any qualified buyer who would be interested in your home will be able to find it easily, but they shouldn’t be guiding the tour.