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I am looking to buy a house, and I am a first-time buyer. I am reading a book on home buying, and it says the following with regard to new homes:

"You might have to deal with the developer's salesperson or representative, without the benefit of your own real estate agent to protect you. If you hope to use an agent, be sure to bring him or her along on your first visit - otherwise you may lose your chance."

I have actually visited several new housing developments already, and I never brought an agent with me. Why does the book say I must bring an agent on my first visit? What happens if I go back to one of those new developments I already visited and bring an agent?

Does that also apply to open houses for existing homes? What if I visit an open house by myself – can I later go back to the house again with an agent?

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    What country are you in? – Victor Jul 17 '13 at 20:29
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The problem might be that by contacting the sales people you make them your agents. By mere requesting information you may inadvertently establish client-agent relationship. Once you've established it - you cannot bring another agent.

I believe it depends on jurisdictions and local rules, but I was aware of something like that being a problem here in California. Here's an article from a real-estate agent in New York explaining the ethics rules of the association in that state on the issue. Here's also a Trulia article specifically about new development builders.

  • It seems to me this is an issue for the brokers. As long as a buyer hasn't signed anything, the legality of talking to different brokers shouldn't be their issue. The developer will always have their agent on site, I'd imagine the key thing is to hand them a card saying you are deaf and mute, and will return with your broker another time. – JoeTaxpayer Jul 17 '13 at 17:51
  • @Joe I had this with car dealers. I got one that was a total freak just because he was the first one to say "hi" to me. When I wanted to talk to a different guy - no-one would talk to me, they'd only sell me a car if I signed with the first guy who started talking to me. Drove me crazy. – littleadv Jul 17 '13 at 17:53
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    Easy enough to walk out. Strange business. Oh, and +1. Nice references. – JoeTaxpayer Jul 17 '13 at 18:09
  • @joe indeed, and so I did. But its much easier to find a different car dealership than a different house. – littleadv Jul 17 '13 at 18:20

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