Is the Agent Writing Your Offer working for YOU or…the Seller??

Is the Agent writing Your Offer working for YOU ...or the Seller??

Is the Agent writing Your Offer working for YOU…or the Seller????

Hello Everyone! This is Part three of the five part series entitled “Home Buying Fundamentals – What Every Buyer Should Do Before Purchasing a Home.” If you have not read the first 2 installments, you can find them here.

If you have read installments 1 and 2, then Congratulations, you have found a property that meets your requirements in terms of size, amenities and location! It’s time now to concentrate on writing up a good offer. I’m assuming you are working with an agent and let’s stop right here because what I’m about to tell you is so important and yet many, many Buyers (even the most seasoned) are not aware of this information and it’s to their detriment because not knowing it has the potential of costing a Buyer thousands of dollars and/or less than favorable terms.

So the Big Question of the day is, “Just exactly who is the Real Estate Agent writing your offer working for? You? The Seller? Both?” Do you know? Well, you better because it can mean the difference of getting a mediocre deal to a great deal for YOU as the Buyer. If you’re saying to yourself right now, “Well that’s a silly question, the Agent is working for me because he/she is writing up my purchase offer.” Then I say to you…Guess Again!

If the agent writing up the offer is the “Listing” Agent (the one who has the FOR SALE sign in front of the property), then that Agent is working for the SELLER not YOU even though she/he is writing up the offer for you! Does that sound good to you? It shouldn’t! What are the implications of this? It means the Agent has a contractual obligation to get the Best terms and price for the SELLER not you! It further means that ‘anything’ you say related to the transaction, she/he can repeat to the Seller! OUCH!

Is there a way to get around this? YES! You ask the Agent that from this moment on, she/he is to represent both YOU and the SELLER. If the Agent agrees, then the Agent is bound to not play sides and to work equally & fairly for both You and the Seller on your best behalves. If you fail to ask the Listing Agent to do this, then Your Offer will proceed with the Agent working to get the best price & terms for the Seller. He/she is ‘contractually’ obligated to do so.

You should know that representing a Buyer & a Seller is (what many in the profession believe to be) a precarious situation for an Agent; but it is not out of the ordinary & is routinely done in our industry. The agent must simply follow the Department of Real Estate Rules & Regulations on how to proceed correctly with dual representations. It is also not out of the ordinary for a Listing Agent to write up an offer from a Buyer that he/she has ‘not’ entered into a dual agency relationship. Again this is very routine and (in my opinion) happens ‘only’ when a Buyer has no knowledge of the potential detrimental implications this creates for her/him. But now, you are much more savvy than the average buyer and even some ‘seasoned’ Buyers. You now have this knowledge so there is no excuse for you to not proceed with caution next time you are finding an Agent writing up an offer for you. You now have the information that can mean all the difference in the world to getting YOU a better price and/or terms. But wait….there’s more!

Is there a better way for a Buyer to proceed? YES! From the get go, you should work with an Agent who will be working for YOU. This is called a Buyer’s Broker (Agent) and in this case, the Agent is working to get YOU the BEST price & terms not the Seller. Such representation (generally) costs you “NOTHING!” At most, you will be asked to sign a Buyer’s Broker Agreement authorizing the Agent to represent you in searching for a home for a specified amount of time. A small price to pay for such a BIG playing field ADVANTAGE!

Remember, the listing agent can “NEVER” be ‘just’ the Buyer’s Agent all he/she can do is represent the seller or both the buyer & seller. A Buyer’s Broker (Agent) on the other hand, works ‘only’ for the Buyer.

So the very important BOTTOM LINE is: KNOW WHO the person writing the offer is Working FOR!!!!

We’ll see you back here next week for STEP 4 of the five part series entitled “Submitting the Purchase Offer.” The BLOG will delve into all of the dos and don’ts when it comes to actually writing up an offer to purchase a property.

If you have any questions about this article or any real estate question, please drop me a line using the link “Contact Us” form. I’d be glad to hear from you. Till then, have a great week!

Charles SantAngelo is the Broker for 90210 Real Estate, Beverly Hills, California and the author of this syndicated Blog. Thank you.

Profile photo of Charles About Charles

Charles Sant'Angelo is a broker of 20 years with offices in the same Beverly Hills location. He has represented residential & commercial buyers & sellers in LA, Orange, Riverside & San Bernadino counties and as far away as Costa Rica. Whether you are a local or global 1st time buyer , a seasoned home buyer/seller or an investor, you will find that his professionalism & his 'Customer First' approach is the cornerstone to how he conducts business. Please visit our "About Us" page for more information or contact Charles direct at
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