San Mateo Buyers Should Know: Mythbuster

Disclosure Regarding Agency RelationshipsFree Legal Forms

Don’t Get Burned

In most areas of San Mateo County it’s a buyers’ market.  Yeah.  Yeah.  You knew that.  What I bet you didn’t know is the burnt toast you’re going to end up with.  That icky smell.  The mess when you try to fix it by scraping off the black part.  Now you’ve got a splattered mess of broken bread all over you, all over the counter.  Sheesh, now it’s all over the floor too.

It’s one of the biggest myths in home buying.  One of the scariest myths perpetually spread like jelly on that PB&J.  The one that makes me shake my head every time I hear:  My mother’s brother’s cousin said it was a good idea.  Yeah, well, it sounded like a good idea at the time.  But then the crumbs hit the fan.

Dual Agency Open Faced

Saving money by going to the listing agent.  Sure, it sounds like a good idea.  So what’s the mess about?

You’re about to sign a mass of paperwork but what does all that stuff really mean?

The Disclosure Regarding Agency Relationship.   Seller’s Agent – check – works for the seller.  Buyer’s Agent – check – works for the buyer.

Agent Representing Both Seller And Buyer.  Yes, it’s legal.  Whether it’s ethical or not is another story.  I say not.

You want to save money.  You’re going after the listing agent’s – now your agent – commission to do it.
1.  The agent signed the Agency agreement with the seller first.  Legally they represent the sellers’ interests over yours.  Read that again.
2.  Says right there:  …agent, may not…disclose to the other party that the Seller will accept a price less than the listing price.  Aren’t you looking to get the best price possible?  Guess what.  The listing agent can’t help you with that.  They can’t tell you what the seller will take – can’t even advise you what price to offer.  How do you know how much to offer without the expertise of the agent you’ve hired to represent you?  Oh wait.  They represent the seller first.

Can’t tell you why they’re selling – Huh?  Yep.  That’s right.  Seller getting a divorce?  Seller buying a bigger/smaller house?  Seller retiring?  All those little tidbits that may give you the upper hand – not this time.

Bottom Line

How can the listing agent get you the best deal when they’re trying to get the seller the highest price? I just negotiated $17,500 off the sale price of a home. You think that listing agent would have done that for the buyer? Her job was to get the seller the best price – but at what cost? The cost of your good deal.

Got a San Mateo County real estate question?   Call me at 650.888.9268 or send me an email Vicki [at]   If you like what you’ve read, subscribe to the San Mateo Real Estate Blog feed.

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Vicki Moore About Vicki Moore

RE/MAX Star Properties
282 Redwood Shores Parkway
Redwood Shores, CA 94065

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