Jump to content

How did you pick your agent


unckbobby
 Share

Recommended Posts

Not sure if this is considered too off-topic, but how did you guys choose your real estate agent? I'm relatively new to my area, and it seems that everyone I ask refers me to his or her relative who is in real estate. Maybe I'm being to pessimistic, but I get leery when someone is soooooo enthusiastic about Aunt & Uncle Agent. Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.

Admin & Mods and all... my apologies if this is posted in the wrong section. :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends really.

I bought a new construction house and I had an agent.

With new construction agents are basically useless. There's nothing at all for them to do except sign a few papers and collect a fat check at closing.

Knowing that, I went a slightly different route. I still had an agent that did next to nothing for me, but she got a smallish check at closing (she still made a few grand for signing her name a few times) but I got a bigger check. I got a 2% rebate realtor. I used part of my 2% for closing costs and still got a check in the mail a few days after closing.

This is considered immoral by some (particularly new construction sales agents as it cuts into their commission) and is even possibly illegal in some states. In Texas it's perfectly legal and IMO perfectly moral. I went to closing with no money and walked away with cash in my pocket and a new house.

Now I don't know if I'd recommend this in all states (Texas real-estate is relatively simple so it works great here) and in all situations (new construction absolutely - older homes, probably not).

But if it's legal in your state and you're looking at new construction, this is definitely something to keep in mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest BadAccountant

I did almost the exact same thing as ybrew. In Phoenix RE agents are like movie stars in LA, everyone is either one, knows one, or is an out of work one. IMHO on the buying side it really doesn't make much difference as they are going to try and sell you something either in their inventory (so they make both sides of the commission) or something they think is good for you. My opinion, hook up with someone that will allow you to browse the listings online and that will be responsive enough to be able to go look at the ones you pick out. Let him get the feel of the house that you want so that he can start to develop an idea for what you are looking for.

Once I told my RE agent that I had found something, I challenged him to find me something better. That seemed to motivate him as well. (although he never did find anything. I should be an RE agent :)).

I don't have much respect for the industry, especially out here. It is too easy to sit back and show you fifteen houses that look the same. Then let you pick one. Wow, tough, can I get my 6% now! Give me a break.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The reason that there are so many agents I believe is that everyone thinks it is easy money. I am a former real estate agent and I can tell you that as an agent you do not collect 6%, yes there is a commission of 6% that is split normally between the listing office and the selling office, so now you are down to 3% to the selling office, then the broker will get their cut which is normally 1.5%, so now you are down to the agent receiving 1.5%. Out of that the agent of course must pay taxes and there is a great deal of expense in selling real estate. In the area that I sold real estate I did fairly well and closed between 1 million to 2 million worth of property a year. I can assure you I was not making lots of money after expenses. I was making a decent living but I was working my tail off. It is really a shame that people feel the way they do about real estate agents because it is a small number that ruins the reputation of the other agents.

As far as how to pick an agent. That is a difficult question - one of the top producers in our area is a snake in the grass. I would not trust her at all but she does produce. You really just have to meet the agent and see how you feel about them. Instead of listening to the recommendation from people who recomend their aunt or brother or friend, find someone who has had to use an agent. They can give you the best referal. Buying a house is a big decision and not one to be taken lightly. It is for most people their largest investment. And a very personal one. Best of luck in the purchase of your new home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing to look for in an agent is to find one that you are comfortable with. I imagine there are lots of questions to ask but I found that the biggest thing is finding an agent that you like. Once again, a referal from a past customer is a good thing. That is where I got most of my customers. Another good resource would be a mortgage lender - what real estate agent would the reccomend? The one thing I would say is be loyal to your agent. They work on commission, and if they ride you around in their car, with their gas, and try to find you a home - remember that when you go to an open house or call about a house that you see. Let that listing agent know you are already working with someone and that is who will be selling you the house. Be very upfront about your needs, likes, dislikes and price range. I once showed a lady ranch style houses for 6 months because she had an older parent that would be living with her. She told me 6 months into looking that she perfered a totally different style than I was showing her. Do not be afraid to express what you are feeling but be open to listening to what your agent is telling you. Do not let an agent presure you.

