Home Buying in California>Question Details

Denise, Home Buyer in California

Greetings everyone =) My questions are as followed...We're currently using a friend of a friend/agent

Asked by Denise, California Sat Jul 5, 2008

from another city nearly 70 miles away. He contacted us in the beginning of May and knew It was extremely important that we purchase a home before our children started school in the fall. We're currently renting and the owners would like to try and rent our current place before the school year (the home is right around the corner from the elementary school.) The agent has only been out one time to show us homes during one of the best times for buyers. We have asked him to come out on several occasions and he tells us he's busy, can't make it, only has this time available, can't make it before a certain hour or doesn't even respond to our emails for a week. I sent him an email to confirm in writing that we did not have a contract signed. I just emailed a listing agent about a property I was interested in seeing and she said she would be willing to show us around. I would like to know if I am perfectly within my rights to seek another agent before doing so?

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Hi Denise,

I would suggest that you have a serious heart to heart with your agent. I would clearly outline your needs for help in the purchase of home to see if the two of you can have a meeting of the minds. A 70 mile distance may be more than difficult than previouslys expected and your agent and friend may be willing to help you find an agent that is closer to you who would have more time available to show you homes.

Definitely have a talk to find out what is going on and to make sure that if you two cannot agree on the level of help you need, that you are able to find someone who is.

Good luck to you!

Lisa Cartolano
Alain Pinel Realtors
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 6, 2008

It is important to up front with the agent by letting him know he is not keeping pace with time frame of your plans and you feel the need for additional representation.

I like Michelle's thought, "Put it in writing." It makes the process a little more formal. Unless you signed an agreement, you are within your rights to pursue another agent for assistance.

Good luck,
The "Eckler Team"
Michael Saundersand Company
Venice, Fl 34285
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 6, 2008
You have a couple of options here. Be straightforward with the agent and your friend--tell them what you need and expect. If he can't provide that you can 1) just let him go but tell him verbally then PUT IT IN WRITING - even in email; 2) if you feel it's just the semantics/distance, you can ask the agent to give you a referral to someone locally (then that agent would usually get a referral fee from the agent); 3) ask other friends for referrals; 4) look for Accredited Buyer Representatives online.

Best wishes.
Web Reference: http://www.rebac.net
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 6, 2008
Hi, Denise

From what you have described as the first agent's unresponsiveness, it doesn't sound like he would be the kind of agent who would be an advocate for you. Although referrals from friends are almost always a good way to find an agent, sometimes you can find a capable agent on your own.

If you have decided where you want to focus your search for a home, you can take a look at the properties that are available for sale. Is there one or two companies that have a stronger presence in these neighborhoods? If so, you may think of these agencies as the local area specialists who can help refine your search. Initerview at least 2-3 agents and see if there is one who is more in synch with you.

If you like going to open houses in the areas where you are looking, you may even be able to observe how the agents handle themselves. Without telling them you are looking for an agent, who is friendly, helpful, attentive, knowledgeable?

If you called a listing agents about their listings, did they offer other properties that possibly meet your requirements, and don't just push their own listings?

Wishing you the best of luck in your search
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 5, 2008
Listing agents are paid to sell someones house, that seller pays them to show it to you so don't think that you are abusing them. That being said a good buyers agent should work for you and your interests alone. Chose one carefully because you will probably be asked to sign a contract, which you should negotiate carefully since you already know from experience that a bad agent can hurt your house search.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 5, 2008
Absolutely you are within your rights. BUT...don't keep calling listing agents to show you homes.....find a good buyers agent to represent you. It could very well be one of the lisitng agents that you meet along the way.....just make sure they have YOUR best interest in mind. Good luck - it's a great time to buy!
Web Reference: http://www.cindihagley.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 5, 2008
Cindi Hagley…, Real Estate Pro in San Ramon, CA
Oh dear! It is not wrong of you to expect professionalism from your agent. I would move on.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 2, 2008
Thank you... everyone. I only went with the first agent b/c my previous agent (that I bought, sold and bought from) gave him my name. My first choice was my previous agent but she is no longer in the business due to personal reasons. The agent is nice.. but I find myself driving around, researching areas, school bounadries, areas, crime rates and so forth with five kids, two cats and a husband that's been away (with work) for two months and has three more weeks (we hope) and then he gets to come home and still work 11 hours a day here =( I know its not the agents fault about my husbands business travels but I'm the one that's okaying the home. He knew my situation and that we needed to be in a home before the fall =( We aren't selling anything and this should have been an easy 1-2-3 experience but I am doing all the work and no offense but I am pretty sore about someone else getting the commission. I loved and missed my first agent and believe realtors can be professional and take their "careers" very seriously.. so this is in no way an attack at one. I feel bad for wanting to change but I just can't do all the foot work and run a household full of kids under three and a teen/preteen. I thank you all for the hard work, loyalty and love of the business you guys do. Thank you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 6, 2008
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