Financing in Chicago>Question Details

Kevin Pray, Home Buyer in Chicago, IL

Is it completely unrealistic to expect a buyer's agent to call the bank and require a certain level of service, timeliness, deadlines etc?

Asked by Kevin Pray, Chicago, IL Sun Jul 21, 2013

We just bought our first condo after a year and a half of trying. Each offer we put in took months and months to hear a "maybe" from the bank. This approval still took three months, and probably would have taken longer if I hadn't threatened to pull the offer if our agent couldn't get it done soon.

So my question is, the next time we go real estate shopping, is it reasonable to audition a dozen or so agents, by telling them up front that we fully expect them to actually BE an "agent on our behalf", that is, to call the bank and threaten (yes, threaten) to go through another lender if they can't meet a certain level of service, timeliness etc? My thinking is, there are lots of potential lenders, why should we bend over and grab our ankles in order to give them our money? Am I being completely unrealistic?

Help the community by answering this question:


You should NEVER, EVER do a SHORTSALE!!!
Please take the word "shortsale" out of your vocabulary.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 21, 2013
It is not clear what the issues were so cannot really answer, but you can always interview many agents.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 21, 2013
I'm not sure why your buyers agent was talking to the bank. The bank should be in direct communication with you - the BUYER. Adding a middle man will only complicate and slow down the process. That said, if I'm not seeing the process occurring on schedule, you can bet I am in regular communication with both the buyer and his/her bank.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 21, 2013
Thats good to hear, and I'll look for an agent with your attitude next time. I tried asking my agent if there was a number I could call I speak to the bank itself, and while he didn't exactly say no, I did get a diverting answer
Flag Sun Jul 21, 2013
If you are just buying a regular condo that is not a short sale and it takes 3 months to get answers from the bank, then don't ever use that bank again. Most loan go from start to finish in 45-60 days. Maybe a mortgage broker would have been a better choice.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 21, 2013

Who is your issue with? Is it your lender? Was that lender recommended by your agent? Is your issue with the banks that own troubled assets? Or are you trying to buy short sales that the lender may not want to take a loss on?

Best regards,

Ivan Sagel
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 29, 2013
It sounds like you want a deal on a property by chasing short sales. Generally, there is nothing quick and easy about a short sale. This isn't a normal real estate "shopping" experience. If you want an agent to work hard for you and be an "agent on your behalf," you might want to look at properties that are readily available and not tied up with the bank. Asking a dozen agents to help you in not reasonable or realistic. If your problem is with lenders financing YOUR loan, then find another one. There are good ones out there, as noted below. The agents and brokers aren't your problem; the process is.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 22, 2013
Hi Kevin,

Your agents "job" is to advocate on your behalf by getting you the best deal & negotiate with the sellers agent, help you with resources, i.e. home inspectors, lenders, attorney, etc....

Your lenders job is to keep you informed and provide you with the best rate & loan product available to you based on your qualifications.

You are directing your frustration at the wrong person.

As a borrower you can "shop around" for the best lender and customer service provided. You are allowed to have your credit ran 3x within a 30 day period and not have your credit affected with hard hits each time.

Your agent can assist by establishing a good rapport with your lender and follow up with occasional calls/emails to check on status. Work with the lender your Realtor recommended, they usually have a relationship and the sharing of information, provided you grant permission, is more readily available. Remember, the lender cannot share your confidential financials or information pertaining to.

Finally, yes of course, interview a few agents (3 is what I recommend) a dozen is an over kill and can, and more than likely will, end up in confusion.

Hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 22, 2013
Sorry,the answer is NO. It sounds like you are putting in offers on short sales/Bank owned, and if that is the case, the bank moves as quickly or slowly as it wants, and the agent has NO pull whatsoever in the process.

If you want to go ahead and threaten the bank, you can, but trust me they will not move any faster, in fact they may even feel offended and really keep you waiting.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 22, 2013
Hi Kevin,

I understand your frustration. If you were using a buyers agent to help you he or she is limited to what they can do. Bank owned properties often end up with many bids or it takes time for the banks to respond. Sometimes it is the fault of the listing agent not keeping in constant contact with the bank. So the issue is the listing side not your agent.

You definitely want to make sure in these situation you are working with a buyers broker that keeps you in the loop and can show you the communication with the other side.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 22, 2013
I think realistic is the key here. Buyers should expect a good level of service from their agent, but they also need to understand the role of the agent. They can help with a lender, but obtaining a loan is your role - the buyer. There are certain rules with lending that your personal information can not be provided unless you give consent to agent involvement. And if you go out and get a mortgage lender without your agent, they will have less pull. But there are many factors involved there and only so much "yelling" has any effect.

