Real Estate is local. Very local. A few years ago I moved to the New Orleans area from New York and in New York buyer brokerage while originally rejected is now the norm, nothing new is readily accepted by the realtor community. In New York a buyer’s broker represented their buyer and has a fiduciary responsibility to protect their buyer’s interests, in New Orleans that is also the case.
In New York a buyer is allowed to preview homes without the listing agent present. For many buyer’s this is way more comfortable. A buyer can go through a home with their agent asking questions as they go without the seller’s representative following, listening and answering questions and then telling the seller or hearing something that might effect the negotiations. In New York a buyer and their agent are left alone….listing agents understand they don’t know what is going on with a buyer, they realize that the buyer’s agent has developed a relationship with their buyer and they know what the buyer likes or doesn’t like. They are given their space.
I recently had a buyer client relocating to the New Orleans area from out of state. Buyer brokerage is the norm in the State this buyer is coming from. This buyer would prefer not to have conversations with the listing agent because they know they may say something that could effect the outcome of their negotiations if they like the house. They don’t want to say the wrong thing or seem rude if the listing agent asks a question they don’t want to answer. Even a question like “why did you move to New Orleans” seems innocent enough but could effect a negotation.
In some parts of New Orleans like Uptown the listing agents accompany every showing. Sometimes a buyer wants to see a house for comparison or knows the minute they walk in that they don’t like it however because the agent has gone out of their way to show the house to the buyer it is not possible to just walk in and then leave. Most buyer’s will be polite and go through the whole showing just to be polite. If the buyer broker took the buyer to the house and then found that the buyer didn’t like it no one has to feel uncomfortable saying let’s go.
Lot’s of listing agents here are wonderful and will arrange a showing and then just be available for questions – they let a buyer and their agent view the home on their own without hovering and I thank each and every one of these agents. To the agents who feel they need to watch everything, answer every question, follow a buyer around I can only ask if you might want to think about the buyer and how uncomfortable you may be making them. If anyone has a question they will find you and ask.
Recently a listing agent and I were waiting for my buyer who was late and the listing agent said I have to go home and work on a new listing, I said that would not be a problem that I would wait for my buyer and I would be glad to show my buyer the house. This selling agent took this personally and told me he is capable of showing the house !?!?! I explained this had nothing to do with him but had to do with my buyer being comfortable. He now thinks I have two heads…
New Orleans is not New York and real estate is very local but people are people and people like to shop at their own pace and ask questions when they are ready everywhere.
Originally published: http://neworleansrealestatetalk.com/new-orleans-real-estate-blog-2/buying/buyer-brokerage-viewing-of-homes-orleans-la