Every now and then I scan the list of duplexes for sale on Craigslist. As I’m familiar with most of the ones listed by Realtors and active on the MLS, I narrow my search to those properties offered for sale by owner.
I do this for several reasons, one of which is finding that elusive “perfect” property for a client who’s seen everything on the MLS.
But lately when I contact these sellers I am surprised to learn the seller herself is a Realtor.
Now there’s nothing wrong with an agent selling her own property without listing it on the MLS. S he has the same rights to sell it herself and advertise it anywhere she chooses that a seller who does not hold a real estate license has.
The difference is she has a legal responsibility to disclose this information from the start. In other words, her ad should say something like, “owner/agent”.
The reason this is required by law is to protect the consumer. It is assumed the agent has specialized training that makes her an expert in her field, thereby giving her an advantage over someone who doesn’t have the same training.
It’s kind of like walking into a fight with a black belt when all you’ve done is watch Jackie Chan movies.
If you’re aware you’re doing this prior to seeing the property, you have the ability to find competent representation to look out for your best interests.