Home Buying in Mexico>Question Details

Abby, Home Buyer in Mexico, MO

How do I find a real estate agent that will act in my best interest in finding a lease with option to buy?

Asked by Abby, Mexico, MO Tue Jun 15, 2010

Basically, I need to rent a good-sized, preferably older house. I want to actually buy a house, but because I am new to the area, want to make sure that I am happy before purchasing. So, I would really like to find a house that might be vacant right now and rent it for a year or longer before buying. I have not yet asked an agent to represent me, because the houses I am looking at are in different towns in the same area. As I quizzed one agent about his listings and then mentioned two that were NOT his listings----he told me that his non-listings were sold. Guess what? They are still for sale, eight months later! This put me off---he wanted me to buy his house and not another agent's. How do I find an agent that will act on my behalf, be honest and just want me to find the house of my dreams, even if it isn't one of their listings? Someone who really will ask an owner if they wouldn't mind renting to a good, responsible tenant with a lease purchase option without any agendas?

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Good answer from Mack.

A few additional thoughts. First, agents should never, ever lie. If an agent told you that two listings were sold--and they weren't--that's absolutely unethical. And, really, most agents will not do that. Most are honest.

Mack's correct that there's very little money for the agent at the initiation of a lease-option. That's because the initial transaction is only a lease. And while commissions are negotiable, if the property leases for $1,000 a month and the commission is--let's say--6%, and it has to be split 4 ways (the two agents and the two brokers), then your agent may receive $150 for all of his/her work. If you exercise your option in a few years, and if that agent is still with the same broker, then the agent will receive the commission for the sale.

So, one possibility, as Mack suggests, is to pay the agent for services provided.

Another possibility is to have some or all of your option fee flow through the seller to the agents involved--kind of an "advance payment" on the commission. That is, if everyone agrees to that. Or there are a number of other ways--there are a couple of other active threads on Trulia that go into that in more detail.

Finally, here's a link to a blog I wrote on how to find lease-options. In some cases, a Realtor is involved. In other cases, one isn't. http://www.trulia.com/blog/don_tepper/2010/03/how_you_can_fi…

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 15, 2010
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
MVP'08
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Offer to pay them.

The fee on a lease-option is minimal at first and uncertain at best. For the time, Abby, that an agent can be showing you homes and trying to negotiate terms - which are wildly non-standard - that agent can be showing homes to a homebuyer for a fee several times greater than they would receive from the first part of their transaction.

All the best,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 15, 2010
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