"With multiple offers, deferring to a seller’s recommendations is the protocol," said Mark Marquez, vice president of Weichert Realtors Elite, and president-elect of the San Diego Association of Realtors.
"Most agents realize in this competitive situation selecting services isn’t the main negotiating point. Getting a deal accepted is the focus."
Agreeing to use the escrow and title recommended by the seller is also seen as a courtesy, as banks usually have an open title file and have begun certain title work prior to accepting offers, Marquez added.
"If I write an offer I’m still going to write seller’s choice," Berg said.
Seller’s choice vs. buyer’s choice
With buyers now able to choose their own title and escrow under state law, or go with the seller’s choice, some agents and brokers may have concerns regarding the particular escrow and title providers selected by buyers.
At the same time, other agents see the buyer-selected servicers as a preferred option to the seller’s choice.
John Occhi, an agent with Allison James Estates and Homes in the Hemet-San Jacinto, Calif., area, said he is afraid that because of AB 957 some buyers will select escrow and title companies that have little or no experience dealing with REO properties.
"Everything is going to be delayed. It’s (the bill) a futile attempt to level the playing field" (among escrow and title service providers)," he said, adding that buyers should stick with the escrow companies that have several years of REO property experience.
Bruce Slaton, broker-owner of Bruce Slaton & Co. at Keller Williams in Elk Grove, said from a cost perspective the seller’s choice is often the better choice, which is something some buyers aren’t aware of.
"Sometimes the consumer is pushed by their buyer agent," Slaton said. "Sometimes the agents push a certain escrow or title (company) on a consumer who is unaware that (he or she) will have to pay for everything if this company is not what the bank suggests." …CONTINUED