May 28, 2024
When sellers want their former buyer’s agent to sell their home as a seller’s agent.

Question: We are about to sell a house for the first time. The buyer’s agent who represented us on the purchase retired. It is a shame. We wanted our buyer’s agent to sell our home as a seller’s agent. His education on homebuyer mistakes was impressive. He had unswayable due diligence regarding aspects of homebuying aimed at protecting our best interest — his guidance as our buyer’s agent was eye-opening.

Last week, we had conversations with potential candidates to be our seller’s agent. The agents overtly promoted themselves. That is understandable. They all steered away from discussing home-seller mistakes. It was surreal. We know home selling is problematic. What home-selling proactive safeguards did we need to hear while interviewing a prospective seller’s agent?


Answer: First: If you are a potential home seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, a prospective seller’s agent should have described the advantages of having presale seller inspections such as roof, chimney, termite, whole-house, foundation, et cetera.

Consider that:

The sellers and their seller’s agents know how to handle defects before the home is on the market.
This means fewer surprises for anxious homebuyers.
It decreases the chances of a transaction falling out of escrow.
Buyer’s remorse becomes blunted before making an offer by a fuller knowledge of the property’s condition.
Renegotiations during a home sale can be avoided or curtailed.
The possibility of post-sale “bad house” or “failure to disclose” legal claims filed by disgruntled homebuyers against home sellers diminishes.

Second: Fraudsters impersonate parties or individuals involved in a home sale transaction. Fraudsters hack into the email applications of the escrow officers, the buyer’s agent or the sellers agents.

Fraudsters impersonate home sellers. The escrow officers receive false wire instructions. Home-sale proceeds can fraudulently go to the criminal’s account. The seller and escrow officer should meet. They should confirm wire instructions by voice. The escrow officer can also initiate two-party verifications.
The fraudster can impersonate the escrow officer and give false wire instructions to unsuspecting homebuyers. As a result, homebuyers must be encouraged to meet the escrow officer in person, by phone or videoconference. Plus, they should be encouraged to confirm all wire instructions by voice with the escrow officer. Better yet, knowing the escrow fraud that happens every day, homebuyers can be motivated to deliver bank checks to the escrow officer.

Third: Honorable mentions that occur daily for home sellers.

A fence, garden, detached structure, redwood deck, etc., are partially or entirely located on the bordering property.
The escrow and title officers should have cleared all potential roadblocks before listing the property for sale or the sellers accepting an offer.
The deferred maintenance renders the property uninsurable.
A property for sale has a break-in.
There are family members or occupants who might refuse to leave the home upon a change of ownership.

It is rare for agents to initiate risk-management home-selling tactics with a future home seller. That is a fact. Regardless, agents who look through the lens of risk management as their standard of practice have the home seller’s interest in focus and their interest in the background.

For Housing Market Data in your area, visit my webpage for trends. Do you have questions about home buying or selling? Full-service Realtor Pat Kapowich is a Certified Trust and Probate Specialist, Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager and career-long consumer protection advocate. He is based in his hometown of Sunnyvale, California. Office: 408-245-7700; Broker# 00979413 [email protected]