Home Buying in Central Islip>Question Details

Jade, Home Buyer in New York, NY

I am thinking of buying a condo in Central Islip, NY. The Real Estate agen is the listing agent, and I would

Asked by Jade, New York, NY Wed Jan 9, 2008

like to double check what he says the condo is worth. Zillow does not have listings in that area, and suffolk county does NOT list their assesments online.

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Jade - I would not rely on Zillow or the county assessment for value - both will probably be within 10-25% but that is a huge margin. I would definitely look at some other condos within a short distance from the one you like - I have found that Buyers begin to get fairly smart about values within the first 5 looked at - condos tend to be even easier because there typically are only a couple of floor plans within a complex - if you look at 15-20 nearby, you will feel more comfortable about whether the asking price is reasonable. The agent should be able to provide the information about all of the condos that have sold in the last 6 months, not only in this complex but also in nearby complexes that are similar.

If you are a first time home Buyer, I would definitely get another agent to help you (so you have your own representation) - there is a lot to understand when you buy a home and if this is the first time, you may wonder if the agent really told you everything you needed to know - another agent may also know about other properties that fit your needs a little better. An agent helping both the Buyer and Seller is legal in many states (maybe all) but in my humble opinion, it probably makes sense only when both the Buyer and Seller have sold a few homes previously and both are more knowledgeable about the process. Good luck with your search - with the larger inventory and low interest rates, it is a great time to buy a home!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 9, 2008
Jade - You should talk to your agent about getting comps for ANY and ALL condos within a mile that have sold in the last 6 months - 1 year depending on how many there are. Ask to get the sale price on these and to get the MLS printouts so you can compare optons/upgrades. You might also ask your agent to take you out to see a few comparables listed on the market. Your agent should expect to provide this for you so you can make an educated offer. I agree with comments by Jim who stated that if you are uneasy with being represened by the sellers agent you can request to have buyer representation and you might feel more comfortable with the process. Best of luck to you!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 9, 2008
Thank you everyone for your help ;) We ended up buying a condo in another town, SMALLER than the one in Central Islip, but better neighborhood. We also ended up using a diffrent agent, but again our agent was the listing agent. I guess I can't learn ;p

THANK YOU!

Jade
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 18, 2008
Jade, when the agent first met with you in person. The agent should have had a little talk with you presented you with an agency disclosure form. The agent should have talked about the being the listing agent. In being a listing agent would explain that he/she works in the best interest of the seller. Not you the buyer. The form has enough information so you can make a good decision if you would like to deal in a showing and possible purchase with the listing agent or if you would like to be represented by your own personal realtor to advise you about all the things your thinking about now that the agent has shown you the unit.
As agents often the buyers have called several different listing agents to see homes they list. Buyers don't seem to want to work with only one agent, when in fact if they did find one agent they like and it so happened that agent was a certified buyer's representative "CBR". You would be in a good position. You can work with that agent exclusively to find you a condo you will be happy with and will be able to show you other comps so you will feel good your not paying too much over fair market value.

You did look at the unit with that agent so he/she may feel somewhat uncomfortable about not being able to collect a commission on both side of the purchase. You do have a right to be represented for your benefit. You should be able to feel confident about your purchase.
So what do you do?
You can make a list of the concerns you have, bring those to the listing agent to address. The broker of the agent might be able to make you feel at ease with those concerns. Another agent in that office may be a “CBR” so the sale will still take place in house. Or you may just feel like you have to get someone not in the same office. The choice is yours.
Web Reference: http://www.nysar.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 10, 2008
I agree with my fellow agents. You should get all the comps in the area and if you're still uncomfortable, you should get a Buyers Representative, which is someone who looks out only for your intrest, not the sellers. Good Luck in this!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 10, 2008
If the agent is the listing agent, and they already showed me the property, is it ethical/legal to now go to?
another agent to help me on the same property? And won't the agent hold it against me?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 9, 2008
Assessments are not a true indicator of value...on line services, such as Zillow, do not always contain a true up-to-date picture. You have the right to have Realtor representation and that is the one who would be legally able to give you a market analysis on the property. The listing agent cannot do that for you because of their fiduciary responsibility to the seller.

If you are purchasing the condo for your home, it is worth the value you place on it for yourself. Make an offer of what you would be willing to pay...you are not buying a car...you are purchasing a home.
Web Reference: http://gailgladstone.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 9, 2008
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