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August 31, 2007

Who Owns a Condo Buyer Here in Philadelphia?

Filed under: Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 7:36 am

Did you know that if you have me show you some condos here in Center City, then you call another REALTOR® (a specific one, let’s call her ABC Agent) and have a brief conversation with that other REALTOR®, that I can no longer comprehensively represent you?

That is correct. If you and I have an established relationship, let’s say your son and I were college roommates, and you call ABC Agent, and discuss a luxury styled loft, Philadelphia condo, or even townhome – ABC Agent will no longer allow me to show you his or her portfolio of Philadelphia condos for sale!

There is not a legal statute for this.  It is more of a professional choice (I call it a blunder) made by some REALTORS®.  But it has happened to me and buyers I am representing more than once, and I want you to be aware of this potential problem so you can steer clear of it.

ABC Agent will ask, prior to allowing me to show one of her or his Center City condominiums or loft units, who my buyer is. And if that name is in ABC Agent’s log of prior contacts, she claims that she is working with said buyer. My buyer. The buyer whose son and I were college roommates, drinking buddies, allies, and overall best friends.

Which begs the question:  Who Owns a Buyer?

In the long run, don’t you think that ABC Agent and his buyers and sellers are going to be the biggest losers here? Initially, my buyer and I are going to lose. But let’s look at the big picture. Let’s look at the long run. How excited do you think I’m going to be to call ABC Agent in the future to show his listings?  And how happy do you think his sellers would be if they knew he’d refused to allow their condo to be shown to a potential buyer?

I’m appalled when another Philadelphia real estate agent asks for my buyer’s name. Perhaps I could give you his shoe size, birthday, and let you know what is on his Christmas list. I believe that a buyer belongs to whomever that buyer chooses to belong to. If a buyer chooses to work with an agent, then that agent should be protected in the spirit of cooperation, in order to honor the trust, commitment, and working relationship that the buyer has developed with his or her chosen REALTOR®.

I would never dream of asking a Philadelphia REALTOR® for his or her buyer’s name. I don’t care if the buyer is named Mr. Joe Bag-a-Donuts, and Mr. Joe and I have conversed in the past. I am not interested in keeping Mr. Joe away from my listings. And the sellers who have entrusted me with marketing their Center City condo certainly aren’t either.

I own a buyer if a buyer chooses for me to “Own” them.  And when that happens, I value and respect the trust that buyer has given to me and the commitment we’ve made to each other.   Perhaps other agents should do the same. If not for the sake of buyers, then how about for the sellers they represent?

Want to work with a real estate professional who puts your best interests first?  Give me a call today at 215-521-1523 or drop me an email at

Mark Wade
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19106


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530 Walnut Street, Suite 480
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