Cincinnati and Warren County Ohio Patio Homes

Hey, You're NOT The Listing Agent!


condo for saleIf you're a Cincinnati home buyer and surfing the internet for homes for sale, chances are you're NOT going to be reaching out to the listing agent unless you REALLY understand how Internet marketing works.  Now later we'll touch on whether or not you SHOULD be trying to reach the listing agent!

First, there are a multitude of sites that provide details about the homes for sale in our area.  Some provide only the agent listed homes (e.g. individual agent and local brokerage sites, national brokerage sites, etc.).  Others may provide For Sale By Owner homes only.  Other sites may provide a mix of the two with varying degree of accuracy.

What they all tend to do is provide the listing agent (or brokerage) information somewhere on the home's information page.  The information may be easy to find, or not so easy, but it SHOULD be there somewhere if you REALLY want to reach the listing agent and only the listing agent.

However, likely to be more prominent and easier to find will be a "Contact Agent" or "Request More Information" button.  So where does your information go when you fill out one of those contact forms?

Well, if it's a brokerage site your contact information will be provided to an agent that serves the area OR it may go direct to the listing agent.  That second option is what happens if you go onto AND request information on the RE/MAX listed home, otherwise it goes to another RE/MAX agent.

If it's on a personal agent's website, your contact information is going to the agent who pays for the website or someone from that agent's team.

And if you're own a national website that syndicates listings (e.g.,, etc.), your contact information is most likely going to an agent that pays to advertise on that site.  It's those ads that keep the lights on for those websites and why some agents shell out serious dollars to make sure they're the ones who get your request.

Now which agent is best for you to contact?

Maybe the answer is NONE of the above.

The listing agent works FOR the seller, NOT the buyer.  As such they can't tell you the things that might be MOST useful for you to know.  Things such as "the home is overpriced", "there's a better house for your needs two streets over".  And some of the things you WANT the listing agent to tell how low of a price the seller will take?  or why are they moving?  Those are questions the agent cannot ethically answer without permission from the seller. And don't fall for the myth that the listing agent will automatically cut their commission and give you a better deal if you come unrepresented.

And if you get the agent advertising on the side, you might be doing well, or you might not. The agent might be a very successful, experienced agent that can afford those thousands and thousands of advertising fees.  But even if they're successful, they may still not be the right agent for your needs. 

Why not?  Perhaps your area of interest is on the fringes of their service area.  Or perhaps you need specialty expertise.  For instance, we specialize in patio homes and we DON'T advertise on the syndicators' sites.  Nope, instead we publish tons of patio home information on sites we own and control. 

You might find similar specialists if you're looking for a horse farm, or riverfront property, midcentury moderns, historic homes, or some other specialty type of housing. 

General advertising on the national and syndication sites isn't going to guarantee you're going to get matched up with those experts  In fact, we'll almost guarantee this it won't!  If you need a specialist, you need to do a search outside of those sites to find the agent you actually need.  And odds are strong, it WON'T be the listing agent! 

Ready to get started?  Call 513-520-5305 or email

Serving Cincinnati home buyers and sellers,

Liz and Bill aka BLiz 


Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Comment balloon 47 commentsLiz and Bill Spear • December 05 2017 01:55AM


Most people searching still think that the listing agent is always the contact listed

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) 11 months ago

    Hi, BLiz. 

      More consumers seem to be catching on to the pay-to-play agents on ZTR.  But they still don't get the concept that the Listing Agent is the last person they should be reaching out to!

Posted by Fred Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) 11 months ago

ah yes, if it's on my site I MUST be the listing agent. LOL  

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) 11 months ago

This is a very good explanation of how various sites work, and on the role of a listing agent.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, 11 months ago

Bliz this is really good information for the consumer that is trying to understand who to call and why not to call other agents. Finding an agent that represents only the buyers wants and needs is so important - and that is not the listing agent. Most of the general public don't understand this - yet.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) 11 months ago

Hi Bill and Liz -- it's all about finding the right fit...sometimes you just don't know...until you know...

As always, you provide some good food for thought...quite satisfying...down to the last bite.   

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) 11 months ago

Well said.  Looking on large aggregator sites a buyer could easily get matched with an agent whose office is 50 miles away.  I see it all  the time.

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) 11 months ago

Nice overview BLiz. I always tell prospects that if you choose the right agent the outcome is bound to be good. Choose the wrong one and you're inviting trouble. 