My biggest piece of advice is to listen to what others say about agents. Trust a past customer more than you trust a person that says my aunt, uncle, brother, etc. is in the business.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dang, only 1 to 2 million in property? In Denver, that's about 3-6 homes a year. I figured they sold more than that. Still, even if ya make $30K a year after tax-deducting expenses, you're doing ok for the work. Driving around house to house during non-rush hour times, signing your name, standing there saying "these cabinets are maple..." I'm sure it's not as simple as I jokingly make it sound, but far better than walking 6 miles a day on uneven terrain, 6 days a week, delivering hundreds of pounds of parcels and mail, through wind, rain, snow, ice, and 100 degree summers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not to disagree but you do have benefits don't you? As a realtor - NO BENEFITS - you are an independent contractor!!!! And where I live the average house is $125,000.00 and if you only list it or only sell it you get credit for 1/2 - so that means you are probably selling 12 to 14 houses to sell 1 million in this area. Granted each area is different due to the market but I can tell you it is not as easy as it looks or sounds. And I doubt people call you at home wanting to know where their packages are at 11:00 at night or anytime for that matter - as a realtor, people feel you are on call 24 hours a day!!!! And as far as the hours worked - I worked about 60 hours a week. There is alot more to it than you listed. But the way that you think is the way alot of people think. That is why they get out of it. And another thing is you are showing houses and working with your clients during the hours that everyone else is off. Nothing is every as easy as it seems - I think working for the post office, having set hours, receiving a paycheck every month, having benefits is a much better situation than being a Realtor. But there again - every sounds easier and better than it really is. And

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I called and asked for an agent and found she no longer workd there. They then referred us to another agent in the office. She was good and understood when I wanted to check the house we were planning on buying in middle of bad rainstorm.

Also understood fiance was truck driver and me and her would look during week and figure what he might like and then go back to some on the weekends.

Fiance...well his sister took another route. She drove around and looked and whatever agent was on the sign she called. She did not deal with any one specific agent.

This I would not like as my agent and I would look at 3-5 houses at a time. She looked in our price range and I would look on internet and we would get lists together. She also did not try to push her listings and understood all my questions and concerns with being first time buyers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I called and asked for an agent and found she no longer workd there. They then referred us to another agent in the office. She was good and understood when I wanted to check the house we were planning on buying in middle of bad rainstorm.

Also understood fiance was truck driver and me and her would look during week and figure what he might like and then go back to some on the weekends.

Fiance...well his sister took another route. She drove around and looked and whatever agent was on the sign she called. She did not deal with any one specific agent.

This I would not like as my agent and I would look at 3-5 houses at a time. She looked in our price range and I would look on internet and we would get lists together. She also did not try to push her listings and understood all my questions and concerns with being first time buyers

Your sis-in-law was being a bit of a fool (I did the same thing at one point).

When you call the agent listed on the sign, you're calling the seller's agent. They don't work for you or look out for your interests. They'll handle the transaction just fine, but they're not your agent. They also love this situation as they get to keep the full 6% commission for themselves.

Buyer's agents are 'free'. You don't pay them a dime. Might as well get one to keep the seller's agent honest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure if this is considered too off-topic, but how did you guys choose your real estate agent? I'm relatively new to my area, and it seems that everyone I ask refers me to his or her relative who is in real estate. Maybe I'm being to pessimistic, but I get leery when someone is soooooo enthusiastic about Aunt & Uncle Agent. Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.

Admin & Mods and all... my apologies if this is posted in the wrong section. :wink:

Well, my sister is a real estate agent, she is also a loan officer. I don't mind speaking with her because I can tell she's truly knowledgeable and that she cares for the needs of her customer, which is high priority for me. So, it isn't that "she's my sister" as much as it's that she's good at what she does. Now, I was a bit leary at first because I was embarrassed about my credit scores...but now I understand that she's every bit a professional and I'm proud of her. Having her help me has worked for me.

That being said though, buying a home is such a HUGE step. The main thing is finding an agent who is representing YOU, looking out for YOUR interests, considering YOUR situation. If someone has suggested their Aunt Fooey or Uncle Baldy...don't NOT go to them because of that, but understand that the same rules apply. Interview several, find a comfortable fit. Consider taking some homebuying classes to, that way you aren't relying on someone else's "watered down" translation of home buying. Bank of America offers classes through their ACORN program I recently discovered, it may be worth checking out.

