Don’t call the listing agent!

By now you have read, “Limited Dual Agency is truly limited” and “Let’s party, Ok maybe not…” blogs posted earlier. If you haven’t please click back and have a quick read. Apart from my poor grammar an misdirected humour, the reads are quick and easy.

So, what does “Don’t call the listing agent” mean?

Well, first off you can call the listing agent. He or she can give you factual information on the property. Technically they can even show you the property during an open house. Booking a showing with them is most likely a no-no unless they bring in another agent who is entirely unconnected to the seller. If, during your conversation, you discuss anything personal about you or the seller (motivation, price other than list price, use, dates, desires etc) you will be putting that agent into a conflict of interest. Afterwards, the agent will have to recuse themselves from any dealings with you and the seller, their first client. (See Implied Agency in a week or so on this blog)

Why this change?

Simply put, Real Estate Agents in British Columbia can only serve ONE Master as of June 15th based on the banning of “Limited Dual Agency”. This is a good thing. It’s new, but it’s good. More than 20,000 agents across B.C. are learning the new rules and many of us are spot on yet some are still learning. We will get better at interpreting the rules but for now, it’s a new set of tools.

So, why should you not call the listing agent?

1) The Real Estate Council of B.C. really doesn’t want you to call because of the ban on limited dual agency. It’s a natural by-product of the ban.

2) You are working with an agent you already trust or have an agreement with. Call this agent. He or she can get you all the info you need just as fast and often with more detail and learn motivations and details that will help you make a good choice. Your agent can dig deeper. There maybe a delay, but the seller’s agent will welcome the call and often “hold” the property because they know you are working with a pro.

3) By calling the listing agent, you could inadvertently harm your negotiating position and do yourself a disservice should you choose to place an offer. It’s easy to give away personal details on a call or email and this may harm you later on.

4) The Real Estate Council of B.C. wants you to know that the listing agent serves the seller’s interest only, not yours. The listing agent’s goal is to sell the unit for the highest price, at the best terms and as quickly as possible to benefit the seller. Period. 

5) If you speak directly to the listing agent, you could create a conflict of interest. (See recusal or visit CNN and research Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump… same thing) By virtue of this, if the listing agent has learned anything personal about you, it could hurt your position.

By working closely with your Real Estate Agent, the Real Estate Council of B.C. believes that you will get better protection and better advice. The result moving forward will be better transactions and better results for consumers overall.

Here is what you will get as a client from your agent.

Loyalty

Avoid Conflicts of Interest

Full Disclosure of Relevant Information

Protect Your Confidentiality

Result: Expert Advice – Better Protection of Your Interests.

Dean Desrosiers is a Realtor and Associate Broker who helps people buy and sell houses in the Central Okanagan, British Columbia. He works with clients, not unrepresented parties.