Wednesday morning I was contacted by another real estate company letting me know they had a buyer lead for one of my listings. I thought it strange that they would be sending a buyer my way, without helping the gentlemen themselves. After some questioning, I discovered that they will only show buyers homes that enter into a Buyer’s Representation Agreement with their real estate brokerage.

Now, in Minnesota, you are not represented by an agent until you enter into a written agreement. Failure to do so means that most agents will not show you homes, because quick frankly, they are looking for loyalty from a client. They will also not give you any advice or answer any questions because of legal issues, state laws, etc.

Back to the buyer…he did not want any representation, so the other brokerage politely told him they could not help him. Since I represent the sellers of my listing, I had no problem showing him the home. He would just understand that I do not represent him, and thus anything he tells me I could, for the most part, relay to the sellers. By Minnesota real estate law, I owe no duties to him save confidentiality.

The real problem came down to when he wanted to see the home, which was Wednesday evening. Unfortunately, it was such short notice that I was not able to drop everything and meet him there. Reasons being,

  • I had other appointments to keep.
  • I had never met this person or spoken with him over the phone, so I was naturally concerned about my safety. Real estate agents have to be very careful when showing homes and take proper safety precautions. While it doesn’t happen often, we have been attacked by prospective “clients”.

Today I was finally emailed back by this gentleman. He no longer wanted to see the home because I was not able to meet his request for a short notice showing. I thought this strange. If he really wanted to see the home, then he should understand that short notices often do not work out, and to schedule another time for the showing that fits both parties schedule. It makes me think that maybe he did mean ill will towards the agent that would have shown him the home, or maybe he is just a looky-loo and has no real interest in buying the home.

Who knows….but the point to remember is that many real estate agents cannot show homes on a moments notice. Many of us have prior appointments, or often the seller cannot accommodate the request either. While we definitely want to sell a home, we do not done Superman attire that can make us be in two places at once. When you make a request to view a home, please have a couple of times set aside, in case one of them is not available. Much like you have to give notice to your doctor for an appointment, so must you do when looking at homes to buy in the Twin Cities real estate market.