Have you ever received a phone call from a real estate agent claiming they have a buyer for your house and you should list your house for sale with them?
Or you start interviewing agents to sell your house and one of them says they already have a buyer who has been looking for just this type of property?
When hearing this, it is only natural to think this must be a really good agent, after all, they have a buyer in their back pocket ready to buy your house, right?
When this happens, here are some questions you need to ask.
1. If the agent already has a buyer and the agent is looking for a house for this buyer, then isn't that agent already working for this buyer? Who does the agent represent? Who will represent you?
2. There are a gazillion houses for sale right now and this agent can't find one for this buyer?
The first sign that something might not be right is when the agent asks you to sign a listing agreement. If the agent has a buyer then the agent doesn't need a listing agreement. They can show and sell your house to the buyer without a listing agreement. In fact, if they already have a buyer it means they are that buyer's agent and having you sign a listing agreement would be a conflict of interest.
Sometimes an agent really might have a buyer for your property. Here is how you can find out right away if you are dealing with an honest hard working agent or one of those sneaky agents.
All they need is a one time showing commission agreement. A commission agreement will say that you agree to pay the agent a commission if they sell your property during this one time showing. If they really have a buyer they only need to show it one time. Right?
Just like any other profession there are a lot honest hard workers and there are some bad apples. One of the tricks of these sneaky agents is to claim they have a buyer for your property. It is a strategy that works. You, the seller, don't want to miss this opportunity but at the same time you don't want to be taken advantage of.
They also don't need the whole commission . They only need 1/2 of the commission if they already have a buyer. There will be no marketing costs. After all, if they find a property for "their" buyer in the MLS they will only get half of the commission so why do they need a whole commission to sell your house to their buyer.