First make sure the agent that showed you the property is the listing agent. He may be an agent trying to sell someone else’s listing. It would be nice to call the first agent but not mandatory. She will not be considered the procuring cause of you buying the property.
Since you were sitting in Starbucks minding your own business there is no reason to get the first agent involved. If you had found the other property using her or her access to MLS (which she shouldn’t have given you) then I would say otherwise, but since you say the second agent identified this property to you there is no reason not to just involve him.
The second guy is right, assume all agents are representing the seller. There is no need to sign anything until you are ready to make an offer. Do your own due diligence and it doesn’t really matter who the agent represents. Also, if making an offer play dumb like they are your friend you can confide in “I’ll offer $x for this property, but that will be my maximum. There’s a lot on the market and I don’t want to bother with counteroffers and sellers games.”
There could be implied agency with the first agent, meaning that they do represent you without having to sign an agency agreement. Granted proving implied agency is much harder to do for the first agent. You should be in the clear, but as good practice you should call the first agent as an offering of good business, so that if you do get the other house the first agent won’t waste more of her time looking for properties for you that you don’t need anymore.
I don’t know how many actual agents answered your query ??? but, here’s my opinion;
Don’t “assume all agents are working for the seller”…that’s just silly…ASK! The state in which I reside REQUIRES Agents to give clients a pamphlet called, “The Law Of Real Estate Agency.” This way there’s no question as to who the Agent represents.
Secondly…there’s no “implied agency” on your part. You’re not the real estate professional…the agent is, and unless you signed an agreement…it’s doubtful you’ve an agency agreement (state laws may vary).
However, since the first agent has taken her time to show you homes…don’t you feel you OWE her some courtesy? Have you indicated to her you prefer the other area? Is she ignoring the fact you desire to live an hour away from where she’s showing you properties? I’d recommend giving her the opportunity to show you homes elsewhere unless she’s ignoring your wishes.
“But she kind of brushed me off the next day.”
Sometimes my wife & I lose a prospect for not getting back to them in the time frame they’d have liked. Through the years, and through the grapevine we’ve learned that one or two had something negative to say about us, “they don’t return phone calls,” or “they’re too busy for us,” or something to that effect.
Agents sitting by the phone–waiting for it to ring–are not busy.
Most of us are independent agents w/little to no staff. Our Broker’s employ staff, but they’re spread very thin…over 50 Agents in some offices. As for us–we’re a husband & wife team, and have 8-12 sales in the pipeline @ any given time. The reason is our experience, and qualifications save our clients time & money (referrals are a large percentage of our business).
Also–as business people–we’ve become very adept at chosing our clientele carefully. After a period…you just learn who’s going to bring you the greatest return for your time.