My blogging colleague -- Margaret Goss, a top Realtor in Winnetka, Illinois (that's a Chicago 'burb) -- just wrote a great post about an extremely important topic:
In fact, it's so important that I want buyers in my territory in Southwestern Illinois (St. Louis' Illinois suburbs) to read it too. Just substitute the towns of Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Collinsville, Troy, etc. in place of Winnetka when you read it.
Do you know who is working for whom in your real estate transaction? As I always say, "The seller has an agent. Shouldn't you?"
Buying a Home in Winnetka? Be Sure to Hire an Agent
That Represents YOU
You've been scanning the internet for months looking at homes online that might work for you in Winnetka. Sometimes you go out on Sundays and check out a few open houses to get a better feel for the area and neighborhood. Then Boom! You see the perfect house for you online and can't wait to call and make an appointment, or you've walked into an open house and it's love at first sight.
What happens next? Regardless of how you found the house, you may be tempted to call the listing agent and set up an appointment with them to see the house. After all, they are the ones who put up all the advertising or sit at the open house with their names and contact information everywhere.
Don't do it - and I'll tell you why. When you purchase your Winnetka home with the listing agent, that agent is entering into "Dual Agency" which means that they are representing you (the Buyer) and them (the Seller.) A dual agent must work to secure the highest price for the seller and the lowest price for you. Kind of scary, don't you think. Can it even be done so both sides are treated fairly.
Dual Agency is illegal in many states, but here in Illinois, it is legal. And here is the real-life story why you may end up paying more for your Winnekta home if you decide to work with the listing agent.
I received a call from a buyer last year who wanted to work with me because "I was all over the internet., (Good thing, I believe!) and she felt I knew Winnetka. She was interested in a particular house that she saw online and felt was perfect for her. I met with her, we saw the house, looked at other homes for comparison, and she decided to put in an offer.
The house was listed for $825,000*, we sat down to write the offer and she told me her bid would be quite low. Imagine my surprise when she gave me the figure - it was what I hoped she could buy the house for. Imagine again, if she had told this figure to the listing agent. As her exclusive buyer's representative, I immediately told her that we would bid a much lower number, and that I felt she could get the house for much less than she thought.
I know the market, I know what houses should sell for in Winnetka, and I surely did not want her paying too much for this house. I negotiated the contract for her and she ended up buying the house for the exact number that she had originally wanted to start at. Would a listing agent have done that? I don't think so. It is simply not in their client's (the sellers) best interest to tell a buyer to bid lower. What a conundrum for a listing agent.
Disclaimer: I have worked as a dual agent - but in 14 years of selling real estate, I've only done it once. I prefer to refer a buyer out to another agent rather than put them, my seller, and myself in a difficult situation.
So next time you're ready to pick up the phone and call the listing agent, think instead of calling someone who exclusively represents you in this important and expensive purchase.
*price changed to protect the . . . protected buyer!
Enjoy life in the (618) area code in Southwestern Illinois, St. Louis' Illinois suburbs. SEARCH FOR HOMES HERE.
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I help good people buy and sell good homes in St. Louis' Illinois suburbs, with special emphasis on the Metro East communities of Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Collinsville, Troy and surrounding areas in Madison County, Illinois.
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For more information or to search for homes, visit my sites at NancyMilton.com, 618Life.com, or GoshenRealtyGroup.com or send an email to me at Nancy@GoshenRealtyGroup.com. Text or call Nancy Milton Holtzscher, your Edwardsville Realtor, at 618-791-8007 any time.
REMAX Preferred Partners is located at One 157 Center, Edwardsville, IL 62025, 618-791-8007 (direct) 618-655-1188 (office). We're easy to find on IL-157 in Edwardsville between Pasta House Co. and Shenanigans. Each office is independently owned and operated.