Home Buying in 20120>Question Details

Househunting, Home Buyer in Centreville, VA

How do I get a second opinion?

Asked by Househunting, Centreville, VA Sat Jul 10, 2010

If I question what my doctor says I can get a second opinion from another doctor. If I don't like a repair job, I can get an estimate from another contract.

I'm a buyer working with a highly qualified agent, but when I question something he says, I want to get a second opinion on something he says, I can't seem to find any way to get advice from other agents. They seem more than happy to help, until I mention I am working with someone, then that's it. So, how can I independently corroborate what my realtor says? Is there a way I can get an independent agent on to consult with?

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Answers

13
Debra (Debbie) Rose’s answer
Househunting - it's unfortunate that you feel the need to second guess the advice your agent is offering. I would hope that you selected an agent based on a number of factors, and that you'd feel confident with the advice she is giving you. As was mentioned below, however, you can always ask to speak to the Broker for "another" opinion.

It is not customary or proper for agents to consult with you if you are already working with an agent. As was also mentioned below, to interfere with an ongoing business relartionship is against our code of ethics.
Most buyers don't look to get a concensus of opinions before making an offer. Truthfully, I think you might only confuse yourself further by asking for multiple opinions.

There is a lot of information available to you, the consumer, on the internet - you can always read and learn about the process there.

The bottom line is......and if it's any consolation to you....... real estate is not an exact science. Sometimes, (in fact, much of the time) there are no definitive answers.

You could ask a number of agents how much a home is worth, or what's the best strategy in presenting an offer, and you will get a variety of opinions. There is a lot of gray area in buying or selling a home. Just look around trulia, and you will see lots of advice and opinions - not all of which are in agreement.

Have confidence in your agent..................and your own decision making ability. Ask to see all the recent sales in the area - you can see what the numbers are indicating. You also should have a mortgage loan officer to turn to for financial advice, too.

Best wishes, and good luck in your home purchase!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 10, 2010
You know, Erik, I think that most agents - most people, in general - should shy away from "out of the box" thinking until they master what's already inside of the box!

I respect people who have established a successful practice, but most agents don't really know what services can be safely unbundled, and if I were the managing broker, I would be weighing my office's E&O deductible against the income generated by an agent deciding that they were alluvasudden a "consultant."
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 11, 2010
My colleagues give some excellent answers below. One that may have been overlooked is simply an hourly fee based consultation. As an expert witness in real estate I have been paid in ways other than what may seem customary. I commend your out of the box thinking!

On the other hand..It appears that perhaps the agents you have been speaking to..just fear they won't be compensated..good for them! The bad part is they may not be using the same "outside the box" thinking...bad for them. I am however, surprised somewhat that you may seem to lack trust in your agents' opinions..thus second guessing.

Everyone's need are different and if there is any way I can help...please feel free to contact me.

Thanks and happy house hunting!

Kind Regards,

Erik J. Weisskopf, ABR,CDPE,CRS,GRI
Erik@AskMeAboutHomes.com
703.216.1222
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 11, 2010
this is where "interpretation" and "grey areas" come in.

We are allowed, if a seller who is working with another agent comes to us, and asks for opinion, to give a response. That, in and of itself, is not tortious interference with an agency relationship.

We are not allowed to solicit you, and give you cause to change agent/agencies, but if you posit a question to another Realtor, they are allowed to answer. The "grey area" comes in, when the 2nd agent disagrees with your current agent. Is he now just trying to lure you away?? Or is he giving you valid advice?

It's a bit of a sticky wicket.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 11, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
Contact
The answers you have received are right on " if you have an agency relationship, in this case a buyer agency relationship with another agent then it is a violation of the National Association of Realtors® Code of Ethics for any other agent to interfere".

So you signed on with a highly qualified agent from a big Real Estate Agency. But it seems you do not trust your agent with helping you make one of the most important investment in your life. Just because the agent seemed highly qualified, does not mean they have the qualities you need from your agent. Below are some questions you should have considered.

