Open houses. Who’s looking out for YOU?
Old man giving a thumbs up because he was just approved for a loan

Written by Brian Johnson

Engineer, investor, REALTOR®, and Ten Properties owner, I help new investors use data to build their real estate empire. Connect with me today to start building your ten.

February 12, 2019

You’re driving around one day and notice an Open House sign on a home you’ve been eyeing for weeks now. Out of curiosity you go inside, meet the on-site agent, and fall in love with the home. The agent seems really nice, gives you some information about the home, and passes you their business card. You later decide you want to make an offer on the home and you contact that nice agent you met at the open house. They offer to help write up a purchase contract and pass your offer on to the seller. All sounds great, right?

Wrong. Here’s what that agent SHOULD have told you, but probably didn’t. The nice agent you met at the open house is actually working for the SELLER. They are allowed to work with you (in limited capacity), but make no mistake, their loyalty lies with the seller. In the real estate world this is known as “fiduciary duty”. The seller is their “client”, to which they owe full fiduciary duties. You, on the other hand, are their “customer”. Sounds about the same, right? The difference is that they don’t owe you anything other than honest and fair dealing. Why does this matter? You want to pay the lowest price you can on that home. The seller wants to get the highest price they can. Knowing that the open-house agent works for the seller, can you guess what price the agent wants to sell the home for?

This is where a buyer’s agent comes in. This agent represents YOU in the transaction. You are now their client and they have full fiduciary duties to you… including getting you the best price on that home. The best part about it… in nearly all cases, buyer’s agents are paid for by the seller! Translation… it doesn’t cost you a dime.

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