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Thread: Real estate agents: What should I expect?

  1. #11
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenngal View Post
    Realtor.com
    Realtor.com is fed directly from MLS data. In that regard it has a leg up on the other websites.

  2. #12
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    The agent's value is in negotiating the ins and outs of the process--not necessarily researching the BEST house for you. I would definitely take part in that aspect of home-buying.

    I found our agent helpful in asking the right questions, guiding the inspection, helping pick the right offer, being the go-between, answering questions about the community.

    But we often were the ones to say to her, "We like this house. Can you please set up a meeting." In fact, we were the ones who found the house we're in up in VT. I don't think she ever would have picked it for us. I frankly don't think she "read" me well in terms of what I was looking for, but for everything else, she was great.

    As far as buyer's/seller's agents... when we were selling BILs house, we hired an agent, and we negotiated a lower commission, with an even lower commission if she actually sold the house, too. We thought that was a good thing, but it was a mistake. Not only was she our listing agent, she sold the house, and we were never comfortable that she wasn't acting in the best interest of the buyer over us. We may have been paranoid, but honestly, as the Bible says, "You can't serve two masters."
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  3. #13
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    I have only bought one house so don't have a lot of experience negotiating through the process of bidding, closing, home inspections, other complicated details, and general advice. That was where I found a realtor helpful. Generally speaking, I've found aggressive realtors annoying, but there is a difference between aggressive and hard working. My realtor took me on about 30 walk thoughs before I found the right one. Once i found a realtor I was comfortable working with, I did not have any regrets about signing a buyer's agent contract. I sold my parents house as part of their estate to an interested person before it went on the market, but used a lawyer for all the paper work. It can save a lot of money if you can find a way around realtor fees.

  4. #14
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    I used a buyer's agent and reconmend that.

  5. #15
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    I used a buyer's agent and reconmend that.
    Frankly, I'm not completely clear on what a "buyer's agent" is. Can't any realtor be a listing agent (seller's agent) OR a buyer's agent depending upon who hires them?
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  6. #16
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    Some exclusively work for buyers, some will do either.

  7. #17
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    I would ask the agent what you should expect of her/him?

    IMO, the agent previews anything they want to show you to see how closely it meets your requests. Then they take you to see them all.

    IE: 3bed/2 bath, 2c garage, 20min yard, no fixer upper projects within 15 minutes of downtown.

    That is the list we gave our agent. He called us 2 weeks later and lined up 6. we spent 2h looking at them all and made an offer on #6 the next day. It just so happens #6 was a listing of his which he disclosed to us when we finished looking at #5. So we came here with the knowledge that he could NOT negotiate for us but only carry offers and answer questions.

  8. #18
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    As far as buyer's/seller's agents... when we were selling BILs house, we hired an agent, and we negotiated a lower commission, with an even lower commission if she actually sold the house, too. We thought that was a good thing, but it was a mistake. Not only was she our listing agent, she sold the house, and we were never comfortable that she wasn't acting in the best interest of the buyer over us. We may have been paranoid, but honestly, as the Bible says, "You can't serve two masters."
    In Minnesota, if the agents on the seller's side and the buyer's side represent the same RE broker (think: company), the situation is called "double agency". Home buyers and sellers retaining an RE agent have to sign a form indicating that they know this can happen and that what they say to their buying-side agent could be shared with the selling-side agent (which generally does not serve the buyer). That's one reason why hiring an independent buyer's agent is helpful because double agency cannot then happen.
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  9. #19
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    I devise the process of buying a house into stages.

    Stage One: Define the radius of your search ( a specific geographic area, typically bounded by streets on a map).


    Stage 2: Define your requirements, such as square feet, number of bedrooms, solar orientation, heating fuel, etc.)


    Stage 4: study the market (I used Zillow and Trulia): what have houses sold for in the area, fitting your requirements? Based on this, you can estimate comparable selling price per square feet, which would imply a final target buying price, assuming your initial offer will be lower.


    Stage 5: Retain a lawyer to represent your interests in the transaction. (Realtors are more than willing to write an offer, but their duty is to the seller. I prefer to have an experienced lawyer whose sole duty is to me.)


    Stage 6: Inspect properties. I arrange with each selling agent to show. Last time we moved, I believe we looked at 8 different properties, shown by 8 agents, before we found one that had everything we wanted. The role of the agent, thus, was to enable our access as potential buyers and to answer questions that came up on our inspection.


    Stage 7: Offer and acceptance. Offer was subject to inspection by an independent contractor and was prepared by buyer's lawyer. In our case it was a cash transaction, and the lawyer handled the cash, dispersing it when all conditions were satisfied.

  10. #20
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    If you use a buyer’s agent their duty is to you not the seller and no reason to pay a lawyer. If they are not finding you homes to see they are not doing their job.

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