Buyers Beware of Buying Through Listing Agents!


With the advent of the internet came a new kind of buyer, the truly “go it alone” real estate buyer.  They come through my open houses, and their answer is always the same when asked ‘if they have a buyer’s agent,’ “I’ll find the house I want and then make an offer through the listing agent!”

Well, that all sounds good on paper but how does that work out in the real world of buying real estate in an ever hotter market?

#1 The major thing to keep in mind is that the listing agent has a primary relationship with  the seller and though I have known some awesome listing agents, like myself, who are as honest as the day is long and can double end a transaction with integrity and virtue. Still , there is a vast contingent out there who are not. They conspire with the seller to hide defects from buyers.  I know, I have protected many of my buyers from them.

#2. Listing agents are notoriously hard to get a hold of. So if you are out to tour a few homes in one day, you yourself have to make appointments with all of those listing agents to let you in the various properties you want to see. As a buyer’s agent I have an MLS lock box key, I can show you all the vacant properties and make the appointments for you to see all listings that have occupants in them in the area you want to live in. It is quicker and you see more homes in one tour then you can on your own. I have shown as many as 20 to 30 homes in one day’s house hunting tour with a buyer, try doing that on your own.

#3. Writing the contract. Everyone thinks that a chimpanzee can be trained to do real estate, and sadly there are many agents who fit this description, but only a seasoned veteran can really help you in negotiating and writing an offer with all of the proper safeguards to protect you and your deposit. Buying a home is the biggest investment of your life, having a Realtor with the skills to protect and help you is a must.

#4. Experience with inspections and property condition. Having someone who only represents your interests means that when it comes time to think about and ordering inspections on the property you are in contract in, rather then with someone who has a vested interest to get it sold and doubling their commission is important.  It pays to have an experienced eye to help you decide what to inspect and what is not necessary.

#5. Real Estate is not a Ride Share. There is a push to automate everything and to remove human beings from almost all of the jobs/careers. Almost anyone can drive a car, but very few have the skills to negotiate a contract, advise on inspections, smooth over problems, look out for pitfalls and dangers and make sure the home that you buy is the home you will be happy with, without any unseen repercussions coming back on you in the years to come.

We can automate a lot, but when it comes to the home of your dreams, it takes an experienced agent/broker to see the carbon scoring on the roof vents indicating an attic fire that a property had in the recent past, which both the listing agent and the seller were trying to hide.  My buyers at the time missed it, I saw it clearly.  When the listing agent told me she had no knowledge of it and the seller denied it, we walked.

Going it alone in some things works, but in real estate if you want to save time, effort, your precious weekends off and money, hire an experienced buyer’s agent like myself to represent you and only your interests. You’ll be glad you did.

SINGLESTOR For Sale in East Marysville, Marysville

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1868 sqft

2 bath

4 bdrm



245000 USD .

MLS® 17006109

Fantastic East Marysville Home on a large corner lot. 4 bedroom and 2 baths, 2 car attached garage. Nice sized back yard with 10×12 tough shed. 3 bedrooms are down stairs, large 4th bedroom/loft above the garage is perfect for a home office or playroom. Granite counters in kitchen and main bathroom. 18×50 covered patio perfect for outdoor entertaining. Have animals? Then the fenced Dog run on side of the house is perfect.

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Sellers Beware of Wholesalers!



I ran into  two wholesalers when selling a fixer in South Oak Park recently. They sent me offers that had the infamous “and assigns” in them. A huge red flag! Which I immediately put to the side, especially when their proof of funds (POF) was a loan from what looked like a non-traditional lender. Then I get a call from a potential buyer who tells me that my listing is on Craigslist and the Craigslist person is representing my listing as theirs to sell!!!!  Yep, they thought my seller had accepted their offer somehow, NOT! and were now looking for other investors to assign it to.

So beware my fellow agents and sellers! If you see the words “and assigns or assignees” on the purchase contract and the POF is a loan from a non-traditional lender, you know your looking at a wholesaler.
The other horror of these wholesalers is that they are ripping off older people and people with health issues.  They are offering to buy properties for 50% or less than the market price and then they flip them to investors for a quick profit. The most pernicious shenanigans they do is to have the seller sign a contract in which they will represent the seller and then they market it to investors adding in a $10,000 to $20,000 commission for themselves.  A commission many times far higher then the real estate commissions you would pay to hire a realtor to fully market your property and sell it for a far higher price.
Since investors will be paying so much in commissions to the wholesaler they have a tendency to buy the property a lot lower then market value and since the wholesaler cant hold the property for that long, they also need to sell the property for far less then its true price.
The California legislature needs to step in and outlaw this practice ASAP. Unlicensed individuals preying upon sellers in sometimes dire situations is a recipe for fraud and abuse.  As  a Realtor dedicated to professional ethics and morals, I find their actions outrageous and fraudulent!!!!