Here at Solutions, we often let our Buyer’s clients know that when they are going to open houses and a listing agent approaches them to let that agent know they are working with a Buyer’s agent.
This is to protect the potential Buyer as the listing agent is loyal to their Sellers FIRST and might not necessarily provide the same answers that they would be required to with a Buyer’s agent present or noted.
Also, the listing agent might also have an interest in representing both sides of the transaction, although this will not benefit a potential Buyer as the listing agent would tend to favor their client first as they have a listing agreement with them.
We have run into cases where a Seller may require that the listing agent be present at showings. But why? There are usually extenuating circumstance – for example, if the owner is traveling and has not had time to clear out their valuables then they might wish to have the listing agent present to protect their interests.
Some people may feel that their home is safer with the listing agent, who they know, present. This is not necessarily the case as with current technology, we have lock boxes that record when an agent shows a property. Agents are well educated on being sure homes are locked up after showings. The idea is to leave the home in exactly the same way as we found it.
Your Buyer’s agent may get answers to some questions quickly. Often the listing agent just needs to check with the Seller. Example, if a client asks how deep is the pool then the listing agent can get the answer from the Seller right away rather than waiting until after the showing to call and ask and then wait for the response.
Or, if there are questions about when an appliance was installed, when the landscaping was put in or the roof replaced, the listing agent, if they don’t already have that info in the listing materials, can check right away.
If the listing is a larger home then it might be a good time to ask the listing agent to point out special features that you might otherwise miss on the first go through.
You and your Buyer’s agent can not talk openly. It is hard to critique a home while the Seller’s listing agent is present. Also, you may rush a showing if you feel like you are being watched and miss some important items in the home.
Often when I am showing a home, I will point out deficiencies as we walk through the home. This is not something that is easy to discuss when the sellers representative is present.
In this case, if the listing agent is present, you might wish to take notes or photos as you go through the home to discuss in the car later with your Buyer’s agent.