SoFaithful

What Should I Look for in a Buyer's Agent?

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I'm buying a home. The loan is already approved.

The first agent I dealt with (I feel) was purposely steering me only to properties that were listed under him. I found a property I was very interested in (listed under another company). He seemed to make very little effort to find out key information about the property. In fact, he seemed irritated with my requests for information and kept suggesting that I 'just make an offer'.

I've never done this before. I'm I missing something here. Surely I should not make offers with little or no information about the property, most of which I learned conducting my own inquiries.

So, what should I look for in a buyer's agent?

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I am a first time home buyer and I have been looking for a property for the last 3-4 months.

First, the Real Estate business can be extremely shady so I believe you should ask friends and family members if they know any Real Estate Agents. To me, if a friend or family member vouches for them, that really helps weed out the bad ones.

Second, I believe that you have to go with your gut instinct. When I started casually looking back in October, I was in contact with about 5 Real Estate Agents but I never really clicked with any of them. I happened upon my Real Estate Agent by accident as I was calling about a property I was interested in, the listing agent wasnt available and the Real Estate Agency put my eventual agent on the phone. John was very friendly, had alot of energy and was very knowledgable about Real Estate. Also, one of my big pet peeves is that the Real Estate Agent has to make his living selling houses. IMO, there is too much money involved in this for you to go with someone that only does this part time.

Third, what I would do is go to realestate.com, trulia.com and zillow.com and look up houses while I was at work. I would then send John those MLS numbers and he would look them up in their system called NTREIS. John would also be looking up houses based upon my criteria and together, this how we would try to find a house. We have seen about 50 houses and have been out as late as 11 PM on Weekdays looking and he has never got an attitude with me about looking at so many houses, never gets mad when I call him and ask him questions and in fact, he encourages all of these things.

Again, there is too much money involved in this transaction. If you have doubts about the competence or integrity of your Real Estate Agent, please please find another one.

Remember it is YOUR money being spent, the Real Estate Agent's job is to help you try to spend that money on a house that has the criteria you are looking for.

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Forgot to mention, I did alot of leg work on my own and my Real Estate Agent appreciated that as he was very busy and couldn't access the internet to look things up for me. I would call listing agents all of the time and ask them all kinds of "Non-Monetary" questions such as who is the builder, is there a sprinkler system etc etc. When I did this, I always made sure to let the listing agent know I had a Real Estate Agent already and I would never ever discuss money.

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A buyer's agent should be working in the buyer's best interests, period. If you want to make an offer he/she should offer to look at/research the property, then advise you, and write the offer for you based on their expertise. A badly written offer can get a new buyer stuck in a contract that disadvantages them in some way. How are you supposed to know what contingencies and stipulations to include?

In this market any agent should be aggressively working on your behalf,

Your current agent is not the right one for you. Did you sign a buyers agent contract? If so, figure out how to get out of it. Ask friends and family for referrals, call around and meet with different agents until you find one you click with.

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Your current agent is not the right one for you. Did you sign a buyers agent contract? If so, figure out how to get out of it. Ask friends and family for referrals, call around and meet with different agents until you find one you click with.

I have not signed anything with any agent. Thank God! I've already dumped him.

Maikeru-sama: You agent sounds awesome! Yes, I've been doing a LOT of legwork, which I don't mind. I've had another agent show me a few houses last week. I knew more about 3/4 of the homes than she did because of all the research I have done.

What bothered me about the outing is that I told her to only show me properties that she (and family) would live in. 3/4 of the homes she showed me were dumps that had been on the market for eons. After wasting both of our time, she said "now she has a better idea of what I am looking for." Sheesh! I guess that translates to "ok, I see you are not desperate.":-(

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Well, "dump" is subjective. Some require turnkey, and some prefer some fixer-upper opportunity if the bones are good, some people can't look past the current furnishings, decor and paint to envision what it might look like with their own stuff in it (so many sellers don't realize this and so don't do any staging).

That being said, if you aren't clicking with this agent either, try another one.

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Some will remember the wonderful feelings i have towards the "Buyers Agent" we used! SHADY little old lady! It even continued after we moved in, so I will never use a Realtor again while looking for a home. I am guessing the majority of Realtors are shady at best lol! She lied to us and mislead us it was bad bad bad, but once i threatened to go to her Broker and the Board of Realty for her unethical behavior, only then did she Streighten up but then we could not trust her!

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I have not signed anything with any agent. Thank God! I've already dumped him.

