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08-14-2012, 04:09 PM #1
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Please tell me what I am up against?
Ok.......some of this might be known from other posts.......but.....background:
For about 3 months, as time permitted, I have been looking at CL for house. (couple different areas) I would say just 'sort of' serious, according to what else was going on.
Two weeks ago I contacted an 'acquaintance' that I knew was in RE, sent her my 'list' of 'wants and d/n want' and we talked.
She sent me five..........I rejected 4 right out of the gate.......looked at one, rejected that. She knows me and I have been VERY UP FRONT that I am going to be SUPER PICKY...........it isn't REAL IMPORTANT THAT I MOVE........am just at a crossroads and it would be a good time.
Went to MY FIRST EVER open house over the weekend...........rejected that within 5 minutes of entering---was checking something from the pics on the computer.........my friend that was with me (that has PAST RE agent exp.) said that I sort of got the 'hard sell' from the guy.........
Saw a couple homes on CL......but had to give them my email (set up a totally new one just for RE)........and am now getting a DAILY listing............MUCH OF WHICH DON'T EVEN COME CLOSE TO MATCHING ANY OF MY CRITERIA.........
So...................CLUE ME IN HERE...............from all of you that have past RE agent experience what am I in for??????? HELP!!!!
I LITERALLY have never worked with a RE agent before............and yes, I have owned, and do own homes!!! My "purchases" have just come about.........too long to go into........I lived here for two years before I bought it....trust me, you wouldn't believe the story!!
Are very many of them "pushy"? Do they REALLY LISTEN to what you want? Or does it all fall back to just the bottom line??? What should I watch for? Should I just 'let them have it' when they are pushing CRAP on me..........how 'forthright' have you been in your house search? (I am talking about when they try to tell you the roof has another 10 years on it..................AND YOU ARE LOOKING AT CURLED UP SHINGLES!!)
My friend told me to think of them just like a used car salesperson!! Not very nice.......but she was trying to warn me..........even my 'acquaintance' sent me one home style that was SPECIFICALLY on my "deal breaker" list!!
In short............I am about one month into a serious home search and am so pissed/frustrated that I could just give up.......and remodel instead.
And I SERIOUSLY think some builders should just be shot!! IE: This house I looked at this weekend..........I could have stood on the balcony and SPIT over the fence into the next back yard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is what I was checking according to pics on CL.
- 08-14-2012, 04:38 PM #2
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last time we worked with RE agents was 22 years ago, I found them mostly dreadful. We also had requirements, which they ignored.
Thank heavens for the internet, where you can do research yourself before wasting a trip to see a property. Can't tell you how many times I liked the picture on the listing, only to find out, no, that is not their driveway in front of the house, that is the main road. (We wanted privacy).
Now you can Google Earth any location, see the neighbors, (well their houses anyway) and check out the area.
I would say, stand your ground, if you interview a new RE agent, start by telling them how awful the other agents have been, and conclude, "I hope YOU won't be like that..."
08-14-2012, 05:02 PM #3
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They can be highly variable, anywhere from sweet to extremely rude. Have to remember these people are in sales. The one working with you to buy a house gets a cut, just as the one selling the house to you does. It's all commission work, the more houses and the faster they sell the more money they get.
If you're 'just looking' right now I wouldn't expect a very committed level of service. Once you sign the contract with the RE it's in their best interests to find you what you want asap.Use it up, Wear it out,
Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need ~Rolling Stones
A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown
08-14-2012, 05:14 PM #4
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Why should a buyer have to sign a contract?
Remember, agents work for the seller, not the buyer. They're also paid a percentage, so the more money they can get for the house, the more they make, so they're going to try to get the most out of you they can both for themselves and the sellers.
I agree with looking online first. Then call the listing agent and ask to see the house. And I also agree with looking at Google Earth to get a feel for the neighborhood. AND drive yourself to the neighborhood before you meet the agent so he or she can drive you. Agents will take you the long way around if it means they can keep you from seeing something undesirable that's nearby.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you.” -Mildred Lisette Norman
08-14-2012, 05:27 PM #5
The one we worked with in the 90's was pushing house that were more than we knew we could afford. The one we are working with now is awesome! I told him exactly what I wanted and nothing has ever been pushed on me. I think one big difference is he is a buyers agent. If we didnt specify we wanted him as a buyers agent and sign a contract as such then he automatically worked for the seller. In our state he is required by law to point out any downsides or flaws he sees.
He knew I wanted the house we are buying bad and as a buyers agent it is his job to help us negotiate the best deal possible. He sure did his job. I would never look at a property again without using a buyers agent. The two experiences were like night and day!!!
