Should I Work With Only
One Real Estate Agent?

To work with only one real estate agent or more than one REALTOR® simultaneously is a common quandary. Many buyers start out by randomly responding to advertisements on various websites, especially the Multiple Listing Service® of our national associations, or advertising in the print media.

After communicating via e-mail and telephone with numerous agents, and plodding through multiple listings and fruitless open houses, they finally connect with an agent with whom they feel somewhat comfortable.

In the interests of helping you understand and appreciate why it's important to solicit the guidance of one agent, here's some food for thought.


You may communicate with several agents before meeting one with whom you feel comfortable placing your faith and trust. Hopefully, in addition to being trustworthy, they're competent. Better yet, a trusted friend or family member refers you to someone with whom they've successfully worked.

Once you begin working with a good real estate agent, at some point, they're going to ask for a commitment from you to work with them as your exclusive REALTOR®. In exchange for this promise to forsake all other agents, as per the terms of the Buyer Agency Agreement, they make a commitment to you too, and accept full fiduciary (legal) obligation to ...

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Protect Your Interests

... to the best of their ability. Besides, your exclusive REALTOR® will really get to know all your wants, needs and personal peccadilloes. Trust builds. The home search becomes so much more enjoyable.

While going about their daily business, when your agent finds a new listing that they believe will probably suit your needs, they'll think of you immediately. A good buyers agent will contact you right away to tell you about it without the fear that another agent may have already done so.

Unlike earlier days when most agents worked for the sellers, either directly as listing agents or as sub-agents with buyer customers, most buyers now have client representation. For all intents and purposes, though, since agents were typically loyal to their buyer customers, this is the way it has always been, but now the law actually reflects reality.

It's also in your best interests to make a commitment because your ...

One Real Estate Agent Will Work Harder

It may sound ruthless or crass, but let's be frank; real estate agents need to earn a living too. They have mortgage payments and families to feed just like you do. And knowing that by working hard for you, they're more assured that there will be a payday for them down the road. It feels great for the agent to know you're a serious and loyal client. As a result, they'll not feel inclined to pressure you into an unsuitable purchase before you stray to another agent.

If you decide to work with more than one real estate agent at the same time, the ethical thing to do is to advise each of them of your decision to do so. Then, each agent can decide whether to work with you under those circumstances. Some may refuse to invest their time with you. Others will agree to continue to informally represent your interests, but be prepared for pressure sales tactics. They'll try to close you at every opportunity.

Often, a wonderful, long-term relationship develops with your exclusive REALTOR®. They'll become your ...

Friend in the Business

... who is always there to answer occasional real estate questions. It's also nice to have one real estate agent who is trustworthy enough to recommend to friends and family. Since most people move a few times in their lifetime, your exclusive agent will truly appreciate your thoughtfulness and take extra special care of you and your family.

At this point, I wish to add a comment regarding monetary "kick-backs" and the various incentive programs typically available in the marketplace. I've always believed in the old adage that one gets what one pays for. Due to a general fear of not having enough money, if you choose your one real estate agent based on how much financial benefit there would be for you in working with them, and not based on the calibre of service they can provide to you, think about this.

To achieve some level of success in the business, such agents may have to make such offers because they don't have the polished negotiating skills, intelligence, experience or ethics, nor have the benefit of a steady stream of clients from previous client's referrals. As a result, they may simply attempt to squeeze you into buying something as quickly as possible, just to minimize their investment of time, expense and effort. Therefore, I suggest that you to choose carefully when selecting representation.

It's a good feeling to know you have a trusted REALTOR® working on your behalf. If you've chosen your one real estate agent wisely, the home buying experience will be great. Make the commitment. You'll be glad you did.

If you'd like to increase the odds of successfully going it alone without the guidance (and expense for sellers) of a realty agent, whether buying or selling, check out my book The Happy Agent. Though written for professionals, it's chock full of tips and techniques in easily understood everyday language that I've learned and polished throughout my successful 40-year real estate career. Learn how to effectively evaluate a home prior to submitting an offer and how to successfully negotiate an offer and more.

When you consider that you're dealing with your largest single financial asset, a small investment of your time and a pittance of your money could save you thousands of dollars and a ton of heartache. Remember - knowledge is power. Learn how to negotiate like a pro.

Available virtually everywhere print and e-books are sold.

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