The Effects of Dealing with a Sellers Agent

Unless the seller has authorized it, your seller's agent can't disclose how much less than the selling price the seller might take, even if the agent knows of a specific figure! (This isn't to say that many agents don't hint at the lower figure, but they aren't supposed to come right out and tell you, for example, that the seller said, "My price is $100,000, but I'm so desperate to sell I'd take $75,000, but don't you dare tell that to any buyer!")

The agent can't disclose that the seller might accept terms more favorable to you unless the seller has authorized the agent to tell you.

On the other hand, if you tell the agent that you're desperate to buy, that even though you're offering $175,000 you'd be willing to pay $200,000, the agent is obligated to tell the seller what you said!

Working with a seller's agent is almost like having an enemy spy in your camp! Of course, in actual practice there is some bending of the rules. And a good agent will always attempt to work fairly with both buyer and seller.

In today's world, where consumers are so litigious, many agents are hesitant to do anything that a seller might construe as violating the fiduciary relationship and that might result in a lawsuit against them. Hence, when you work with a seller's agent (or subagent), don't expect advice on how to get the best terms or price.


When you're working with a seller's agent, even one you consider on your side, button you lips. Don't tell the seller's agent the highest you'll go on an offer. Remember the old World War II slogan about loose lips. Don't let the agent know the best terms you'll give the seller. Think of the agent as the seller's earphone. Don't whisper anything that you don't want the seller to hear. Keep your own confidences.

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