As far as the offers, welcome to the land of distressed properties. Banks have their own timetable and you are at their mercy. Even the best agents can only bug them and sometimes that has the opposite effect.

If you want to deal with distressed properties, you will wait. It is nerve wracking, but hopefully your next purchase will be in a different market climate. You can certainly interview agents before you choose one and should, but you should also have the realistic expectations of what to expect when buying.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 22, 2013
No way does that happen with Guaranteed Rate. Both you and your agent are kept up to date on progress and process of your loan. Next time try JD Cortese, 773.290.0367.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 21, 2013
Your Realtor is not the one driving the bus when it comes to you obtaining a loan, it is your Loan Officer. The Loan Officer should be able to give you an indication as to what stage your loan is in during the process.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 21, 2013
When getting a mortgage a bank should be able to close a conventional loan in 30 days and fha/va etc in 45 days. It is unreasonable for the agent to call because you as the buyer are hiring that loan officer to complete the loan. The bank can not disclose certain things even to your agent. If you are buying a short sale, it could take 30 days to 6 months to get an answer, the bank works at their own pace and no threat from any buyer will make them work faster, Stay away form short sales if you want a faster answer,.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 21, 2013
It sounds as though you were doing a short sale. There is nothing your agent can do to help quicken the process. Also, threatening anyone, ever, is not only unprofessional, but it doesn't get you anywhere.

If you do not want the headaches, buy a regular sale property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 21, 2013
It's always best to get a recommendation from your agent. They will most likely already have a banker that is very pro-active and of the best service.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 21, 2013
1) The banks DO NOT CARE!!! The employees rotate out so fast that they cannot get a grip on responses
2) Your agent may have done everything they could in the face of a non-responsive bank, or she could have been new to the bank run around and gotten frustrated.
3) Interview 3-4 agents that have been recommended to you by people you respect.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 21, 2013
There are a number of departments within a bank that is doing a short sale. There's the foreclosure department with various departments trying to foreclose the mortgage. Then there's the short sale department that is trying to do a short sale of the loan. Neither department communicates very well. They all have other departments to answer to including the investors of the loan. It takes time. Threatening any of them will not help your loan to go through quicker. Patience is the name of the game with short sales. Regular loans never take months for a "maybe", so I'd like to assume you meant short sale purchase, correct???
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 21, 2013
Actually no, this purchase was not a short sale. We were ORIGINALLY putting in short-sale offers, but gave up on those after multiple rejected offers. This property was not distressed in any way.
Flag Sun Jul 21, 2013
Your diatribe is confusing. Were you waiting for a loan approval from a lender or were you waiting for a bank to make a decision on an offer from you in a short sale? In neither instance does your agent have much influence. Sounds like the biggest mistake your agent made was not explaining this to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 21, 2013
We were waiting for final loan approval. Not a short sale. Our main frustration was the ridiculous documentation level (asking for bank statements that were six months old), and a complete unwillingness on the bank's part to give us any idea how long their process takes. The first offer we made on this place, while still living in a nearby rental, we almost wound up homeless as we got near the end of our lease, with no decision from the bank in sight. Fortunately the seller was also about to be in a bind, if we'd had to back out, so she agreed to rent to us while the building replenished its reserves. We were fortunate that the rental situation benefitted both us and the seller, or I can't imagine anyone being able to hang around the 3 months it took to get the final offer done.
Flag Sun Jul 21, 2013
You said it took months to get an answer from a bank. It sounds like you are buying a short sale and if so you HAVE TO expect frustration and a lack of answers. Banks don't give answers quickly and you can't bully them or threaten them, they just ignore that silliness. The fact they answered your agent was probably more coincidental than because he was threatening them in any way. Buying short sales are always long and always frustrating, for both you and all agents involved.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 21, 2013
No short sale on this property, although we were initially shopping for short-sales. We put in 3-4 offers on some shorts, and were rejected from each for various problems with the property, or counterbids. There was no problem with this property at the time we put in our bid. That said, the first offer took so long that the condo assoc started a construction project, which depleted the reserves (this was after the offer had been in the bank's hands for months already). The bank killed that deal, and we made another offer 8 months later when the reserves were replenished (we were in the unit, renting from the seller at the time, which the bank seemed to hate). The second offer still took 3 months, and probably would have taken longer if I hadn't pushed our agent hard. Thank you for the above answer though, confirming I'm not crazy!
Flag Sun Jul 21, 2013
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