Ask Phyllis is a blog series of frequently asked real estate questions. Have a question about real estate? Email us here
I am wondering about lines of communication. Over the years, I have bought several homes with the same real estate agent. Recently, my agent went out of town for several weeks, and I didn’t want to bother him while he was on vacation. I had a very simple question and contacted the seller’s agent. The agent told me she can’t talk to me as I have my own representation. I have never heard this before. Am I really not allowed to speak directly to the seller’s agent without my agent involved? Is this something new? I am well aware that real estate practices change over the years, but this seems ridiculous and I am just wondering what the current protocol is?
You are correct that real estate practices have evolved over the years. As home buyers can find out so much information about a property before they select a Realtor® some may believe that real estate agents are not only interchangeable, but that we are unnecessary. There is a misconception by a growing number of consumers that Realtors® are simply door openers.
Our code of ethics requires that we funnel our communications through your agent and not directly to someone else’s client. The agent representing you is compensated to perform a service which includes providing answers to your questions. Each time the seller’s agent speaks with you, they could be assuming liability. Perhaps, the seller’s agent was simply informing you that because you have your own representation (your real estate agent) it is best for you to be communicating directly with your Realtor®.
You can speak with whomever you wish, but why would you want to? When a buyer talks directly with the seller or their agent, that buyer is representing himself (and sometimes poorly). Diplomacy, knowledge, negotiating skills, and experience are why Realtors® earn their commission.
Congratulations on your new home.
Call Phyllis @ 818 790-7325 or email her at Phyllis@RealtorHarb.com with your real estate questions.