Home Buying in Phoenix>Question Details

Danielle, Home Buyer in Phoenix, AZ

Does any one else have bad luck with real estate agents?

Asked by Danielle, Phoenix, AZ Wed Feb 3, 2010

My boyfriend and I are looking to find a house in the Phoenix Metro area. We are on our second real estate agent. Our first seemed to lack knowledge about various aspects of the industry. The agent we are with now only deals with bank owned properties and wants us to limit our search to just a couple of zip codes. She also keeps choosing homes for us that are at the top of what we qualified for with our mortgage broker opposed to the maximum purchase price we told her we were comfortable with paying. We are feeling very discouraged because we feel that we are very limited with our possibilities with this agent. We are already pre-qualified and do not want to go through that process again if we can all avoid it. Both agents were referred to us by family and friends.
Does anyone have any suggestions on what we can tell our agent to make her get the picture or even in finding a good agent that will work for us and will stay within the parameters we set?

Help the community by answering this question:


Since both agents were referred to you by family and friends--one could be lead to believe that you are on the shy side and not speaking up, for fear of hurting the persons who gave you the referrals--Communication is key--make sure your agent is aware of all your wants and needs and refuse to look at anything above your budget; ask for listings to be e-mailed to you prior to visiting the properties --explain to your agent one last time exactly what you have in mind--if he/she can't produce, move on--call a few realty offices, interview as many agents as needed and choose the one you like best.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 3, 2010
My boyfriend and I were in a similar situation a year and a half ago when we purchased our first home. We actually went through two different agents that didn't listen to us and showed us bank-owned garbage and listings out of our price range before we found the knowledgeable Realtors that helped us seal the deal on a new construction that is now our home. Trust your gut--if you know something's not clicking, don't turn a blind eye to it--the purchase you are about to make is a rather large one. Even if the agents were referred by family and friends, remember, it's your purchase, not theirs. You have to feel comfortable first and foremost--you will know when you find an agent that is right for you. Don't stop until you do.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 8, 2010
Not every agent is a good fit with every buyer. Every single one of us lacks knowledge about various aspects of the industry, so if that's a crime, well, good luck prosecuting us.

You have an agent that only deals with bank-owned properties, isn't that like Taylor Swift having an agent that only does book deals?

Ultimately, the agent has no legal or ethical responsibility to be the right agent for you; you have the responsibility of finding the right agent. And the way to do that is to go out and interview some.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 6, 2010
If you think that your agent doesn't do good job fire him/her and interview other agents. Unfortunately some agents act as car salesman, they just want you to sign the papers and get over with it.
If you need some help with agent recommendations in your town I'll do my best recomend one.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 5, 2010
If she wants to limit your search, have you asked why? But realize, in this market most properties are short sales or bank owned right now! There are very few "normal" sales, and I would pick a bank owned over a short sale as well. Just give her the top price you are comfortable with and explain that you don't want to go over that...but for example, if you told me your top was $200K...I would include searches up to around $215K with the idea that if they have been on the market awhile, you could buy it for $200K. Maybe that is what she is doing as well. If you signed a buyer broker agreement, they are easily cancelled and you can move on if you feel she won't keep within your parameters. You won't have to re pre-qualify...however, many bank owned properties require you to prequalify with their lenders. Call me if you would like to discuss it further!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 3, 2010
Reading your experience is disheartening. Viewing properties at open houses will introduce you to different agents and give you a sense of who may suit your personalities and goals. Once you've chosen an agent, I'd recommend setting time to meet with he/she to clarify your needs and expectations. Prior to your meeting, bring a list of questions you may have, a list of properties you've seen online or at open houses that will educate the agent to the location, type of property, wish-list items desired in a property and your desired price range with respect to your pre-qualification. Prior to signing a buyer agency contract, view a home or two with the agent to determine if you're all comfortable with eachother and on the same page. Open communication is key. You're facing a huge decision and investment. Your due diligence will be your best guide to an optimal relationship with a realtor. Best of luck with your search
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 9, 2010
Danielle I am a NC Broker but I own in other states. I can not imagine acting in this manner.Even in my office of 30 brokers I know none that would behave this way. We prequalify and I always ask how much of a payment my clients want to take on and we go from there. My suggestion is look for those that are affiliates of reputable companies like coldwell banker or similar large companies that ask for client feedback that. have good reputations.If you have a lender that you know well they can also recommend. Then interview them. Honestly I work with buyers showing them homes before they ever sign a buyer agency contract with me. It is important to me to feel I have gained their trust and they have chosen to work with me.I hope this is helpful.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 9, 2010
Show her this question you have written on Trulia. That may help her get the picture. But, really, finding a Realtor that gets you often comes from personal referrals. Ask your friends and coworkers who they would recommend. I think working with an agent is all about personal relationships. This is a huge purchase and you need someone who you click with. Good luck!
Web Reference: http://realaz.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 9, 2010
Danielle... did you think your question would inspire so many responses? I hope you've been helped by the many thoughts and observations.
Web Reference: http://www.urbanteamaz.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 5, 2010
I truly hope you are right Francine and it is all a matter of miscommunication or just an incorrect statement. However the Realtor's MLS search is what we use, which is considerably diffent to the IDX MLS search (or portal, etc) that we provide our clients.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 5, 2010
Jeremy has not replied about the MLS quote...however, I sometimes refer to customer portals as a "link to my MLS"...I'm sure he is talking about portals or automatic emails...not actually giving out his password and access!
Hopefully anyway!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 5, 2010
I just want to second Jay's comment below regarding agents that violate the rules. It is precisely those agents the ones that give a bad name to the rest. If they do not respect their own profession, you bet they will not respect their clients either. What they do is just for their own benefit with no regards of others.

