Lake Sinclair buyers, don't bring an agent who isn't looking out for your interests first

I have a Georgia Broker's license from the real estate commission.  That gives me the legal right to sell and list property anywhere in the state, but that doesn't mean I do or that I should. If I were to go into the Atlanta, Macon, Savannah markets to show property I couldn't properly represent a client. 

This week I had a call from an agent out of area. They wanted to show some of my "listings" from my website. Well many of those "listings" from my site they wanted information and showing instructions were IDX listings on my site from other companies. And while I'm a very nice person, no I'm not going to take an hour out of my day to look up homes and give another agent the listing agent's phone number. Finally one they wanted to see was my listing so I made arrangements for that house to be open for the agent and the buyers. I owe my seller the duty to make sure their house gets shown to every potential buyer.  The agent went further to try to pick my brain about the types of ownership here and lease rates from Georgia power.  Sorry dude, call them yourself. I have other things to do.

To fully be able to help a buyer an agent needs to know the market, be a member of the MLS in that market in order to obtain access to homes via lockbox and pull comparable sales to help a buyer make an informed decision when making an offer.  So if I had a friend or family member that wanted to buy in another area of Georgia other than Lake Sinclair I would refer them to someone who was a local to that area expert.

That brings me to my next point, access. If you are not in the local MLS then you don't have a key that opens local electronic key boxes that are on almost all listings in my market. Every listing agent won't be as accommodating as I am to get the home opened up for you. I don't understand why an agent tries to work outside of their market and area of knowledge because it's certainly NOT putting the buyer's interests first. 

Why any agent would attempt to represent a buyer when they don't have access to the local MLS is beyond me. It sure isn't the right thing for the buyer. It seems more like it might be better for the agents bank account than for the buyer's interests. I would never do that to my buyer. Hey buyers is your agent looking out for YOU or are they looking after their commission and not referring you to the BEST agent to help you?

Before you hire an agent to represent you ... ask some basic questions about them having access to the LOCAL MLS (multiple listing service) and have a lockbox key to provide you access to available listings.  Before you make an offer you should be looking at comparables for the home that are recent sales. Don't hire your friend and think they will help you more if they are not local to the property you are buying. 

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Comment balloon 28 commentsTammy Lankford, • April 14 2016 04:05PM

Comments

I know a lot of areas around the Phoenix metro area besides just the Gilbert area where I am at but that doesn't mean I'm an expert. There are plenty of places I would not feel 100% comfortable representing a seller. 

Posted by Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert, Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com (Zion Realty) over 2 years ago

Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert and that's how far from Gilbert?  This agent was 3.5 hours away in drive time and obvioulsy had zero knowledge of property on this lake.  Very sad for the buyers.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 2 years ago

Tammy

I see this sort of issue regularly, with listing agents from a county or two away from here. As far as buyer agents I haven't personally had any issues but no doubt there are those who will go anywhere to show a property. And perhaps their buyers, while wanting their agent to help them, do not realize the disservice that is being done and the potential problems that could arise.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) over 2 years ago

The only motivation of an agent like that is the commission. It certainly cannot be trying to ensure the best service for their client. Refer it out to a great local agent and take the referral fee. The sad part is their clients don't have a clue how badly they are represented. Happens all the time.

Posted by Jane Peters, Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market (Home Jane Realty) over 2 years ago

Jeff Dowler CRS exactly. And poor clients. I just don't get why buyers don't ask questions and know better.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 2 years ago

Jane Peters it never seems to work out well for the buyers. They overpay. They buy in an area where the water doesn't support the kind of boat they have. They try to sell quickly and find out they just purchased in a area with one sale in the past 2 years (theirs).    

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 2 years ago

Sad but true.  We see that too often as well.  When I sold my parents home, 65 miles away, I referred to local agent.  Thanks for timely post Tammy Lankford 

Posted by Mary Yonkers, Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor (Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Don't you find it amazing when they ask us to look things up for them? 

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 2 years ago

Mary Yonkers I would not work that far out of my market either. But honestly a listing is way better than trying to represent buyers in an area you don't know well. 

Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner oh yes, please let me do all the work and then you get half my paycheck. NOT!

 

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 2 years ago

I've seen this here, though it would have been foolish to think that was simply a local trend to the DC/MD/VA area.

From what I know of you, you are a nice & wondefully accomodating professional, to a point.  Beyond that point, I believe you can be a weapon.

Smart for your sellers in that respect, and we all expect no less from you.

