Yes, in the state of Texas, you can buy a home from the listing agent but you need to be informed about some important differences about employing the listing agent to buy your home. In the state of Texas, the listing agent represents the seller and has the legal obligation to put the interests of the seller first above the buyer's and his/her own.
This type of representation creates an Intermediary Agency Agreement. Under this type of agreement:
1) The listing agent needs to be upfront with you and let you know that he can't give you any opinions nor advice. Basically, you are on your own.
2) The listing agent needs to inform the seller and get his/her consent in writing to do this, as conflicts of interests can occur.
3) The above written consent must state source of compensation.
4) The listing agent can not disclose to you that the seller will accept a price less than the asking price, unless authorized in writing to do so by the seller.
5) The listing agent can not disclose to the seller that you will pay a price greater than the price submitted in a written offer, unless authorized in writing to do so by you.
6) The listing agent can not disclose confidential information, unless authorized in writing to disclose the information or required to do so by the Real Estate License Act, a court order, or is the information materially relates to the condition of the property.
The most important thing to remember as a buyer is that, in this case, you will be on your own, receiving no advice or opinions. The listing agent can not even advise you on price as it will be an opinion. The seller may have overpriced the home but the listing agent can not comment on that.The only obligation of the listing agent is to treat you fairly and honestly but with no advice.
Therefore, the main benefit of having your own representation dissappears as you will have a listing agent just processing the transaction.
If you want full representation, you should choose to hire your own Buyer's agent. The following is a list of services a Buyer's agent will provide to a Buyer who chooses to hire him/her by means of a written represention agreement:
BUYER CLIENT (Buyer is represented)
1. Honesty to all parties
2. Complete loyalty towards Buyer
3. Focus on Buyer's needs and interests
4. Confidentiality of Buyer's information
5. Market data interpretation for complete understanding of market
6. Strategic negotiation planning for Buyer
7. Negotiating on behalf of Buyer
8. Maximum legal responsibility
9. Involved in buyer's decision-making counseling
10. Assistance in identifying all potential properties to Buyers
11. Assistance in evaluating properties based on Buyer's criteria
12. Professional effort to close transaction on Buyer's terms and conditions
13. Assistance with contract contingencies
14. Professional advice and counsel
15. Managing Buyer's risks and expectations in transaction
16. Highest level of service
If you work directly with the listing agent, he/she can only provide you: items 1, 4, and 13. That is, you give up a lot by not using your own agent.
If you have more questions, please do not hesitate to Email us or contact us at 713-589-3234 for more information.