08-14-2012, 05:37 PM #6
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My first house buying in 2002 was my first experience with RE. I told him straight out what I was willing to pay, I got preapproval (for a higher amount) and explained that I was looking for small houses - less than 1100 sq ft in a particular city but not in the city limits. The first day out he took me to 4 houses that met that criteria and I put a bid on one that I fell in love with. He actually was trying to talk me into looking at more but I knew it was the house for me – it was 950 sq ft. Well I lived there several years and left the house in the divorce. We were way upside down because of remodeling and taking out equity. My ex had to refi and I took both rv and car.
A couple years later after some bad apartment situations, I realized that the market was a great time for buyers. And could pay less than rent with buying
I started looking around, got my va entitlement reinstated, and thought I had found another RE (my first guy had relocated to FL or I would have used him). I had to get rid of a RE who just would not listen to what I was saying. After the 3rd house she showed us that was exactly opposite as to what we said we were looking for I realized that this lady didn't want to hear us she only wanted to hear herself talking. I was not going to waste my time with someone who was deaf to my needs. She also said that she would NOT put any bids on short sales ( I bought in 2010 – short sales were everywhere).
I asked around work and got a referral to a RE who had worked with a coworkers mom. He was fabulous. I honestly used alot of the online tools previously mentioned.
I had very specific requirements for my new house also. Small size, within 5 miles of my office, not in city limits (there are several municipalities right near here that have extra read as in almost double taxes as areas that are just in the county, I wanted to live within the county (I work for county gov- not a requirement but I like living in the county I work for). I knew this would be my house for next 16 years then we are retiring to Mexico where my husband is from (hence the short commute and low price I was willing to pay). I went out scouting with a friend at lunch and then I called up the guy and said this is a great house - when can I see the inside. I went out with the RE the next day and I loved the house and still do. It has been the best financial decision I've made up to this point. The RE was surprised by the smallness (it's 575 sq ft) 2 bedroom house built in 1938. He kept saying wow this is so small - and I kept saying yes I know isn't it great. I had been looking a building a katrina cottage. The thing is that we don’t like clutter and don’t like a lot of stuff. Our house feels big to us but it is a huge difference when you walk in my neighbors houses because they have sofa sets and matching tables etc – there just is not enough room and you feel closed in you barely have room to walk.
All that aside – the second guy was fabulous. Once he realized that I was set on this house after about 5 minutes of my jumping up and down giving him a hug and saying that this was the best house ever. We wrote the contract. I got my house on a short sell so that did make a bit more work for him. I put the contract in August and closed in November ( which is an amazing timeline for a short sale at least in 2010) and I know it’s because this guy was on top of it – of course I would call or email for updates. But he listened. He answered questions. He was not pushy. He helped us get the best house for us. Now granted I only paid 67,500 for this house so he did not get a huge commission (because it’s based on the house price) but he did a bang up job and even told me that he was happy to help us/work with us because in the future we might want something bigger and also he gets most of his work from recommendations.
(I was paying 935 for one bedroom roach infested horrible apartment and I pay 560 for 2 bedroom house including taxes and insurance). My house is my avatar (not my cars in the picture)
Don’t take the BS from those RE that are not listening /working in your favor. There are lots more out here that are good. If I had kept that lady I would not be in the happy situation that I’m in now.You can get anywhere you want to go if you take it one step at a time.....
Debt free - here I come!!!!
08-14-2012, 05:57 PM #7
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also have you looked into For Sale by Owner? In our area (northern new england) there is a great website Picket Fence Preview for FSBO's. THere may be something similar in your area.
08-14-2012, 08:08 PM #8
In the late 90's we used a buyer broker. At 1st like you, we went insane & finally had to lay down the law. My DH insisted on either a very large garage or enough land to build one. At 1st he was showing us ridiculous stuff. Then we spoke up and from then on he would send us the info with a pic via email and we would drive by. If we were interested from there we would call & set up a look. Then the guy started "always being late." By the time it came to our house to look at I refused to get out of the car the guy was 1 hour late & I was pissed. It ended up working in our favor bcuz the woman came home thinking we'd already be gone. So, we got to meet her and she seemed to liked us. The house was on the market 1 day and both us & the next viewer put bids in. We got it. I think you need to stand your ground and in time may find what you're looking for. Good Luck!!
08-15-2012, 01:21 AM #9
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Thanks all....good feedback.
Then, my NEXT QUESTION is............say I go to an open house and find a house I like...........should I then "involve" the gal that I initially talked to about RE? I have told her that I was looking in another area.......so she knows that. (she is on vacation this week and said she would get back to me at the first of next week)
I know they are on commission and I don't want to mess her over with it..........but how is this done? I have signed no buyer contract with her or anything. We have just talked on the phone and she emailed me some homes. I haven't even had her show me anything,in person, yet.
08-15-2012, 01:45 AM #10
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I would say....stick to what you expect your house to be....no matter how long it takes.When we were looking for our current home, we went through a few real estate agents b/c we were "taking too long" to decide what we wanted. Grrrr. Don't let anyone intimidate you or rush you into a decision. We are ready to move again.......agents beware!
