Very often the 'arrangement' at the beginning of the home buying experience has become obsolete due to changes in the situation of the buyer, agent or market. Good communications are essential.
As Bill pointed out, what you are attempting to buy is important to know. As others pointed out, new construction is difficult to get discounted but you can usually get an upgrade negotiated. If past efforts to purchase demonstrated a lack of flexibility on your part (i.e. unwilling to negotiate) the agents exasperation could be understood. There is just so much we don't know.
Now, lets assume (always dangerous) you were previously looking at resales of occupied homes. In order for you to see these homes a list must be created and a schedule roughed out. The agent then must call as dictated by the hidden instructions to schedule the showing. Often this involves you agent calling the listing agent who will ask, "ARe your buyesr pre-approaved to purchase at this level? Do you have the document in hand?" Your agent may need to confirm any requirements you have demanded. That agent then calls the occupant to confirm the schedule for showing. The occupant calls the listing agent back to say...bad time, good time, no time, anytime. The agent calls your agent who then marks it as a confirmed show. This is repeated with every house.
Sometimes the agent calls back..many times they do not and your agent needs to hunt them down. There's much more involved that 'opening the door.' If your agent NEVER said "Sorry I couldn't show you this house because the listing agent never called back." you can be certain she pursued scheduling these showings with great passion
Now, whose agenda or needs changed in the equation? Yours? Your agents?
What I find revealing is your last sentence, "We've made several offers on home that have been sitting for a while and she's always pressured us to get as close..."
This suggests to me you are not following your agents guidance and followed your agenda. The several offers you have made PREDICTABLY failed to get you into a home. You apparently are not listening to your agent, very likely you are defying what the MARKET is dictating that you need to do....and your conclusion is 'Fire the agent.!" And look at all the agents who lined up to pile onto that conclusion. Sigh...
There is so much we do not know.
But during hot markets agents get into this very bad habit because homes sell too quickly to preview them. They assume that buyers understand that finding a home is not that complicated, you could train a dog to do it.
Builders who sell new homes, do not want to drop their price because when they drop the price on one, the price on all other homes they have go down as well, you really have to ask for free upgrades.
I know it seems frustrating that your Realtor doesn't seem to be fighting for you. Unfortunately most buyers don't understand how important a good agent is until is too late.
Your Realtor and their relationship with the sales reps can make a difference in getting the price a bit lower or more upgrades in the home. It also depends on the builder. Some in fact will not budge on price but having an aggressive agent on your side can possibly get you a bit farther in the negotiation process.
Make sure you do a home inspection and don't be afraid to ask for things to be fixed. The sub-contractor may try and fight you on it but some builders may go the distance to make you happy.
Also if you are using their in house lending make sure their rate is competitive. Sometimes I have found that they are not so I fight for my client with comparable lenders with better terms to present to the in house lender and get the rate down.
I wish you luck.
The agent's position may be more understanding if the subject property was a "foreclosure" and you were dealing with a bank as the seller. In these cases, agents are caught between the seller that has an established price and multiple interest from buyers. When this happens, and it often does, agents find themselves in the role of being the bearer of bad news........
Whether or not it's time to part ways with your agent is another issue...one that only you can determine.
your agent should have given you that heads-up about new construction and developments, and then you wouldn't have felt like such a doofus, staring at a Cheshire Cat.
Please feel free to contact me for a interview or just to answer any questions you may have
Let me say this as respectfully as I can:
Run away from this agent as fast as you can and keep running until you get to my office on Lyons and Wiley Cyn :)
Seriously, there are many jobs that a true buyer's agent needs to perform to get a positive result for their client. It sounds to me like your agent is not doing any of them or even trying. Some agents don't realize that the buyer is their BOSS and we work for YOU! I will list the jobs that I perform for my clients below, and you should be able to expect this service from any of us.
1) LISTEN to your buyer's needs and preferences for home size, condition, price, amenities and location to establish a sound search criteria.
2) Select and preview the homes that match buyer's criteria to ensure that the showing appointments with buyer only include homes that are possibly of interest to buyer. This is one that is rarely done by agents, as I get looks of shock from sellers when I go to preview homes for my buyers. They say, "Wow you are the only one that previewed first". After all, this investment of my time minimizes a waste of your time. While you are out working, I should be out working FOR YOU.
3) Once the right home is found, the buyer's agent should provide a Comparable Market Analysis for the subject property while also calling the listing agent to get as much info as possible on the sellers situation. That way, the buyer and agent will have the same information on the property's market value, and a true discussion can happen that results in an offer that is satisfactory to you and the seller. If there are multiple offers, the chances of a deal in your favor along are less likely. However, if you are the only offer, negotiating techniques on the part of your agent are still important. In addition, it is important for your agent to have a good standing in the marketplace, as listing agents advise clients sometimes based on their experiences with agents, positive or otherwise. If your agent does not treat you in a valuable way, what makes you think they work hard with other agents during the escrow?
4) This is only the beginning, since the buyer's agent job continues in full force once the escrow opens. However, the information above should be enough to show you that a change is required for you to truly take advantage of this BUYERS MARKET.
I would be happy to meet with you at your convenience to show why I would be a valuable asset in your home search. Regardless of your decision, I hope your search is successful.
24106 Lyons Ave.
Newhall, CA, 91321
"Finding the Home of Your Dreams With a Payment That Won't Give You Nightmares"
The knowledge, skills and communication of agents at all levels of the real estate business vary greatly.
The answer to your question is yes, you might need a new agent. For specific reasons.
1. It sounds like you were not property prepared for buying a home in this market. There are 6 different seller's in this marketplace and they all have different rules. It sounds like you need more info to make a better decsision.
2. The job of representing a buyer is different today. Most of the homes for sale are on the internet. The better homes sometimes don't make it to the internet before they are sold. A buyer's agent must do more than watch the internet or MLS for their clients in this market. It's important that your agent do more than show you houses that show up on the internet.
3. Making offers and not getting them accpeted is a sign your offers are not structured properly (based on the type of sellers) and posistioned to get your offer accepted, at the best price possible for this market.
For these and many other reasons, you may want to consider talking with another Real Estate Agent. It will be worth you time to get more information now, before you waste more time and loose out on the home you really want to live in.
Obvioulsy, I would like the opprotunity to ask some questions, answer some of yours, and help you understand how to win the game we call buying a home.
No, all agents/brokers don't work this way. Unfortunately new construction developments usually require registering with an agent so if you did that here there might be an issue using a new agent. I would tell her that you have decided to get alternate representation and have them sign off on any commission for this property in writing if you did register.
Also, most new developments try to hold firm on price- especially at the beginning - because they are setting the bar for future offers. However, you can often get a lot of other concessions such as the following:
upgrades on finishes/flooring/fixtures/appliances, etc...
Paid HOA dues for up to 1 year (depending on lender)
Credits for closing costs
These items can amount to a lot of money which is good for you, and the price shows as asking price, which is good for them.
You also figured right - where an excellent agent/broker shows their expertise is once a property is targeted.
And you are right about something else. If you are sitting with your agent and you are the best negotiator in the room you need someone else.
Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker