Orlando Real Estate, Orlando Buyers Agent, Orlando Homes, Orlando Buyers Broker: Can the listing agent control the home buyer?

Can the listing agent control the home buyer?

Can the listing agent control the home buyer?  The short answer is no.  The long answer is never.  There was a recent blog post that a listing agent wrote about their list of RULES for the home buyer...needless to say, the blog was deleted, but not forgotten.

The rules were outrageous.  Even if the buyer has their own agent, this listing agent forbids the buyer to contact building and zoning for information, forbids the buyer from contacting the builder or president of the condo board...and wants to handle all the details personally...claiming that is their job and this listing agent does not like having someone unlicensed doing due diligence on one of their listings.

WHAAAT??? I was stunned just reading it.  Who gave this controlling agent authority to dictate anything to the home buyers?  The listing agent has NO relationship with the home buyer and therefore cannot even suggest any "rules".  They simply need to butt out and step aside.

That is no different than the buyers agent forbidding the seller to speak with the home inspector.  Fact is, the seller or buyer can investigate all they want and speak to everyone... and it is not up to any agent to approve of it.

If the buyer wants to contact code enforcement, permitting, zoning, tax assessor's office, the HOA board, the builder, school principal or all of the above....they certainly can, and more power to them...no one can stop them.

And let not forget about "FULL"  disclosure.  The smartest thing that any buyers agent can do is not rely of what someone else says and provide the buyer with additional investigative findings or give the contact information to the home buyer and let them investigate on their own...hopefully stepping out of the circle of liability.  An agent that tries to control/limit what the buyer investigates or who they talk to is creating liability for themselves and missing the point of what due diligence is all about.

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 Copyright @ Buyers Broker of Florida 2013 "Can the listing agent control the home buyer?"



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Representing ONLY the best interest of the Home Buyer...never the seller.

 Eve Alexander Orlando Buyers Agent


Comment balloon 57 commentsEve Alexander • December 09 2013 08:52AM


If a listing agent is advising a buyer who is unrepresented, and relying information to the unrepresented buy, then in my market that would be undisclosed dual agency, and the licensee would be in a big pile o' trouble.

If a listing agent is advising a buyer who is represented, this might also be viewed as undisclosed dual agency.  

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) almost 6 years ago

Someone has some control issues, I'd say.  To "restrict" buyer activity is absolute folly on that agent's part. 

Posted by Chuck Gollay (Exit Realty Paramount) almost 6 years ago

Carla:  I didn't think of that, but you are correct....if it walks like a duck...

Chuck:  Yes, not the smartest thing to do.

Posted by Eve Alexander, Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers (Buyers Broker of Florida ) almost 6 years ago

It would be great if we could control all aspects of every transaction, but that's neither reasonable nor logical.

Posted by Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl, The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate (Samsel & Associates) almost 6 years ago

Eve, a listing agent actually said they forbid the buyer to contact the HOA or building department?    It is their due diligence to be sure this is the home for them.  GREAT post.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) almost 6 years ago

I would love to be able to control all of the details and both the buyer and seller in a real estate transaction.  Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way.

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) almost 6 years ago

Wayne and Jean: which not logical, there are agents that try.

Joan:  Yes, and it is not the first time I have seen this.

Amanda and Jared:  Thats for sure.

Posted by Eve Alexander, Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers (Buyers Broker of Florida ) almost 6 years ago

Couldn't a listing agent who does something like that be liable later if the buyer relies on what the listing agent presented?  I'd rather the buyer contact the building code department themselves to satisfy their questions.

Posted by Joan Dickie, Keller Williams Premier Realty (Keller Williams Premier Realty) almost 6 years ago

Wayne & Jean: SUGGESTED!!!

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) almost 6 years ago

Wow Mike & Jean! Some people think they are ALL THAT don't they? A listing agent has no right to dictate any rules to the buyer, whatsoever! Due diligence covers a lot of ground and buyers have the right to contact anyone they wish in order to gain viable information for their purchase.

Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR (Prado Real Estate South) almost 6 years ago

I'd sure rather have a buyer and/or buyer's agent investigate all they want BEFORE the sale than AFTER the sale...

Posted by Liz Lockhart, GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate (Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO) almost 6 years ago

I had a buyer contact a repair person for informaiton on the repair and the repair person freaked saying the seller is their client and they can't talk to the buyer.  I was completely confused..that simply isn't true.

The listing agent was a tad out of line to be dicating rules to anyone, much less someone that isn't their client.  Ridiculous.  

Posted by Brenda Mullen, Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!! (RE/MAX Access) almost 6 years ago

I always tell the Brokers in my office, none of this is your decision. Advise, suggest and provide the client with as much information  & resources as possible, so they can make the decision.