Maikeru-sama: You agent sounds awesome! Yes, I've been doing a LOT of legwork, which I don't mind. I've had another agent show me a few houses last week. I knew more about 3/4 of the homes than she did because of all the research I have done.

What bothered me about the outing is that I told her to only show me properties that she (and family) would live in. 3/4 of the homes she showed me were dumps that had been on the market for eons. After wasting both of our time, she said "now she has a better idea of what I am looking for." Sheesh! I guess that translates to "ok, I see you are not desperate.":-(

You want to be more specific and come up with a list of things that would be deal breakers. My criteria was:

1) No Pool

2) One Story

3) Rear Entry

4) I didn't want to share a fence with my neighbors on either side

5) I didnt want to buy from certain builders

But as I stated, if you have any doubts about your Real Estate Agent, listen to that inner voice and get you another one.

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Some will remember the wonderful feelings i have towards the "Buyers Agent" we used! SHADY little old lady! It even continued after we moved in, so I will never use a Realtor again while looking for a home. I am guessing the majority of Realtors are shady at best lol! She lied to us and mislead us it was bad bad bad, but once i threatened to go to her Broker and the Board of Realty for her unethical behavior, only then did she Streighten up but then we could not trust her!

Care to offer any details, I would be interested in knowing.

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You want to be more specific and come up with a list of things that would be deal breakers.

Main thing is "no fixer upper.'

ALVA: That's what I mean when I say "dump" -- they were fixer uppers and I specifically requested no fixer uppers.

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SoFaithful- I'd start with friends and family and ask for referrals of a great realtor. There are awful realtors and there are great realtors. A good realtor knows the area well. In my area (Philly), you can go two blocks and the prices of a comparable home is chopped in half. Make sure your realtor knows the area really well. It matters. Your realtor should really KNOW you and what YOU are exactly looking for. Additionally, as a buying agent in this environment, your realtor needs to be an aggressive advocate. My realtor fielded a phone call from me after I received a less than stellar home inspection report, called the selling broker and informed them we're walking if we don't get an additional $8000 credit at closing. The selling realtor told her to f*ck off (he actually said this to her!), in which she laughed and said "take it or leave it". The selling agent then paid me $8000 out of his commission at closing. You need a realtor who is a not a people pleaser but will advocate for you to get you the best deal you can get. Now is the time to have the guts to put in deeply discounted offers and negotiate hard.

When I was looking at homes last month, this same realtor was fielding phone calls from me at 6:30am and at 10pm. When I called, she answered. There were days when she would put me on hold while she was picking her kids up from daycare.

This is what I would expect. If you have to interview a half dozen realtors, then so be it.

Good luck!

Edited by jq26
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SoFaithful- I'd start with friends and family and ask for referrals of a great realtor. There are awful realtors and there are great realtors. A good realtor knows the area well. In my area (Philly), you can go two blocks and the prices of a comparable home is chopped in half. Make sure your realtor knows the area really well. It matters. Your realtor should really KNOW you and what YOU are exactly looking for. Additionally, as a buying agent in this environment, your realtor needs to be an aggressive advocate. My realtor fielded a phone call from me after I received a less than stellar home inspection report, called the selling broker and informed them we're walking if we don't get an additional $8000 credit at closing. The selling realtor told her to f*ck off (he actually said this to her!), in which she laughed and said "take it or leave it". The selling agent then paid me $8000 out of his commission at closing. You need a realtor who is a not a people pleaser but will advocate for you to get you the best deal you can get. Now is the time to have the guts to put in deeply discounted offers and negotiate hard.

When I was looking at homes last month, this same realtor was fielding phone calls from me at 6:30am and at 10pm. When I called, she answered. There were days when she would put me on hold while she was picking her kids up from daycare.

This is what I would expect. If you have to interview a half dozen realtors, then so be it.

Good luck!

This is exactly why you hire a realtor - not to fill out forms.

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... Additionally, as a buying agent in this environment, your realtor needs to be an aggressive advocate ... You need a realtor who is a not a people pleaser but will advocate for you to get you the best deal you can get. Now is the time to have the guts to put in deeply discounted offers and negotiate hard ...

Yes! This is exactly how I think an agent should function! You are very lucky to have found someone with the audacity to be unapologetically bold.

... If you have to interview a half dozen realtors, then so be it ...

I think it might come to that. My latest realtor has been unreachable for the last few days. Family emergency.

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