08-15-2012, 02:05 AM #11
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I just feel like I am entering a whole new world with this............so weird.
My RE pal and I have talked and both agree...............I can move at any time........don't have to worry about schools, etc. So about Oct. when everyone is in a panic that they haven't sold.........I will just be hanging around to buy. CHEAP!!
I do have real specifics that I want........and created a list I sent her: Must haves........deal breakers.........and not deal breakers but a negative......and pluses...........she laughed. And I have added to it this week.
If I can't find what I want by spring I will just start my remodel on this place.......but would really prefer to move. Either way this will be remodeled.........it is just how it will be done, which is one part of my crossroads right now.
08-15-2012, 11:48 AM #12
If you haven't signed any paperwork/contracts/agreements then I think you can use any agent you'd like to buy your home. It would be courteous of you to give her the sale since you've enlisted her help BUT you're not committed. MY MIL is in RE and tells me horror stories of how people want her help to look but then go behind her back and buy with another agent.
If you went to the open house and liked what you saw and your agent is unavailable (and you didn't sign anything binding) then why not see if the listing agent would act as both? (selling agent and your purchasing agent)
As for being sent listings you do not like and do not meet your criteria - have a serious chat with her and let her know that you're not happy with the results and that you feel shes wasting both of your time. If she continues, you will have no problem seeking out another agent that would be a better fit for your needs.2013: Year Two Of The Purge!
UPDATED: JULY 7/13
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08-15-2012, 12:09 PM #13
~We're working with a Buyer's Agent now and yes, we signed a contract with him. I thought it was odd too but the contract is really just a good faith promise that the agent will be paid for their work. In our contract we agreed to a one year representation with the agreement to pay the agent a percentage of the purchase price on a house out of our pocket if we bought a place off-the-market from an owner in a sneaky way. He'd have to find that out on his own but we wouldn't do that. Basically the contract was just an assurance that we were honest buyers.
I prefer this arrangement to meeting a random agent to view a property in NJ. We worked a little bit with two different agents in 2010 and 2011. Those guys were nice but very stand-off-ish. I can understand why they wouldn't want to invest a lot of time in a buyer they had no assurance would follow through to their own pay-out.
Now, we got soooo lucky with our agent it is unreal. I saw a house listed down the street from our rental and looked it up online. Several sites had the listing up so I sent emails to two or three different realtors through those sites to get a showing. Our agent was the first responder. We had such a nice conversation on the phone before the showing and had an excellent rapport in person. Just a nice young Christian father of 2 and one on the way. Lots in common and he immediately understood our needs and wants.
Now, that's not to say we weren't sent properties to review that didn't entirely match our criteria. That is due to the constraints of the search listing software the MLS or agency uses. For example, the search engine could not eliminate corner or intersection properties or screen for distance from DH's workplace from results that met our other criteria so I had to Google Earth a lot of stuff to eliminate those myself. In the olden days, a buyer's agent would personally review each property and send only the ones that exactly match your criteria. Of course, this also means they might have been eliminating cheaper properties or ones they personally didn't care for. Agents had more time for such things back when. That's what our buyer's agent was like in NJ back in 2000. The amount of work an agent puts in now doing things other than personally screening properties is astounding, especially in a place like we are, with 1000's of properties changing hands every month. The paperwork to buy has tripled since we bought in 2000. The inspections and rules and sign-offs and scheduling of experts has also tripled. Our agent stays one step ahead, keeping everything going. Our agent has arranged and been to 23 showings with us. The seller's agents and owners for the most part were not present and that's the best way to see a property. He showed up for inspections. He even drove the 30 miles to our property to dig out the septic access before the inspection after the plat maps showed it as being hidden. I had no idea there were agents this dedicated!
Anyway, you need to get a real buyer's agent. They should take your criteria and put it into the MLS and it should generate results daily right to your inbox. Our agency also allows me to create my own searches from different criteria and have those results sent to me daily as well.
In a place where contracts with agents isn't done, I would just state outright that the agent had 1-2 weeks to impress me or I'd move on to someone else who wanted to work for me. This shows that you're a serious shopper and worth their time.~~Constance ~DH ~DS 10~DD 8 ~DD 3
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08-15-2012, 12:32 PM #14
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You owe them nothing. I ran 6 agents around at a time. None of them knew about the other. Choose a full time agent that makes a living at it. We fired our part time agent because she was rude and balked because I changed my baby. In my vehicle and she wasn't any trouble.
The second house i got was for sale by owner and they were flakey too. She wanted to tell me where to put the furniture and what church to go to and about her Ds who was a soap opera star =who cares lady.
08-15-2012, 01:10 PM #15
well my first guess for what your up against is : your husband
my second is : up against a rock and a hard place
my third is: a hot stove