Posted by James (Jim) Lawson, DBA, Broker Associate, RSPS, BPOR, HI & PE ( LLC) 11 months ago

Another really great post---I may need to borrow this one, you explain everything so clearly for your Cincinnati buyers!

Posted by MaryKay Shumway, Door County Wisconsin's Real Estate Expert (The Kellstrom Ray Agency, Inc. (Est. 1948)) 11 months ago

BLiz- what an excellent explanation for consumers. With so many avenues for information these days, it's easy to see how a buyer/seller could get confused. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 11 months ago

Bliz, I get asked if I'm the listing agent a lot when people find things online. My mug will show up on different websites along with available listings. This is a good primer for buyers.

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) 11 months ago

What does the public at large really know about anything? Seek wise counsel

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) 11 months ago

Good analysis.  Dartboard decision making fits right up there.  Go with an agent you know and trust.  Period. 

Posted by Mick Michaud, Your Texas Lifestyle is Here! (Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107) 11 months ago

That's a great explanation of how it works. Thanks for writing it so clearly!

Posted by Jenniffer Lee, Broker/Owner/Realtor at RE/MAX Complete Solutions (RE/MAX Complete Solutions) 11 months ago

So true Bill buyers want an agent who will represent them

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) 11 months ago

Good evening Liz and Bill Spear,

What an excellent explanation for consumers! Thanks for laying it out so succinctly!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) 11 months ago

Local representation is best and consumers are getting smarter due to the influx of information online. Once I get a call from a buyer, educating them on the process here in my area is one of the first things done. Great synopsis on finding a buyer agent Bliz!

Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR (Prado Real Estate South) 11 months ago

Lay people could read this well written post on how it all works and either forget soon enough or nor really get it

Posted by Dana Basiliere, Making deals "Happen" (Rossi & Riina Real Estate) 11 months ago

I think your comment in re to the listing agent not being the best person to talk to is a bit generalized, and not entirely accurate.  In Oregon, we work for whoever we are talking to at the time.  Yes, we are one of those "horrid" dual agency states.  However, one of the really good things about it is this.  Buyer calls about one my my listings, it's not the right place for him, so then I help Buyer find the right place.  I have listings with the intentions of talking to Buyers, for my listings or others.  There's never anything wrong with a Buyer talking to a listing agent as long as he knows whether or not he's being represented.  Any agent that doesn't make sure a Buyer knows this should be busted.  Oh, and if Buyer does want that house I've got listed, by Oregon law he has the right to choose any broker he wishes to represent him, even if it's me, and it's done in writing.

Posted by Victoria CB Trees, Principal Broker (Crater Lake Realty, Inc.) 11 months ago


There's some great education here for buyers shopping online that no doubt will open a few eyes. Whether they pay attention to what makes the most sense for THEM vs. working with the listing agent is an entirely different issue. Becuase of competition it seems that a good number of buyers want to go right to the L.A. in hopes of securing the house.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) 11 months ago

You're written a comprehensive explanation - now to get those buyers to read it!

Posted by Marte Cliff, your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) 11 months ago

Sometimes you have to let cooler heads prevail and set people straight. You have the right attitude

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) 11 months ago

Lia and Bill

Congratulations on a well deserved feature for your post.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) 11 months ago

Marte Cliff I really think they do have a clear explanation and that’s the whole point of everything.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) 11 months ago

Lou Ludwig It’s definitely well deserved and definitely well informed in all it’s glory.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) 11 months ago

Fantastic public awareness post.

Posted by Pam Guthrie, Seaside Realty Company Broker In Charge, REALTOR (Seaside Realty Company) 11 months ago

Good morning, Liz and Bill Spear (Bill).... comprehensive exlplanation of how our self-promotion work on national websites and franchise websites works.... sometimes it does and other time, not so well....  doing a search with a narrower target works best.... bigger is not better.... 

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) 11 months ago

Liz and Bill Spear "The listing agent works FOR the seller, NOT the buyer...And don't fall for the myth that the listing agent will automatically cut their commission and give you a better deal if you come unrepresented."

Right on target - and - re-blog!

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) 11 months ago

Excellent article.

Posted by Lynn Stoner, Licensed Title Agent (Mid-South Title Insurance Agency, LLC) 11 months ago

A very good read for internet shoppers!  Reposted!

Posted by JoAnn Young, Florida Real Estate (Young & Young Properties ) 11 months ago

This is a much needed article. Many buyers still do not understand how the system works or who is representing who. You explained it well!

