We get a lot of calls from home buyers that only want to work with the listing agent on properties they find either online or while driving around New Orleans neighborhoods. It’s puzzling, to be sure.
During the course of many conversations, I’ve found that these callers have some misconceptions about what the listing agent can do for them.
Myth #1: The listing agent knows more about the property than anyone else
Truth: The listing agent knows exactly what the home owner has told them about the property, which may or may not be everything. However, in Louisiana, sellers are required to provide property disclosures addressing any defects in the home. And any good agent will be able to help you discover all of the bells and whistles a home may have that you need to know about. It’s the listing agent’s job to get that information into the hands of every prospective buyer, not just their own clients.
Myth #2: The seller can pay less in commission to the listing agent and use that money to take a lower offer
Truth: The seller and the listing agent already have a contract in place (the listing agreement) with the negotiated and agreed upon brokerage commission. Using the listing agent just makes them a dual agent. It doesn’t discount their pay for getting the house sold.
Myth #3: The listing agent knows what the seller will accept and can make the deal happen faster
Truth: The listing agent is tasked with keeping the seller’s information confidential, including what their bottom line is. Just as your agent can’t tell someone that you are willing to pay more than you’ve written an offer for, the listing agent can’t tell buyers that the seller is willing to take less unless the seller has given him/her permission to do so.
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