Danger at Opens

Author: admin

There was a good news release recently that discussed one of the problems buyers face when they visit open houses. I’m reprinting most of it here from the Reuters release:

AVONDALE, Ariz., March 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As fewer transactions are
split up between a relatively fixed number of real estate agents, those agents
are using whatever tools they can to hold on to home buyers, in some cases
against the buyer's will. One of those "tools" is an outdated industry secret
called "procuring cause," and it is frustrating many of today's home buyers,
according to the home buying specialists at the National Association of
Exclusive Buyer Agents

Procuring cause is an industry term that describes the ability of any agent
who showed a buyer a home to claim that they should be paid if the buyer
eventually wants to buy that home.

Many buyers get "married" to agents who show them a property without ever
knowing it. Charlie and Meg Bear, of Acton, Massachusetts, are like many
buyers in today's market. When they started house-hunting, they went to the
Internet. Click ... they found a house to see; click ... they sent a request
to the listing agent. At the second house they saw this way, the agent who
showed them the house disclosed that he was a "buyer's agent." He was the
husband of the listing agent. Charlie did not want a buyer's agent who was
married to the listing agent. "This disclosure is not a contract" was clearly
on the form. Meg signed the form; Charlie did not.

Time went by. Charlie and Meg hired Connie LeDuc of Authentic Home Buyers
Brokers in Southborough, MA. When they eventually decided to make an offer on
that home they saw through the Internet, confusion reigned. The "buyer's
agent" did not want Connie to represent Charlie and Meg on his wife's listing.
The listing agent, his wife, was all for getting this home sold to the Bears,
but her husband insisted that he was their "buyer's agent." After much
negotiation between the brokers, the Bears bought their new home.

"Potential homebuyers who attend open houses or view properties with the
listing agent, or a licensee working for the listing agency, may forfeit their
opportunity to have full representation," said John Sullivan, President of
NAEBA . "To have 100% representation 100% of the time, homebuyers should have
a written agreement with an exclusive buyer's agent that spells out the duties
and obligations of both parties before looking at any home."

What did Charlie and Meg Bear learn from their experience? "People like us
don't know they should find their agent before they find their house," says
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