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Buyer of Home Asks: Who Represents Me?

May 10, 1987

There have been several letters and articles on the problems with seller representation during the sale of a home. I would like to describe the other side of the problem.

I recently completed the purchase of a home in Long Beach through a national real estate firm. During the ordeal I had to argue with my agent on the importance of a home inspection on a 60-year-old home.

After 25 minutes of arguing, I finally asked her: "Why are we arguing, aren't you supposed to represent my best interest since you are my agent?" To that, she answered: ". . . by law, I am the sub-agent of the seller."

She really did work as the seller's sub-agent, and calling the agency owner/broker was no help. No one scheduled the termite work so I ended up calling the termite company myself and arranging for the work to be done before closing.

The closing was another nightmare. I didn't know where to go, when to go and how much money to bring until three days before the closing date. With "my" agent (and her office) attending the agency's national convention in Florida, I had to call the seller and negotiate a deal where I rented the home until the closing problems could be worked out.

My question is: "Who represents the buyer?" The seller seems to be well taken care of by both his/her agent plus the buyer's agent (sub-agent of the seller). Is it back to "buyer beware?"


Long Beach

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