The Hidden Cost of Not Working with an Exclusive Buyers Agent

When the times get tough, the tough get going.

The thing about tough times, though, is that often they force us to adapt to new realities. The Charlotte real estate market provides many examples of that, such as greater access to information for the consumer via the Internet. Perhaps even more significant, innovations in the way real estate is bought and sold have further empowered home buyers with the option of an exclusive buyers agent, so buyers can avoid the conflict of interest that can arise from dual agency.

But what about those who don’t want to “get going” with all these new-fangled aids that put the buyer in the driver’s seat? You know, the ones who still want to cling to the good old days and their bad old ways, when listing agents kept a firm grip on marketing information, and benefited from both sides of the transaction? Well, they can pick up their marbles and go home. At least, they think they can!

Jim Abbott, the President and Managing Broker of the Abbot Realty Group of San Diego, has released a video in which he announces that his firm will no longer allow third party sites such as Trulia, Realtor.com and Zillow to syndicate their listings.

Abbott’s announcement prompted a firm rebuttal from Fred Glick, a real estate broker/owner, and co-inventor of RentScoper.com. Glick counter-punches with his own observations about how listing agents such as Abbott are motivated not by what’s best for the consumer, but by the desire to hold on to their control over information – and more than ever, because knowledge is power in real estate – sidestep the issue of dual agency. Check out the video. What I like is that Glick lets Abbott make his point, to which Glick responds:

Here’s what Glick cautions about dual agency:

“You don’t want to be defended by the same law firm who’s prosecuting you if God forbid something happens, correct? Well, you don’t want the same real estate company representing the seller and the buyer, do you? … There are five states that have banned this practice. And I hope the other 45 will do the same. Some real estate agents like this because they make more money.”

Could that be the reason listing agents want to deny buyers the opportunity to deal with a buyer’s agent? And consider Glick’s observation that listing agents who want to restrict access to marketing information are fighting not just a losing battle, but a battle that the consumer has already won:

“Buyers want information. They’re going to find it. Why not let them do it on the sites that already have the information? Trulia, Zillow, and Realtor.com are the sites they pull up when they search for real estate. So let’s give the consumer what they want. That’s the way to restore consumer trust in real estate agents.”

The bottom line? No one serves the home buyer the way an exclusive buyers agent can. Carolina Buyers Agent is committed to representing the buyer’s best interests at all times. And by not taking listings, the trap of dual agency is avoided – because when even the most well-meaning real estate agent is showing their own company’s listings, the appeal of making money on “both ends” of the transaction can be too hard to resist. It’s just human nature.

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