For your convenience and protection you should contact your current real estate Agent and not the property owner or the Agent listing the property. Your real estate agent knows your requirements and can provide you unbiased information to help you filter unsuitable property and locate the best property for your needs. They can objectively screen properties for you and often will be privy to information that you may not otherwise obtain. If you have a Client relationship with your current real estate agent they have a legal fiduciary responsibility to uphold your best interest.
The real estate agent that you would be calling off of a sign has the obligation to treat you as a customer (not a client relationship). this means that the Agent has a duty to provide you factual information, but does not have the higher duty of care and responsibility that your own real estate agent has if you have a client relationship.
Additionally, you may have signed a Buyer Agency contract with your Agent that spells out terms under which your Agent is obligated to perform his services and the terms that you are required to reimburse the Agent. Notwithstanding any Buyer Agency Contract you have entered into, it remains in your best interest to have your Agent contact the other party to obtain information for you. If the property becomes one that you ultimately decide to purchase, you risk unwillingly provide information to the other party that could hinder your ability to negotiate the best terms. In almost every case, it remains in your best interest to allow your Agent to obtain the information on your behalf. Aside from all the above points, referring to your existing Agent establishes a level of trust that is inherent in every good working relationship.
Remember that having the address or the MLS® system number is helpful and will assist your agent in gathering information regarding the property. For a more in-depth discussion about agency and relationships check out the Real Estate Council of Alberta. Sano Stante Real Estate group offers over 27 years of expert real estate experience. Call us to receive the best real estate service available.