What Do We Mean by a Potential Conflict of Interest?
An example would be you buying a house and selecting an agent who works with buyer and sellers. What if the
agent only shows you houses listed for sale in his or her company’s portfolio? Now whose best interest is being
served by this scenario?
Drilling down deeper into the example reveals the potential conflict of interest comes into play when your agent
and the agent selling the house both work for the same broker. How can the broker for both agents serve the two
masters (you and the seller) in the transaction?
This traditional scenario plays out across America all the time. Just be aware of the potential behind the
scenes conversations taking place around you and serve notice by asking the realtor about their company's policy on
how they intend to protect your financial interest.
Don't want the hassle of wondering if you are being properly
represented? Use an exclusive buyer’s agent. He or she will show you every house on the market
listed with all of the real estate companies as well as For Sale By Owner (FSBO) houses on the market. The
exclusive buyer’s agent has only one master and that is you.
“Selecting An Agent”
- Decide of which type of agent will serve you best. Real Estate Agents are a valuable tool to use and they
do earn their money when they do their job to protect your financial interests. You just need to pick the right
It is important to feel good about and trust the agent enough to embark on a relationship that may last
Check references of the agent and the real estate company that you may want to hire. Don’t
automatically discount an agent who is new to the business. New agents will have experienced brokers in
their company giving them guidance to make sure mistakes are not made. New agents will usually have
more time to devote to your needs than an agent who is booked with more clients than he or she can
A good selling agent will show you comparative market analysis of homes sold in your area for the last
six months to a year. He or she should be able to tell you how long homes are staying on the market in
your area before the homes actually sell. Their marketing plan should be specific on where the real
estate company will be advertising your house for sale and what are the frequencies for activities such
as open houses.
A good buyer’s agent will ask you a multitude of questions about the type of house that you are looking
to purchase to allow them to customize the search. The agent will do a comparative market analysis of
the homes selected for final consideration. The agent should know the house value trend for the
neighborhood selected as well as the value trend of homes in a radius of three to five miles around the
new home selected.
No agent should ever try to make a decision for you or try to force you make a decision. A good
agent will give you the pertinent information needed for you to make the decision at each stage then wait for your
Do watch out for the real estate agent who states he or she can sell your home for an unrealistic
amount and wants a listing contract for a six and twelve month duration.
Some real estate agents with six month and twelve month listing agreements will do minimal
marketing of the property initially while they take advantage of their sign in your front lawn to advertise their
real estate company. Try to negotiate for a three month listing period with the option to renew the listing
Many cities now have their property tax roll on line now which shows how much a property sold for
and the date the property sold. You can see what homes recently sold for in your area and compare that to what the
realtor thinks your house will sell for when placed on the market.
Man-In-A-Hurry.com recommends that you be diligent and ask any question even if you think it sounds
Remember, the real estate agent works for you and you deserve all of your questions to be answered
respectfully even when they don't seem to make much sense. Always respect your real estate agent as well.