Good luck on your hunt.

Elyse

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest BadAccountant

xdeadhorsex

The problem I have with the buying side RE agent is that you can never truely find one that is looking out for you. They are paid a commission. That commission increases when you pay more, not less. This industry is a broken relic and needs to be fixed. Say, base price=base commission. Less than base price = bigger commission. Now you are working for me. Currently bigger price = bigger commission (which on the seller side makes sense to me).

To have a what everyone talks about as someone that works for you and is on your side is IMHO b.s. They want to make a sale at the highest price possible. And of course there are exceptions that prove the rule, but really they truely are the exception.

I say again, do you own research and find an agent that will let you browse their MLS listings. No salesperson will know what you like better than you and they will shotgun you with suggestions until something sticks. I have been with RE agents (salespeople, same/same) that try to rationalize you out of things you like or dislike just to make an unsuitable property more suitable. This is call not looking out for your best interest. Find properties that you like. Call the listing agent or have the agent that let you browse his files set an appointment to see it, but distance yourself and you and your significant other talk it through. My (unsolicited) $0.02.

(stepping down off of soapbox)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Consider taking some homebuying classes to, that way you aren't relying on someone else's "watered down" translation of home buying. Bank of America offers classes through their ACORN program I recently discovered, it may be worth checking out.

Elyse

Excellent advice and bears repeating.

I went to a NACA seminar. I'd recommend them even if you have no intention of financing through NACA. The first half of the seminar is strictly about the home buying process, explaining closing costs and associated fees, ARM, intersest only, 30 year fixed, points, etc, etc, etc.

Plenty informative. I imagine most of these seminars spend a good deal of time discussing the 'basic' info and for first-time buyers, I'd highly recommend at least attending some kind of training.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

xdeadhorsex

The problem I have with the buying side RE agent is that you can never truely find one that is looking out for you. They are paid a commission. That commission increases when you pay more, not less. This industry is a broken relic and needs to be fixed. Say, base price=base commission. Less than base price = bigger commission. Now you are working for me. Currently bigger price = bigger commission (which on the seller side makes sense to me).

To have a what everyone talks about as someone that works for you and is on your side is IMHO b.s. They want to make a sale at the highest price possible. And of course there are exceptions that prove the rule, but really they truly are the exception.

I say again, do you own research and find an agent that will let you browse their MLS listings. No salesperson will know what you like better than you and they will shotgun you with suggestions until something sticks. I have been with RE agents (salespeople, same/same) that try to rationalize you out of things you like or dislike just to make an unsuitable property more suitable. This is call not looking out for your best interest. Find properties that you like. Call the listing agent or have the agent that let you browse his files set an appointment to see it, but distance yourself and you and your significant other talk it through. My (unsolicited) $0.02.

There are a lot of scum bags out there in this business, and probably more than most. However, there are some agents who genuinely care. I happen to know of a couple and they would rather die than rip someone off. You have to remember that being a realtor is VERY hard work. It's not as easy as it seems, the long hours and the idiots you have to put up with, and you have to make sure that the loan is lined up, the title company is on board, no complications are discovered during the transaction.

Plus, if you are selling one of your own listings, you have to spend a lot of your own money on advertising in order to make a sale. And an agent's time is worth something. I've sold homes without an agent, but in a couple of cases, I would have been lost without their specialized knowledge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are a lot of scum bags out there in this business, and probably more than most. However, there are some agents who genuinely care. I happen to know of a couple and they would rather die than rip someone off. You have to remember that being a realtor is VERY hard work. It's not as easy as it seems, the long hours and the idiots you have to put up with, and you have to make sure that the loan is lined up, the title company is on board, no complications are discovered during the transaction.

Plus, if you are selling one of your own listings, you have to spend a lot of your own money on advertising in order to make a sale. And an agent's time is worth something. I've sold homes without an agent, but in a couple of cases, I would have been lost without their specialized knowledge.

Exactly!! My sister had a "friend" of hers call her up and ask her all these questions and had her do all the comp reports (basically all the leg work) and than went with another agent to sell her home! So--yeah, sometimes THEY are the ones taken advantage of, to. She had another client LIE to her about her finances.

Elyse

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.