Posted by Donna Quinlan, Keller Williams Real Estate Agent Career Consultan (Keller Williams Realty) 11 months ago

BLiz, this is a great way to explain how internet advertising works!

Posted by Marney Kirk, Towson, Maryland Real Estate (Cummings & Co. Realtors) 11 months ago

Two lessons that pop out are most buyers do not know what a buyer agent is or the value a buyer agent can provide to them. Next, most buyer clicking on national sites, do think the agent they click on is who they should be working with. It does not make it right, but it is what the masses think Liz and Bill Spear 

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) 11 months ago

A great post for several reasons.  Good for agents, buyers and sellers alike.  Enjoyed your perspective.

Posted by John F Muscarella, Broker/Owner, Venice, FL, Florida's Suncoast (RIVER FARM PROPERTIES, LLC) 11 months ago

This is a well written and easy to understand post.  It can be very confusing for the consumers on those sites.

Posted by Chris Lima, Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you. (Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise) 11 months ago

Selecting an agent that is "right for you" is tricky business and nothing is worse than being stuck with a lousy agent.  I also especially liked "And don't fall for the myth that the listing agent will automatically cut their commission and give you a better deal if you come unrepresented."

Posted by Brian Rugg, Sun City TX Real Estate - Georgetown, TX Real Est (Rugg Realty LLC Sun City Texas 512-966-3200) 11 months ago

Thanks for giving Buyers a clear description of how the Internet listings work.

Many buyers think they understand what they are getting but in fact they are miss-informed. 

I agree that Buyers should understand why working with the Listing Agent may not always be in their best interest.

I hope that the Consumer will read this post and learn from it.

Thanks for sharing.

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA (Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty) 11 months ago

Great article to explain how internet marketing works.  So often buyers think they will get a better "deal" with the listing agent.  Not really true!

Posted by Shirley Coomer, Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az (Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living) 11 months ago

Excellent post as to why a buyer searching online should have his own agent as his fiduciary, looking out for his/her best interests! 

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) 11 months ago

Liz and Bill, I love this post. Such a wonderful breakdown for the home buying consumer. Buyers are no aware of how having a Buyers Agent can really benefit them, no matter whether they are buying a resale home or a new build.  Re-blogging this....

why home buyers need a Buyers Agent versus calling a Listing Agent

Posted by Peggy James, Woodbridge Virginia Area Real Estate Specialist (EXIT Realty Associates) 11 months ago

Real Estate 101! And LOVE how you explained it!  Hope all is going well in Cincy!

Posted by L. Scott Ferguson, Sunny Florida Real Estate Professional (Ask4Ferguson - Your House-SOLD Name in Real Estate) 11 months ago

Well said. I scratch my head every time a buyer makes every effort to reach the list agent directly. I try to explain the process to buyers, sometimes they persist - I want the list agent! In those situations, I figure they are likely not someone I want to work with anyway, so I suggest they drive by the house and get the phone number of the list agent.

Posted by synthia noble 11 months ago

I wonder how buyers get the idea the listing agent will cut the commission if they sell their own listing. I tell them that buyers cannot control the commission. It is written in the listing contract (unless the contract says the commission will change depending on who sells it--I NEVER do this).

Posted by Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS (Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate) 11 months ago

Dear BLiz,

Good get someone, who can help you with your specific needs.

Posted by Dörte Engel, ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland (RE/MAX Leading Edge) 11 months ago

Bliz, we deal with this a couple times a year. I'm not 100% sure why a buyer thinks he can get a better deal from the listing agent. I don't think I've ever seen that happen.

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) 10 months ago

Our customers search internet, find the most intimate details, have so much knowledge, and somehow do not understand what you are writing about. SO much info, and then making a stupid move, and it happens too often

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) 10 months ago

I don't know about realtors in your area but your assumption that listing agents are not going to work with buyers as well as a buyers agent is not true overall. Here in the south Florida market, I am a transaction broker which means I can work with both the buyer and seller simultaneously. I have never had a conflict as I believe that it is all about bringing buyers and sellers together to create a sale. I do have a long sales background so this does help in negotiations whereas many realtors do not have sales experience. I believe lack of sales experience creates more problems than whether or not the listing agent or a buyers'agent should be contacted by potential buyers. I take my responsibility very seriously whether I work with sellers, buyers or both.

Posted by Jean Alicea, Home suite Homes (Home suite Homes, Inc.) 10 months ago