Part of the confidential information being provided is the lockbox codes (for non-MLS lockboxes) that is only to be used by licensed professionals who have to adhere to a code of ethics and have a lot to loose by not following it. It also has information regarding which homes are vacant and which are not. By providing access to that information to non-licensed individuals he is showing his lack of respect to other's clients, and his peers. In addition to putting at risk their property and safety.

Good news is that they huge majority of Realtors do respect their profession and follow the rules.

Now my advice to Danielly is to talk with her current agent. Set your expectations and give him a chance. If after discussing your expectations he doesn't meet your needs, then look for another agent and set your expectations from the start.

Carlos J. Ramirez, PC, ABR, CNE
Associate Broker/Realtor, HomeSmart -
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 4, 2010
Hi Danielle,

The home buying process is a big endeavor financially and emotionally, you need to be given all the knowledge / education and open communication with your agent possible. Your agent should be showing you or supplying you all the listing options available to you. I would suggest you sit down with your agent in front of the computer and enter your search parameters together, ask her to put you on a auto search that way you get listings as they become available on MLS. At that time your agent should be able to explain to you the reason why she was limiting your searches she might have a very valid reason and did not communicate it to you. If you feel you are still not geting represented by your agent I suggest you start interviewing realtors to find one that you are comfortable with and will represent and work for your best interests that is what your agents main goal should be. I am Wishing you the best in your home purchase! Call or email me if I can help you in any way. Shauna 623-271-1477
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 4, 2010
Hi Danielle,

My suggestion is for you to tell your current agent exactly what you posted here, addressing your concerns, detailing your goals and what you want your agent to do for you. If you agent doesn't comply, then find one that will. You should really interview quite a few agents before deciding on which one to hire, because if you don't, well......just look what happened to you. As a potential home buyer, you will find many benefits by allowing an experienced, full-time, exclusive Buyer's Agent to help you. Any agent can help you find homes and write offers, but an exclusive Buyer's Agent can provide many extra benefits.
So, if you like your current agent and are just having performance issues, address your concerns, detail to him/her your goals and what you expect. If that doesn't solve your problem, then interview other agents for your job as your exclusive Buyer's Agent.

Exclusive Buyer's Agent
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 3, 2010
I think every agent who has responded has had bad luck with real estate agents. I , for one, have been pushing for several years to get the standards for licencing real estate agents raised. You are the classic example of such a need.

I encourage every consumer like Danielle to call the Arizona Department of Real Estate and tell them they they are doing a poor job. Danielle, did you know, under Arizona law, a real estate agent does not have to have a GED? We are only required to take a bit over 90 hours of education and pass a pretty simple test to get our licence. A massage therapist has to take 700 hours of course work and training. Even a licenced pool service person has more education and experience requirements.

Like others have said, there are accreditations requiring extensive study and classwork provided by the National and Arizona Association of Realtors. This does help agents become better and more qualified to represent the public interest.

Most people, in any field of business, won't tell you they lack experience, do not listen well or generally suck at their job... even when they do. The onus come back on you to interview, ask the right questions and hold your agent responsible for doing what you and they agree to do.

I would advise you talk to a friend, family member or business associate who had bought a number of homes and ask them what they found important in an agent. Create a list of concerns and expectations that are to be met. Then, when you interview an agent you'll have a baseline to work from. Also, ask the agents you interview to provide you with a list of the last five clients they worked with and talk to them. I say last five so they don't give you a list of just the happy ones or people from years ago.

Hope this helps a bit and that you end up having a great experience...buying a home should be a fun, exciting and rewarding experience and it can be.
Web Reference: http://www.urbanteamaz.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 3, 2010
Sometimes you have to interview several agents before you find the right match. It seems like a simple request that an agent would listen to your needs, but some realtors have their own agenda and want you to buy what they like, not what you want. It might be easier to find a new agent than to continue with your existing one.

AZ's REBATE Realtor
Web Reference: http://www.cr-az.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 3, 2010
Dear Danielle:

Hi. This is a good question. Interviewing an agent to represent a person in making the single largest purchasing decision in their lifetime is something to be done in a serious matter. Preparing your questions ahead of time will help. Everyone has a different need in an agent. Interview and agent that best fits your needs. Getting friends of friends is not always the best way to find an agent.

