Home Buying in Boston>Question Details

Mary, Home Buyer in

Am I expecting too much from my agent?

Asked by Mary, Thu May 1, 2008

I'm looking to buy an condo and all my agent does is send my MLS listings that I can easily obtain myself. Hs rather young and seems rather inexperience and seems intimidated by an aggressive selling agent. Many times I have obtained information regarding recent sale of surronding units, etc myself that he couldn't provide when asked. Granted we get along and he's rather patient and does not push us to buy what we don't want but I'm thinking what is his real contribution in this process? I have heard that he is not an aggressive negotiator as well but just a "nice" guy to work with. I mean what should I be expecting from him?

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Hi Mary - It sounds like your agent is not doing everything that you expect of him. However, it may be tough to meet your expectations if he doesn't know what they are. Before moving on, try having a frank conversation and let him know what your information needs are. Sometimes it is just a style difference, but if you let him know, he may step up to the plate.
It is possible to be effective without being adversarial. At the end of the day, the negotiation power is in your hands, not the agents. Especially if you yourself have an aggressive style, the nice guy may be a better front man.
I'm just saying give him the courtesy of some direct talk first, and then if you are still dissatisfied, move on.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 1, 2008
Hi Mary,

It sounds like your agent is new to the business. When you get to the point when you are ready to put in an offer.........ask him to have the most aggressive agent in his office to guide him..
Web Reference: http://suekeenan.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 24, 2008
Great input here. If "all my agent does is send my [sic] MLS listings that I can easily obtain myself." Is a completely true statement, then your answer is a resounding NO, you are not asking too much. If there is more to what he is doing than presented, then the answer may change. I don't believe that you are asking too much unless your expectations with regard to your purchase are unreasonable. If that were the case you agent should have already told you what is unreasonable about your expectations.

Communication is always the best first step. Asking questions is my method of choice for understanding what a buyer wants. The method is to "go three deep". Ask questions about the answer to my questions. The selection process can become difficult when the buyer's wants evolve through the process. However, I have found that these changes are not unusual. Your agent should be learning as you move through the process. I often have buyers ask me about properties they have "found" that I did not present. Sometimes it is because I already know about the property and for one or more reasons have dismissed it as not suitable. I then attempt to communicate why I did not present the property. Sometimes it is because it does not fit into the selection criteria that the buyer has insisted upon. I point out why it does not fit my understanding of their wants and needs to ascertain what I need to change to get in line with their wants and needs or revise our list. I always ask a buyer for a preliminary list of "Gota have, Negotiables, and Deal Killers". We will then periodically revisit this list to clearify changes or my perception of changes in direction.

Before your frank discussion with your agent, ask yourself, "Are the properties I am presenting to my agent that he has not offered for my consideration good fits with my communicated wants and needs?" "Have my guidlines for wants and needs changed from what I started with?" "Have I communicated these changes?" "Has my agent grasped these changes in wants and needs, is his understanding being reflected in the properties he is now presenting?" This will help you clear up in your own mind what the answer is to your question.

Unlike Jon, I am a stealth Nice Guy. (It just doesn't show)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 10, 2008
In a buyer's market, you need information not aggressiveness. Lots of property available to view right now. I would want someone patient, unlike 5 years ago. Bid only what you are comfortable with. Just pull up Zillow.com or similar to find recent sales in the area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 5, 2008
Good Afternoon,
Seeing that you're "paying" him to do a service for you, No, i don't think you're expecting too much from him.. He should be 100% intune with your needs, wants, likes, and dislikes, and should call you from time to time to make sure that he's working in YOUR favor. Remeber, YOU'RE PAYING HIM, and he has to hold up on his end of the bargain. If you're ready to buy, he should be taking you out on a regular basis to look at properties, especially so he can get a better feel for what you really like. There ARE other ways to find properties besides the MLS, he just needs to do some homework, and find other outlets besides the MLS to find you homes (ie newspapers, different websites, for sale by owners, local city papers). As another person said, an aggressive agent is sometimes best, because they follow up, and fight for their clients. Findhomes.com, myfoxboston.com., are 2 websites that have listings.
I hope i've helped, take care,
Shavonne Overton
(617) 296-7730
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 10, 2008
Not sure where in the process you are. Do you look at properties with him? If so he should have an idea of what you want and therefore contact you when an appropriate property comes on the market. A strong negotiator is an important trait in a buyer's agent.
Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 1, 2008
A buyer needs the following from a buyers agent:

Effective consultant/educator
Someone great at market data analysis (this includes sold comps, absorption rates, etc)
Someone in tune with local market trends
A savvy expert negotiator
Someone who can identify property positives and faults

When it comes down to it your relationship with your agent is all business. It is great - and important - that you get along with the agent as purchasing a home is a huge investment and to some degree emotional, but what is really critical is that you work with someone who is meeting all of the above needs and who is working (incentivised) to get you the lowest and best price possible on a home.

Belinda is right, if you didn't sign a contract you are not legally obligated to work with that agent and i suggest if that is the case you consider looking into a new buyers agent.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 1, 2008
Hi Mary,
The key is communication.Ask him what is he going to do for you. Tell him what you would like for him to do for you. Who told you that he was not good at negotiations? Any realtor worth their salt will certainly check comps before making an offer in your behalf. By the way , did you sign a contract with him?. If you did not,you have no legal obligation to stay with him.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 1, 2008
The internet, and ease of access to information makes it difficult for us agents to show a web-savvy buyer something they already haven't seen online.... so at that point I think you're expecting too much of your agent. But other than that, I think your expectations are normal and valid.

Hey... I'm a nice guy too :-D (
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 1, 2008
You really answered your own question in the way you asked for our opinion.If you are obtaining information before the agent gets the information,what does that tell you?I believe that you need a new agent with more experience and knowledge.Negotiations are a key part of closing a sale.Keep on expecting more from everyone!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 1, 2008
The question is, what do you want your agent to do that he is not doing? Are yall in negotiation processes? IF you feel he is not representing you fully, tell him that. Many times agents do not realize what they are not doing, and a brief conversation will help out a lot.

Hunter Jackson
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 1, 2008
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