Immediate Access and Response *****
Honesty and Trustworthiness (very important) *****
Likability and Sense of Humor *****
Good Communication Skills and Technical Savvy *****
Balances Professionalism with Friendliness and Assertiveness ****
Knowledge of Local Neighborhoods ****
Pricing Guidance *****
Solid Negotiation Skills *****
Wide Network of Industry Contacts ****

on a scale of 1-5 stars, (5 being the best)

Talk to your agent and express your concerns.

Sandy Leaf
Fairfax Realty, Inc.
703727-3004
Next time, find an agent you like and trust!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 11, 2010
You need to be aware that we can be fined and sued ( interference with relations ) as agents if we give you second opinions. You are in a contractual relationship that has legal significance with your agent. In the examples you cite, you have not signed a legally binding contract, which you have appear to have done with your agent. The time to check out an agent is before you sign a contract with that agent. This is the same as dealing with a repair contractor; once you sign the contract for repairs, you have agreed to work with this specific contractor.

Did you get a CMA ( market analysis) from your agent? Did you ask your agent about how he did this? Do you agree with his thinking? Do you understand and agree with your agent's thought processes re CMA'S? Did you ask your loan officer what he thinks?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 11, 2010
As others have said if you have an agency relationship, in this case a buyer agency relationship with another agent then it is a violation of the National Association of Realtors® Code of Ethics for any other agent to interfere.

If the advice you seek is in regards to the wording in a contract, speak to a real estate attorney. If it is about what price to offer for a home your agent can provide you with all of the facts and figures from the MLS to show you current prices, prices in the last three months and what the average % of sales price to contract price, among other things for your review.

If you still don't have confidence in your "highly qualified" real estate agent then you should speak to their broker to determine what additional information you are seeking and how best to find it.

Good luck on your home search.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 11, 2010
No. Agents really can't be "independent," the entire concept of agency is based on representation.

But let's take this a little further. Since you aren't able to evaluate the advice that your agent gives you, how do you plan to go about evaluating the advice of a second or third or fourth or fifth party?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 10, 2010
knowing $400k based on c.m.a from "a highly qualified agent" is great; now the answer is what are you willing to offer. Based on your situation, the availability of this type of property, and numerous other factors like what was the asking price versus actual sales price for homes in that neighborhood, then you can determine where to start negotiations. Let's assume that there is a strong buyers market in that neighborhood(like most of America), then the amount you put down over the minimum required by the loan program your lender has you in is up to you. At that point the amount you put down is a financial planning decision. Is you emergency fund funded, retirement funding where you want it, etc. best of luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 10, 2010
Hi Househunting unless you are going for a FHA loan, where you can put less than 4% down.

Generally, the rule of thumb is that, an offer with 20% down looks like an offer from a strong buyer.
On a $400K putting $60K down mean only 15%.

Depending on whether you want money in the bank or make a strong offer you can make a choice.

For example, lets say homes are selling fast, then a clean / strong offer / with few contigencies is
the way to go.

Please ask your next question.

Thanks
Perry


Good luck.
Perry
Web Reference: http://www.ruthandperry.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 10, 2010
Our code of ethics says we can not interfere with an agency relationship in place. That is why we tend to clam up. That, and the fact that many times consumers leave out relevant facts when asking a question, and the agent you're working with knows the specifics and if we did, we might agree with your agent.

Having said that, you can always ask a question in this forum on this page and agents will give you some feedback. But I wouldn't use these general answers as more than talking points with your agent... since, again, you might leave out relevant factors that would change our opinion.

Also, if it is more than curiosity, go to the broker WITH your agent. Technically the broker represents you, through that agent. So if the agent is there and you are there, the broker will have all relevant facts and can provide you with a thorough response. If that's not comfortable, you could contact the broker, but he(she) will need to contact your agent for information before he can respond.

Hope this answer is helpful.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 10, 2010
Yes, this is a good place to start, however, these are more complicated and involved questions. For example, is it smart to put 60,000 down in escrow, or my Realtor thinks the house is worth $400,000 based on her CMA, does another Realtor agree?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 10, 2010
Ask it here. A simple question will suffice.

Can I... or is it correct that... Or whatever your question is. Many realtors here do try to give honest helpful replies.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 10, 2010
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