Homes Buyers Paying too Much Calling Agent on the For Sale Sign? 

Buying a home? Pay more and work harder by working with the listing agents. 

Whenever I list a property I'll get "sign calls" from buyers wanting to view a property I have on the market. Some have been told by a friend that working with the selling agent will help them get a better deal and this is not always the case. 
Apart from the fact that it is more work for the buyer to call and arrange appointments with all the agents, line up consecutive times to maximize the number of showings, vet the different properties against their needs, access the properties with limited information through public access sites, do all the driving and waiting around for the next appointment; to do all that and pay more for the property? No thanks. 
So it is obviously more work but why are the odds in favour of you paying more? 
Facilitating both sides of a deal or "double ending" as it is sometimes called is not an option in many districts. Currently Alberta REALTOR®s are allowed to facilitate for both a seller and a buyer on the same transaction. The key point to note here for this discussion is the agent must not engage in discussions of price if they divulge whether the seller is likely to reduce price and why the seller is selling (unless the seller has given written authorization to do so). The agent can share with you comparable sold data but it is up to you to decide what you want to offer and ultimately what you want to pay for the property. 
To be clear, you are on your own here because the agent needs to step back from an advocacy relationship in which you are in a sole relationship and due undivided loyalty to one of facilitator. 

Under a sole agency relationship your agent now can speak freely about pricing and positioning your offer to your best interests. These discussions can include information that otherwise would be deemed confidential such as the seller's motivation and willingness to accept less, providing the agent has never had a client/agent relationship in the past. In short, your agent can go to bat for you as you would expect of an experienced negotiator working on your behalf, following your now well informed instructions at the negotiating table. 

For example, buyer called me up last week, wanting to view my listing. I asked if he was working with an agent and sent him the consumer relationship guide from the Alberta Real Estate Council (available upon request). I offered to line up other showings for him. He declined and I met him at the property. Turns out he flew in from Vancouver the day of the appointment and paid for transportation. Now this is my fail because I saw the B.C. prefix on the phone number and should have offered to pick him up at the airport, part of the service I provide. Once he figured out how much work it was to call all these agents and coordinate their schedules with the seller's schedules all while likely paying more, he was all in regarding selecting an agent to work with him to find and purchase a home. 

Find someone you can trust, sit down with them and come up with an action plan that fits your needs and timeline while getting all of your concerns and questions answered. Plug into their professional network of proven mortgage professionals, home inspectors & lawyers and may your home purchasing journey be a pleasant one. 

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