No Agents Please...

I read yet another ad in the paper, this one from a buyer, stating what they want and then including the phrase “no agents please” in the ad. I wonder what the expectation is.

One possible hope is that a truly stupid seller will call the buyer running the ad and offer their property for a below market price. Another possible hope may derive from a buyer with terrible credit or not enough cash that they may be able to talk a seller into doing business with them when agents have told them already the reality is that they need good credit and a reasonable amount of cash equity.

On the seller side I suppose the hope is the opposite: that they will attract a buyer who will pay them an above market price for the pleasure of buying directly. Or that they can unload a dog property that has problems that an agent would spot and disclose.

So how does it otherwise hurt to have an agent represent principals? It doesn’t. The agent should give buyers all of the for sale opportunities in the market, not just the sellers who are reading the ‘for sale’ ads and the agent should likewise give a seller access to all of the buyers in the market, including those already relying on the assistance and representation of an agent. There are countless little things that an agent can and should do for their clients that enhance the value of their representation but what they cannot do is misrepresent or otherwise operate in a vacuum, ignoring the general marketplace. I wonder if any deals ever actually occur in such a vacuum.

The older I get the more I realize the wisdom of the ancient sayings. This time it is the phrase “only a fool represents himself”.