Tony Lewis, Summit Real Estate Santa Clarita & Aliso Viejo (Summit Real Estate Group)

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Brenda Mayette
Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc. - Glenville, NY
Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how!

Yes, I do ask.  Many people simply don't understand how our industry works.  I ask the question in an effort to help them & avoid wasting my time too. 

Aug 26, 2021 04:28 AM
Ken Jones, Commercial Real Estate
Kenneth J. Jones, Inc. - Toms River, NJ
Serving Central & Northern New Jersey Since 1971

Tony Lewis Your comparison of a retail market to a real estate agent is like comparing a fish to a bird; they're incomparable.


The issue of comparability aside, it's the legal responsibility of an agent to be proactive in making an inquiry as to whether or not a prospect has a contractual relationship with another real estate agent for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is to avoid a lawsuit of tortious interference with a contractual relationship.


With regard to your market example, customers in a retail setting NEVER have a contractual relationship with another retailer. Thus, there's no reason to ask.

Aug 26, 2021 04:19 AM
Kevin Vitali
EXIT Realty Beatrice Associates - Middleton, MA
Helping Massachusetts Home Buyers and Home Sellers

I do always ask.  The comparison of a customer in a market and a fiduciary relationship is very different.

First, if a buyer or seller already has a relationship with another agent it is a waste of time to get involved.

Secondly, many agent/ consumer relationships are contractual.  To interfere with another's relationship is considered unethical and the offending agent could have disciplinary actions be brought against them.


Aug 26, 2021 09:09 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I might ask, "Who is your realtor?"


It's different than asking if a customer is also a customer of another store. A customer is free to shop wherever they like, and it won't increase the store owners costs if that person does so. And the store owner will still sell their merchandise and bring in $.  


If a real estate agent runs around with a buyer who is working with another agent, they could dramatically increase their costs and get no $ ever. 


Asking that question up front is a smart way to proceed financially.

Aug 26, 2021 04:56 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

We have them sign an agency disclosure form.

Aug 26, 2021 04:41 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


If they are working with another agent, there is no reason to meet..It is a waste of time.  What would you achieve?

Aug 26, 2021 09:11 AM
Eileen Burns
Trans State Commercial RE Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Palm Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
FL Probate Agent, Hotel, Land, Multi Family

Yes, I will provide the reasons as they apparently do not realize how this affects everyone in the transaction.  We have agency disclosue here in Florida.  Better to edcute upfront and not waste time, energy and effort😎

Aug 26, 2021 05:59 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Absolutely.   Even with my web visitors, that is one of my questions in the first email.

Aug 26, 2021 05:31 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

I did not when active, but given today's market and lack of customer loyalty might require a buyer's broker agreement. 

Aug 26, 2021 04:24 AM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

I do, because when they sign the Buyer agency agreement I inform them if they have any other valid agreements in effect it could put them in a sticky situation.

Aug 26, 2021 09:22 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Yes, if they weren't referred to me. Fortunately, 85% of my business is repeat and referral so I don't need to ask very often. You need to ask people you don't know in the event they have an exclusive agency agreement with another agent. You can't work with those people. And comparing real estate with a retail operation is comparing apples to oranges.

Aug 26, 2021 09:16 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Yes - first, because one should not get in the way of another relationship, especially if they already signed a Buyer Agency (BA) agreement and second, because they would need to sign a BA with me if we were to continue to work together.

Aug 26, 2021 05:35 AM
Peter Mohylsky. Broker -BRIX REALTY
Miramar Beach, Florida - Santa Rosa Beach, FL

No I don’t ask that question. But don’t hesitate to tell them they are now working with the best.

Aug 26, 2021 03:48 AM
Doug Dawes
KW Evolution - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®


Aug 26, 2021 10:18 AM
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

When discussing real estate with new leads, I do ask. Learned the hard way after spending time and resources with them only to find out their Realtor was out of town etc....

Aug 26, 2021 09:40 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate


I also do not always expect the response to be 100% accurate. 

Aug 26, 2021 09:30 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate Agent Retired

Not really unless they say something like 'we've been looking for a long time'. That means multiple agents.

Aug 26, 2021 06:30 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Interesting to note that it doesnt have to be asked however it is out there and I had it come up for me more than one time

Aug 26, 2021 06:26 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Yes, I ask this before I ever set the appointment.  Like Brenda Mayette said, many people don't understand the industry and think that they'll see more homes if they work with multiple agents, or they don't want to bother their agent and will call the listing agent for a showing.  Once I showed property to someone who then said "great, I'll contact my agent to write it up."  That was the last time I set an appointment without asking that question.  Add in the buyer broker agreements and that can create an entire new level of confusion.


Whenever a buyer calls, after the initial conversation I ask who they're working with (versus if they are).  It's psychological, but I've found greater success at accurate answers if they have to say a name.  If you just ask yes or no, they may answer no to avoid thinking they're wasting your time or they may answer yes (say, at an open house) to avoid the "pushy sales guy."


I'm perfectly happy to answer a buyer's questions on my listings.  If they say they're working with an agent I direct them back to their agent for the showing.  If they want me to show them, they have to agree verbally that they'll write the offer with me and I make them sign something to that effect before I unlock the door.  I explain it to them as such: "You wouldn't want to go into work on Monday and have someone sitting at home get your pay, right?"

Aug 26, 2021 10:35 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Question #1 

How were you referred to me?

Question #2

Are you now or have you ever recently worked with another REALTOR*?


Aug 26, 2021 06:05 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Yes I ask.  "No" is nice to hear, but a "Yes" answer can be a great conversation starter.


If they say "Yes", I say "Tell me more.  Have you signed anything that establishes an Agency relationship? 


Specifically,  do you have a signed Buyer Agency Agreement that guarantees that agent a commission?   Or did you sign a Single Agent Agreement that creates a Fiduciary relationship between you and that Broker?  Or are they just working with you, with no signed agreement of any kind?"  


Eve Alexander is an expert at answering Buyers who say "Yes I have a Realtor" .

Aug 26, 2021 04:07 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Always ask for sure.


Aug 26, 2021 12:03 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Yes. I have loyal clients, and am not apt to share my time and resources with 'agent surfers'.  

I also am unlikely to work with buyers looking in multiple areas who 'are not sure they will buy here' . . . rule out the other areas and hit me up then. 

I'm old, cranky, LOL, I have a lot going on already, and would rather do those things. 

Aug 26, 2021 11:59 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

As in many depends.

I meet many potential clients when I host an open house. At some point, I will inquire whether they are working with an agent (most say they are) and I tell them that is great and they should talk to their agent if they have an interest in the house.

If they say they are not...well, of course, I offer to help them.

Aug 26, 2021 11:50 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Before we do anything we sit down and have a consultation, fill out the paperwork, and tour properties online.

It is one of many questions that they answer, of course if they lie about it they will be paying both of us a commission since they always sign a buyers agency.

Aug 27, 2021 12:20 AM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
United Real Estate - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

Always. And before setting an appointment to meet.

Aug 30, 2021 08:16 AM