Consumer alert calls attention to vulnerabilities faced by new home buyers in “Dual Agency” real estate transactions.
San Diego, CA, August, 2012 –(PR.com)– Mountain Trust Realty (www.MountainTrustRealty.com) has launched its latest consumer awareness campaign to call attention to loopholes in existing real estate transactions that can ultimately work to the serious disadvantage of buyers of single family homes.
Mountain Trust Realty (MTR) Realtor Sarah Smith recently represented a prospective single family home buyer who attended a Sunday Open House alone. The buyer, however, was ultimately convinced by the listing agent – who represented the seller – to write an offer on the home without first contacting Smith.
The seller’s listing agent informed the buyer that if the buyer chose to contact Smith, the waiting period required to hear back from her to respond and write an offer, would likely cause the buyer to lose the house because “time was of the essence.” Ultimately, the listing agent convinced the buyer that the buyer would have a better chance of getting an offer accepted if the buyer simply chose to write the offer directly through the seller’s agent.
“Actually – there was no reason MTR could not have responded pretty much immediately, and submitted an offer in a timely manner to assure the buyer’s best interests were protected,” notes Smith, a veteran Realtor at MTR. “But unfortunately, these kinds of potential conflicts – where agents represent buyers and sellers simultaneously – happen frequently. It’s known as Dual Agency. And it’s a good reason why buyers ultimately need to examine who has their best interests at heart.”
Gary Cooper, President of MTR, agrees: “If a listing agent is suddenly pressuring a buyer to act, one needs to ask – what is the agent’s motive? It’s quite possible that agent may want to help the buyer get into their next house. But it’s also possible the agent is simply looking to land a double commission… all under the guise of offering to ‘help’ the buyer out.”
As Smith observes: “Any agent that has previously built a relationship with a buyer will typically have invested considerable time to intimately understand the specific needs of that buyer. Assuming the buyer’s representative is reputable and ethical, he or she should always have the buyer’s best interests at heart. In fact, it’s required by law.”
Cooper notes that his MTR agents are always available to write offers for clients… even on weekends. “That’s why we’re here….to act as our clients’ advocates. We believe in letting our principles be our guide.”
To avoid the above kinds of issues, Cooper suggests that buyers consider researching and hiring an agent to act as their ombudsmen to help them to find the best home, much like a seller will hire an agent to get their best value out of selling their house. He also suggests that buyers ask prospective agents to provide them with an official Buyer Representation Agreement. These standard form employment contracts can fully spell out duties and responsibilities of the real estate agent to the buyer, and vice versa. Consequently, they can protect the interests of buyers and all agents in the transaction. These contracts can frequently be found on each state’s Department of Real Estate (DRE) website, where they can be downloaded to review and discuss with an agent prior to engaging that agent to undertake representation.
“By doing this, buyers can attend any Open House, fully empowered to let the seller’s listing agent know that they already have a buyer’s agent in place representing their best interests,” Cooper observes.
Cooper further notes that doing so can allow buyers and their representatives to work hand-in-hand to ask tougher questions, and get more definitive responses, which can ultimately wind up saving home buyers a lot more money in the long run. It can further help home buyers to shore up potentially weaker negotiating postures with sellers’ listing agents, as listing agents attempt to navigate their abilities to consistently represent the best interests of all parties in the transaction.
About the Company
Mountain Trust Realty (MTR) is a full service real estate company uniquely positioned to provide clients with “one-stop real estate shopping” services all conveniently located under one roof. MTR’s companion company, Mountain Trust Mortgage (MTM), has consistently been awarded an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau since it first registered with the BBB nearly ten years ago. Our highly seasoned, vetted team of brokers and agents are specifically trained to actively listen to clients’ needs, identify relevant issues, and advise them with regard to a wide range of solutions that are in their best interests. We take pride in placing our clients’ best interests ahead of our own. Whether discussing potential loan modifications, refinancing as a last resort, or even short sales, our highly knowledgeable, talented team enjoys helping our clients respond to what can often seem like daunting challenges with comprehensive information, sensitivity, professionalism, and pride.
For more information, or to request a free initial consultation, call 858-376-1299.
Or go to www.mountaintrustrealty.com
Gary Cooper, President
Mountain Trust Mortgage