Wnen a business owner interviews for a new employee, he takes the time to interview and weigh the choices before hiring. A business owner that only hires recomendations of friends or friends of friends may make a mistake. This decision for a home buyer or home seller is just as important. Business knowledge, experience, credentials, personality, ethics are all important considerations. Yes, everyone can hire the wrong person once in a while. However, if you take the time to interview the next time, I am confident that you will make the right decision.

May I wish you the best and I hope that you find the perfect home for you and your family.

Regards, Jeff

Jeff Masich
Arizona Homes and Land
HomeSmarty Realty
Web Reference: http://ArizonaHomesLand.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 3, 2010

I agree with Lorrie's answer below. I am an agent in the Tucson market, who also holds the ABR (Accredited Buyer's Representative, as well as my GRI (Graduate of Real Estate). Agents who hold these designations are much better equipped to assist buyers. Look for an agent like this and interview them first.

Good Luck,
Kris Burnell, GRI, ABR
Long Realty
10445 N. Oracle Ste 121
Oro Valley, Az. 85737
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 3, 2010
Hi Danielle,
We can all toot our own horn, but in the long run you will know best who is the right fit for you. If your agent is not listening, then I'm not sure what you can say to make him/her understand what you are looking for. Being part of the Keller Williams family, we are trained to listen and not sell. That is what makes a good real estate agent, If what you are asking for doesn't exist, then maybe your agent is not being upfront and honest with you. If you would like to interview me for the position, I think you will be pleased in the way I work and the lack of pressure I impose on my clients. I also have my ABR designation (Accredited Buyer's Representative) which is additional training for working with buyers. I am very picky about what I show my clients and you would be free to call any of my past clients to find out how I work.

Best regards,
Lorrie Feld. ABR, GRI
Keller Williams Integrity First Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 3, 2010
I agree with the previous answers from my colleagues and industry partners. An important part of a realtor's process and responsibilities are to interview their clients and identify their wants, needs and requirements and advise accordingly. This establishes the approach and the parameters for working with your clients that determines the possibilities and the outcomes.

Like some of my colleagues suggested, I'd be happy to help you as well and make up for the others that could not help you. I think you have some great realtors on this post that took the time to reply, so you have a few to chhose from. Of course, not all realtors are created equal and it's the bad ones that makes us the good ones shine!

Richard bazinet - John Hall & Associates
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 3, 2010

It is a very tough market for all of us including agents! There are other options out there! Many of my buyers are making offers on short sales. They take longer however may be a better bargain! With that said it takes research to determine that!

I would make your wishes clear on price point. Its easy to get lost in this market!

I wish you the best!

Lucinda Tkach
Marsh Partners Central Phoenix
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 3, 2010

All good answers so far, you are in charge of the buying process and if your demands are not met then you may have to interview a few agents. If you are clear on price, location, an features you can easily obtain your objective. I let my client choose the houses and location and give them access to the realtor MLS Search just for the reason you stated, I will suggest some properties but ultimately it's up to you. Good Luck....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 3, 2010
Finding an agent can be frustrating. Especially one that understands your needs. You need to think of an agent as an employee and interview several to be sure that they are the right fit. A Realtor should not only posses the skills you need but they also should feel comfortable with that person. You wouldn't hire an attorney, CPA or employee that don't have the qualities you need so why would a Realtor be any different.

In order to find find the right fit you need to write down and understand what you want. This will help the agent interpret what your needs are. Second, decide how much attention you want from this person. If you are buying a home for the first time do you want someone who is going to take the time to walk you through the process. If so you may not want a "Top Producer" who may not be able to give you the time you require.

Also think about going with a reputable company such as Coldwell Banker who was been around awhile. These companies usually spend a lot of time training their agents over the years so they're always pretty knowledgeable.

If you need any additional help finding an agent feel free to contact me at
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 3, 2010
Danielle, I'm sorry for the trouble you're having.

I would think that if you tell your current agent, that they either send you the properties that you want to see, or you're going to find someone who will... She'll either toe the line, or you can move on to the next agent.

If you have to start over (you won't have to re-qualify), make sure this time you contact 2 or 3 agents, in different offices, and INTERVIEW them. Ask them the important questions, based on your current experience. Ask them how they'll contact you... will they send you what YOU want to see... and then HOLD them to those promises.

There are plenty of hungry agents who will be happy to work within your parameters, whatever they might be.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 3, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
Oh boy! You are opening the flood gates with this post. However, most agents in Trulia are good agents. The next decision will be based on whether you click with any of them. I am sure you will get a lot of replies on this by agents. I say interview a couple of them and see who meets your expectations. Afterall, we are all interviewing for the job. Let me know if you want a 2nd opinion on the loan process.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 3, 2010

You need to tell that agent exactly what you expect. If they are not willing to deliver, call me. I work with buyer's everyday and make sure that I focus on their needs.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 3, 2010
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