Posted by Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop, A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990! (RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker) almost 6 years ago

I must say I have never met an agent that controlling, some have tried some of these tactics but never all. As a primary listing agent i encourage the buyer to do as much research as they want. I always hope it is before they write an offer but that is what the inspection period is for. It is important the listing agent and buyer agent work together, not against each other. 

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) almost 6 years ago

Eve, but wait!  Isn't "Control Freak" in our job description!  I think that because Im a bit of one, it really, really irritates me to run into a listing agent who shares this trait.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

I would redflag that agent for future deals and let my buyers know why. 

Posted by Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker, Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940 (Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska) almost 6 years ago

That listing agent must have an attorney on retainer.

Posted by Bernadette A. James, Broker-Associate, Keller Williams Realty SW (Serving Sugar Land, Missouri City, Richmond and Pearland) almost 6 years ago
My thought is...maybe the seller was the control freak and not the listing agent?? But still.....
Posted by Jill Watts, A Luxury Experience at Every Price Point! (Realty Pro, Inc.) almost 6 years ago
There is a huge difference between I do it all for you, to controlling the information. This could quickly become a legal responsibility and obligation for this agent that they never thought through.
Posted by David Pylyp (RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc.,) almost 6 years ago
It's been my experience that 5% of agents are proficient at their careers, while the other 95% are morons. I suspect one of the 95% will report me to the Board Of REALTORS for the previous sentence. The agent you described in your post is a moron. The buyer(s) are free women/men who can contact any agency, board, or department they choose. I would go tell the agent with the RULES to go poop in his/her hat. Erick Blackwelder 703-677-1120 Washington DC suburbs Equal Housing Opportunity
Posted by Erick Blackwelder almost 6 years ago

I missed the blog post that you're referring to. It almost sounds comical that someone would write that stuff. Of course the buyer and/or buyer's agent needs to do their due diligence by contacting any/all organizations that can answer their questions.

Posted by Jill Winchel, We make it easy. You make it home. (Royal Shell Real Estate - Koffman & Associates ) almost 6 years ago

I agree with Bernadette! Or, a relative is an Attorney!?

I have had situations where even IF the buyer was depending on the listing agent's due diligence, that person was not fully informed!

I do everything in my power to protect my buyers and I will contact all local authorities for information on a property - from what my client as an owner can expect to be permitted to do on/with their property, zoning laws, and if any State Agencies have control on what can be done - and then pass all that information onto my clients!  With that information, they can do further investigation should they not be happy with what I tell them!

I have had sellers who "try to get slick" as I call it; by not disclosing ALL information that would impact the transaction from going through, so I do just as much investigation with that property as if I were a buyer's agent!  I don't want any surprises at the last minute either!

Eilean Foster

Posted by Eilean Foster, Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Shore) almost 6 years ago

Buyers agents and listing agents should be encouraging buyers to do any and all and as much due diligence as they wish.  Once the buyer is satisfied with the property, the transaction will be much smoother.  And the agents are out of the liability loop as you noted in your post.

Posted by Carol Fox, Helping You Discover Charlotte's Best Small Towns (Allen Tate Company 704-905-3935) almost 6 years ago

I think I know that agent!

What starts bad usually ends bad.

Makes buyers and their agent wonder what is being hidden and sets the stage for a less than positive experience.

Posted by Denise Tower, Your Neighborhood Realtor (Coldwell Banker Gundaker) almost 6 years ago

WOW - I missed that blog post but it sounds crazy!  Sounds like a major liability on the listing agents part.

Posted by Terry McCarley, REALTOR, SRES, CDPE - Cape Coral, FL (REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL) almost 6 years ago

In this age of "buyer beware" which is really a big deal with Virginia law, I can't even imagine any agent not wanting the buyer to do everything they can to make sure they are buying a house and not a future nightmare...remember the movie "The Money Pit"? 

I didn't see the article either, but it couldn't have been serious...talk about a control freak. 

Posted by Eileen Thomas, Keeping the economy going, one property at a time! almost 6 years ago

Wow I really I could have read that post! Any chance there is a reference to it on the web archive project? 

Posted by Jordan Gouger, Helping you to achieve your housing goals! (Keller Williams Realty Inc.) almost 6 years ago

I agree with Eileen completely

Posted by Ron Aguilar, Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995 (Continental Mortgage) almost 6 years ago

I have enough of a job just trying to keep my own buyers and sellers on track... I would never even consider contacting another agent's buyer and I have no right to stop my own buyers from doing their due diligence.  Do you think this post that you are talking about was real?

