Working With Real Estate Agents?

Did you know that in N.C., the North Carolina Real Estate Commission, requires that all real estate agents provide consumers, a pamphlet called “Working With Real Estate Agents” at the first substantial contact? What does that mean? In plain terms, it basically means that if you were to meet or talk to a real estate agent in an open house, via email, over the phone, or in person, they need to provide this pamphlet to you.

Working With Real Estate Agents

Here is a link to the pamphlet, directly from the N.C. Real Estate Commission. This form, in simple terms, provides the reader with a clear explanation of the roles that a real estate agent could play in a real estate transaction. It explains the differences between a “buyer’s agent”, “seller’s agent”, and “dual agent.”

This form is definitely an important piece to read, because it can affect your negotiations, if/when you are ready to submit an offer on a property. Let me give you an example of what I mean. Let’s say that you happen to find a home or condo on Realtor.com that interests you. So, you email the listing agent for additional information. When the agent emails you back with additional information, they may ask you some questions, to see if they can help you further. They could ask you questions like:

  • How soon do you need to move?
  • How long have you been looking?
  • Are you looking at any other homes/condos at the moment?

What if you answered one of these questions to the listing agent? It may or may not hurt you if you decided to make an offer on that property. As the listing agent, they automatically, are looking out for the best interest of their client, the seller. So, by asking some questions, they are just trying to get a feel for your interest in the property. If you were to show too much interest, the listing agent may realize exactly how much you like a property, and try to get an even higher selling price, because they realize how much you want the property.

Let’s reverse the situation. What if you are considering selling your home? What if you planned on interviewing two agents before making a decision on who to hire to market your home? Further, let’s say you ultimately decide that the second agent is the best fit for your needs. What if you told the first agent about all the motivating factors of your move (job transfer, divorce, death in the family, loss of job, etc.). Then, after you hire agent number 2, and they begin marketing your home, agent number 1 brings you an offer from one of their buyer clients. Don’t you think that agent number 1 is going to have a pretty good feel for how motivated you are to move?

So, whether you are buying or selling a home/condo, you should definitely take the time to read through this document, to ensure that you are covering your bases with respect to how much you disclose to an agent. Surely, from the couple of examples I shared above, you can see how it might save you thousands of dollars!