Starting a New Year With an Old Phoenix Real Estate Topic

I am a middleman. I’ve accepted the reality of the perception, pejorative as it may be.

Someone puts their home up for sale in the Phoenix real estate market. You want to buy it. And, ideally, you’d like to go directly to the source to do so.

Except you can’t. You may think you can by dealing with the listing agent but, in reality, the listing agent is a middleman as well.

Even worse, the listing agent is a middleman representing solely the seller and the seller’s best interest. Yes, the listing agent wants to see the property sold but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get the deal of a lifetime negotiating with someone representing the other party in the transaction.

That commission discount you’re expecting? Don’t expect it. Commissions are established between listing agent and seller independent of who buys the house. The co-brokerage fee offered in the MLS does not appear anywhere on the AAR’s Exclusive Right to Sell paperwork.


It’s possible the listing agent has written in a clause to reduce the commission if an unrepresented buyer comes along. It’s also possible the listing agent hasn’t.

The listing agent will not tell you what the seller really will accept.

The listing agent will not suggest you to what price you should offer for the home other than the list price. Sure, the listing agent will provide you the comps but that isn’t going to give you much of an idea of where to make your initial bid for the best chance of success.

The listing agent will not tell you offering a touch more often will mean you pay less for the house than if you go extremely go out of the gate.

The listing agent is not your friend.

The listing agent is not your agent.

The listing agent is not looking out for your best interest.

Trying to avoid the middleman is understandable but it’s also impossible if you’re searching online and considering property listed by an agent.

One middleman already is there representing the seller. Adding a second middleman – one representing your interest – will not increase your costs. And, in fact, it could save you some money and quite a bit of time.

Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. Don’t cut out your own representation and place yourselves in the hands of the sellers’ professional representation.

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at


  • Carmen Brodeur 7 years ago

    Exactly! People always think they are somehow saving money by using the listing agent. That is rarely the case.

  • Denise Hamlin 7 years ago

    You’re right Jonathan. New Year, same topic. This one’s been on my mind too. I’ve just rolled out IDX on my site, so of course it’s bound to come up.

    I like the way you illustrate your point and make the listing agent a middle man too. So true. There is no way for buyers to go directly to the source and they really are better off with their own representation. The more posts that are written on the subject educating them about that fact the better!

  • Lisa Heindel 7 years ago

    As a listing agent, I spend an awful lot of time explaining to people why I won’t represent them and why they need a buyer’s agent. I know there are people out there who can handle dual agency, I’m just not one of them and don’t want to be “stuck in the middle”.

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