Posted by Marnie Matarese, Showing you the best of Sarasota! (DWELL REAL ESTATE) almost 6 years ago

/Mike & Eve,

I missed that Blog about "rules"!

I've been in R.E. since 1986 and I know for a fact, I NEVER have any control over my Sellers, nor Buyers! ( I like to THINK they listen to my suggestions/opinions, but they don't!)

Kathy O

Posted by Kathy Opatka, Serving Ocean City, MD, & The Delaware Beaches (RE/MAX CROSSROADS) almost 6 years ago

It's always interesting when someone tries to make up their own "rules". What's even more interesting is when they expect everyone else to abide by them! 

Posted by Tessa Skeens, Staging For Realtors, Builders & Investors (Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign ) almost 6 years ago
95% of our sales are list the real estate, sell the real estate. No lines of this is my buyer, that is my seller. Hands off or rules. Communication back and forth, both parties involved, heading to the same goal and everything out in the open. Less layers and whoa, so much less drama, finger pointing, intrigue or tension. When you list what you sell, you have such a leg up. Inventory is king, make sure you have more in the local market, something to sell.
Posted by Andrew Mooers almost 6 years ago

Crazy!  I can't imagine anyone lasting very long in this business with that approach!  I encourage my buyers to dig, dig dig and get all the information possible first-hand.  Any hint at lack of disclosure and you're begging for a lawsuit.

Posted by Marti Steele Kilby, CRS, Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA (Steele Group Realty) almost 6 years ago

As inspectors our duty is to the buyer, so before we talk to the listing agent or seller, we ask permission from the buyer and or buyer's agent.  We think they should be kept in the loop and know that the other side is contacting us directly for some reason; sometimes it's to clarify an item on the report, sometimes it's to argue with us.

Posted by Pat Rentz (VIP Inspection Services Inc) almost 6 years ago
Never ceases to amaze me how "wrong" an agent can be at times. Just goes to prove how important it is to find the right agent and for agents to continually educate themselves, both in classes and by just talking with other agents. Thanks for a good post. lisa
Posted by lisa almost 6 years ago
That was a new one! Talk about liability issues even if the agent is in a dual agency relationship.
Posted by Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®, Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea almost 6 years ago

Listing and buyers agents have clear responsibilities to their clients, naturally - but that does not include limiting or defining what a non-client may do. I wonder what the broker of that "controlling agent" thinks about the potential liability his actions could create?

Posted by Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA (Coldwell Banker Lake Country) almost 6 years ago

Just had a Listing agent from another office, this week doesn"t like the Title Company our buyer is using and is given the Lendor HELL over it She wants him to use another title company,What is her seller paying for title NO the Buyer is and it is His choose

Good Post Have a Blessed Day!!


Posted by Barbara Flannery, "Homes for Everyone In London Kentucky" (USA Realty,Inc.) almost 6 years ago

Joan:  Yes, they could be liable, but then they would probablyu say that they were not representing the buyer and the BA should have checked.

Patricia:  Thank you!

Wanda:  Big egos can get in the way.

Liz: It should always be before...

Denise:  Full disclosure brings the best results

Terry:  Liability only if the buyers agent follows the rules.

Carol:  Both agents need to point the buyer in the direction of information.

Mike:  Lucky for me, she in not in my state.

Bernadette:  She thinks she is the attorney.

Patricia:  Control is good...control freak not.

Brenda:  What was really riduculous is that there were AR members agreeing with the bloggers thinking...OMG

Colleen:  Excellent advice!

Scott:  You just wait, you will meet one.

Bernadette:  She thinks she is the attorney.

Jill W:  The seller would not even know where to begin and this blogger was proud of her rules.

David:  That is for sure.

Erick:  I love it!  You said it perfectly.

Jill Winchel:  Comical, but she was serious.

Eilean:  You are very dilligent and I am sure your buyers appreciate it.


Posted by Eve Alexander, Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers (Buyers Broker of Florida ) almost 6 years ago

Mike and Eve: Speaking of "speaking your mind", yours truly had spoken and in a very eloquent manner. I have to agree on all counts.

Posted by Maria Gilda Racelis, Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen! (Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington) almost 6 years ago

Eileen:  Yes the poster was serious...when I did not agree with her, she made some personal comments...that did not bother me, because the more she said the worse she looked...WHICH IS WHY SHE DELETED IT.

Jordan:  No I looked for it...when you delete your post, it is GONE.

Ron:  Thank you for checking in.

Pat:  Thank you for a different point of view.

Tessa:  The only rule there should be is full disclosure.

Marnie:  Yes, the post was real and from someone "experienced".