Posted by Claude Labbe, Realty for Your Busy Life (Real Living | At Home) over 2 years ago

Claude Labbe weapon!  Oh my word that made me laugh out loud.  I supose I can be, beyond that point.  I didn't say a word when that agent took a handful of maps that I buy for clients.  Not one word.  But that was the point of which they best not go beyond.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 2 years ago

Good advice for home buyers . They should woek with a  good buyer agent.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 2 years ago

This business is a mix of time, money, opportunity, greed and common sense and these come in different measures for every deal case in point here.

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 2 years ago

Tammy, I approve this message – 100%!  I just don’t get it either. I do believe it has to do with greed. Not the best thing for the buyer. 

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 2 years ago

So true...I recently referred my cousin to a Miami, Fl agent to represent her in purchasing a house. I admitted that I don't know that city and its neighborhoods, and wouldn't be able to represent her capably...even though I do have access to listings down there. You gotta know when you don't know! Good post.

Posted by DALIA KIBBY, Selling Broward County Homes with Passion! (Keller Williams Realty Partners SW) over 2 years ago

Absolutely fantastic information and advice here, Tammy Lankford ... and I'll be sharing it everywhere I can!  Those thinking of buying or selling need to take your advice to heart ...

Gene

Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) over 2 years ago

Excellent points Tammy. I dealt with a recent transaction and agent similar a few months ago. Turns out the 'agent' was no longer licensed or a member of any MLS or association, but representing a buyer. They could not even figure out how to pull up the information to complete a contract offer. Not to mention they had no clue about commercial land. Their client had no idea how bad of a deal they were getting and the lack of knowledge and representation they were getting. At closing we did not pay a co-broker fee because their representative was not licensed or sponsored by a broker to receive one. 

Posted by Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest (Keller Williams Realty Southwest) over 2 years ago

Mike Wong now that is a new one on me.  Not even legal in my state for an "agent" to draft an offer if they are not actively licensed at the time.  Poor buyer.

Thanks Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi  I appreciate that.  

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 2 years ago

Gita Bantwal one not only licensed, but familar with the area

Richie Alan Naggar sometimes I want to pull out the COE and show them where it says clients interests come first.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 2 years ago

Kathleen Daniels on the two occassions where my brother has purchased out of my area I told him "referring you" is what will save you money, not me coming to an area where I don't know what's what the value you should be paying. And because I love my brother and did that in an effort to actually save him money I discussed the stipulation of my referral fee being a buyer rebate on the HUD as allowed by our state and not paid to me. That's how a family member with the buyer's best interests at heart to "save" them money handles it.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 2 years ago

DALIA KIBBY at least you could run comps.  This guy is looking up listings for his client to view on MY website.  That leaves a lot of agent privy (special remarks) information out that perhaps would be of benefit to t heir clients. Sad.  You did it the right way for your family member.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 2 years ago

It's all about the commission to him.  I recently had a client who wanted to buy in Galveston TX.  Now, that's close and I have access to the MLS, but my knowledge of flooding and insurance since Hurricane Ike is greatly lacking.  I referred them. 

Posted by Jeanne Gregory, The most important home I sell is YOURS! (RE/MAX Southwest) over 2 years ago

Hello Tammy ...

Great write, so true and congrats on the Gold 

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) over 2 years ago

Tammy, You did a great job of explaining to the general public why they need an agent who is a member of the MLS and knows the local area.

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) over 2 years ago

I agree. If we aren't familiar with a specific area, we should refer the deal to someone else. I'm licensed in all of NY state, but certainly wouldn't try to handle something in an area I'm not familiar with. 

 

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) over 2 years ago

Great post.

I have a buyer referral from an agent / friend. The buyer was looking in his area but when the client changes his mind and decided to look in another county, the Realtor asked me if I knew a good agent that handled that county.

I did and he passed the client to the other Realtor as a referral. The buyer just signed a contract and two Realtors who represent different counties are now friends.

They've already started referring each other clients to remain in their area of expertise and I've been thanked by both for the introduction!

Posted by Mark Robinson, Honesty, Integrity, Service (Geneva Financial, LLC) over 2 years ago

Sign, I just do not get the mentality of agents who'll do anything for a buck.

Posted by Corinne Guest, New Homes Specialist (Barrington Realty Company) over 2 years ago

I cannot imagine trying to show homes without the tools necessary, the MLS and my online forms and Authentisign. I have gotten so used to doing business that way.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 2 years ago

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