Did you ever plan to sell a home and heard the listing agent say that she already had a buyer for your home? Or have you been tempted by ads that say “Sell with Tauro Super Agent – he has 10,000 buyers waiting in his database”? That all sounds great – who doesn’t want to sell their home quickly?
While a quick sale is attractive and sometimes the #1 goal of a seller, most sellers will also want a price that is around the market price (well, most would want to sell above market price but that really isn’t possible on average…)
When faced with the “I have a buyer” situation, the first question should be whether the agent or team allows dual agency. If yes, this is usually a bad deal for you unless you are an experienced home seller AND you get a significant cut on the commission paid. While dual agency is allowed in Virginia the agent involved in such a transaction can not advise either party (that includes you) on important things like price or repairs or advise either party if a dispute arises. Whaaaat! Yepp…
Why did you want an agent in the first place? The reasons probably included having someone to look out for your interests, someone to resolve disputes to your advantage and someone to negotiate the best price and terms and give advice on repairs? You will get none of those in a dual agency situation.
Second question would be if the agent or team allows designated agency. The answer is probably yes. Designated agency may not be a big issue in many cases. For example, if two agents work for the same large brokerage and one agent represents the buyer and another the seller, the broker would be a dual agent and the two different real estate agents would be their clients designated agent. Only the broker would have access to confidential information on both sides leaving each agent free to fight for their client.
Keep in mind, that even with designated agency there still could be in-house incentives, bonuses or expectations for agents to procure buyers or sellers within the same firm/team. This could for example be accomplished through exclusive internal marketing periods where listings are disseminated within the team or brokerage only for an initial time period.
Such Limited marketing periods(pocket listings) may result in a quick sale, but your home may not be exposed to the full market long enough for the marketplace to help you get the best possible price. There is a potential incentive for the brokerage, team and/or individual agent to try to get “both sides of the deal” by either having the other side represented by themselves (dual agency), team or brokerage(designated agency) or by the purchaser being unrepresented (non-agency.)
So, seller beware of the already existing buyer, dual agency and limited exposure marking periods. If a specific buyer for your home already exists, make sure you determine if the buyer is represented by the agent you are looking to hire or by someone within the firm/team of that agent.
At Soldsense, due to our small size, the chance of us having a specific buyer for your home is slim. We advice our clients to list their home on the open market for the whole world to see. Through all the online real estate listing sites all potential buyers should have access to your home listing. Your best chance for a quick and best-price sale is to make your home available to all the prospective buyers at the same time and have an agent representing you with no conflicting loyalties. If this strategy makes sense, contact us today to get started.