Kathy:  for sure, you can only do so much.

Andrew:  Sounds like you think having both the buyer and seller is the best...best for who?  That just means that the buyer does not have an exclusive agent looking out for just them.

Marti:  Smart answer.

Lisa:  You're welcome.

Hella:  The one who really has the liability is the BA if they succumb to the LA demands.

Jeanne:  Brokers don't care as long as a deal comes in.

Barbara:  Don't get me started on the title insurance scam...buyers should ALWAYS pick their own title company.  Stick to your own.

Posted by Eve Alexander, Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers (Buyers Broker of Florida ) almost 6 years ago

I'm all for the buyer or seller contacting whomever they want.  I'll gladly point them in the right direction.  As that client's agent, I may think something is very important or unimportant.  Either way, I would just like to know what they're interested in so, even if I can't help so I'm not ignorant of something that may be important.

As for an agent demanding that another agent's client use their title company...none of us are required to use a specific company.  Hey, if it's so important that the agent's title company be used by all parties then offer an incentive to the buyer for doing so.

Posted by Alyse "Aly" Sands (Village Real Estate Services) almost 6 years ago

Anything to make the process more complicated.  It is so much cleaner and easier if all of the cards are on the table and all parites walk away from the deal feeling happy.


Posted by Jim Miner, Loan Modfication & Short Sale Specialist (Miner Noh & Associates) almost 6 years ago
I'm see some instructions for the buyers and their agents that convey these types of demands. With inventory shortages, we unfortunately see some sellers or their agents getting too big for their britches.
Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 6 years ago

I missed the referenced post.  To date, I have not seen rules like this in Dallas.  Such demands should be a red flag to Buyers.

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) almost 6 years ago

Wow - I'd hate to have the liability that agent is bringing upon herself. Funny, I just read a post a day or so ago about buyers doing "due dilligence," and how smart it is for them to check things out for themselves. I agree with that one!

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) almost 6 years ago

I did not see the original post.  We can control some things as a listing agent, but it would be foolish to do so.  I do not see where we can stop anyone from contacting an out side party - like code enforcement or zoning.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Maria:  Thank you for the kind comment.

Alyse:  Ecery agent needs to be helpful by getting out of the way.

Jim:  Full disclosure is always the best.

Karen: Yes, lack of inventory makes some agents delusional

Sharon:  I avoid pushy agents...

Marte:  Thank you.

Gene:  Listing agent can only control themselves and maybe the seller, if the seller wants to...

Posted by Eve Alexander, Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers (Buyers Broker of Florida ) almost 6 years ago

Of course we want to encourage buyers to ask questions and do their own investigations.  That's what buyers are supposed to do.  I would never do all the research for a buyer and expect them to rely on my opinions.  They are the ones buying the home and they have to live in it, so it's their responsibility.  We can only guide them.

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) almost 6 years ago

Hi Mike & Eve - I'm a bit late to this post, but it is a good one. Let the buyer beware - and protect their own interests. They should not be controlled by anyone...

Posted by Andre R. Aragon, Real Estate Photographer (Greater Tampa Real Estate Photographer) almost 6 years ago

I missed that post. The Listing Agent must REALLY be on an ego trip!

Posted by Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker, email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846 (iXL Real Estate-Wiregrasss\) almost 6 years ago

Oh sure...the Listing Agent can also suggest what shoes I wear, right?  But as the Buyer Agent, I've not signed onto that list of agreements, and neither has the Buyer(s).

Heck, I'd think those type of requirements would suggest to the Buyers that they be even more vigilant and suspect than normal, right?

Posted by Claude Labbe, Realty for Your Busy Life (Real Living | At Home) almost 6 years ago

Georgina:  Yes, guide them to something, not block them.

Andre:  can you imagine this going to court?  Yes, your honor, I wanted to ask but the listing agent said NO!

Travis:  Ego's can get someone in trouble.

Claude:  You are right, you don't have to agree with throwing your client under the bus...

Posted by Eve Alexander, Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers (Buyers Broker of Florida ) almost 6 years ago

Buyers have to look out for themselves!  And sometimes going through several pp trying to get information is very time consuming and the answers rec'd are 'lost in translation'.

Posted by Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes) almost 6 years ago

I can see a CE course with this agent as the role model.  Enjoy your day 

Posted by John G. Johnston, An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO (John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Mike and Eve - I didn't catch this post, but WOW.

Posted by Michelle Gibson, REALTOR (Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. ) over 5 years ago

Mike and Eve- It sounds to me like this agent will not be licensed for very long...

Posted by Shanna Hall, I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311 (Real Estate Solutions) over 5 years ago