Attending open houses, touring one or more homes with one or more salesperson, calling real estate salespeople for information about listings or providing your name, email and other contact information online can lead to your inability to find a true agent to represent you or lead to you being liable for paying the compensation of two or more real estate agents.
You are free to use anyone you choose or no one at all to help you buy a home. But, if the home you buy was listed in a Realtor operated Multiple Listing System and if you were working with an agent when you learned about that home or if an agent gave you information about the home or showed you the home, that agent can make a claim to be paid a commission as they “introduced” you to the property. They do this through REALTOR® arbitration but it could create a situation that results in you being sued for their commission plus legal costs.
What Should You Do? Decide if you are going to use the services of a professional buyer’s agent, A True Loyal Agent™ to help you purchase a home. As mentioned above, a true exclusive buyer agent or a true single party agent is your best option. If you are going to use such an agent, you absolutely should start doing so as early in the process as possible, first of all to help you avoid the mistakes mentioned in this book and second to prevent problems for a true buyer’s agent in working for you. Let the agent know if you have seen homes for sale or have been in contact with other agents, especially if you got information about a home you might be interested in. There are steps the agent can take to avoid issues for them and for you, but they need to know that such a situation exists.