Specialized Buyers Agent Answers Real Estate Questions
Q. We are trying to buy a home in your area, having just moved here from out West. We had an agent but her office unfortunately had a lot of the listings and we got uncomfortable with that. We actually lost out on a house where we were competing against another buyer also represented by an agent in that office. Our agent said that is common here in Pennsylvania. True? P. Loftus, Gladwyne, PA
A. Pennsylvania does permit agents to act on behalf of both parties to a residential real estate transaction, so long as there is a state-mandated disclosure. It also permits agents in the same office to be on opposite sides of the transaction. There are many good agents who work in this manner.
Another option, however, is to use a buyers agent who does not act as a “dual” or “designated” agent so that you avoid those potential issues that can arise. Home buyers who do this usually interview a few agents and ask about their policies and then have those agents show them all of the homes on the market and negotiate on their behalf.
I know that many of the western states have laws that encourage buyer agency. Agencies that just represent buyers are quite rare in these parts. I think, though, that the concept will gain in popularity over the next few years.