Home Buying in 17044>Question Details

Glasssketche…, Home Buyer in 17044

Is it time for us to find a new buyer's agent?

Asked by Glasssketcher2000, 17044 Fri Nov 11, 2011

My boyfriend and I contacted an agent months ago and gave him details on what we are seeking in a home. Since then, he has suggested one house to us--and it didn't even meet our requirements (we want 3 bedrooms; it had 2). We've looked at almost a dozen houses, which we found ourselves online, in printed literature, or by seeing a property for sale. We feel that our agent should be keeping an eye out for homes for us, but we have NEVER received a call from him with any recommendations. Are we expecting too much?

I also don't feel the agent is taking our search seriously. Twice now, we have met with him to look at a property, only to have him say "I just sold a house you guys would have loved!" or "I showed a house last week and thought of you guys because..." But we didn't get a call.

Just FYI: the homes we've been looking at are priced moderately for this area (around $150K) and we are already preapproved. We are not just requesting showings for fun.

Thank you for your time.

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Glass,

For whatever reason, it can easily see that you have a problem with your current situation. As you point out, it does seem that you are not being taken seriously.

Given a set of perameters, providing a serious buyer with property options is not "rocket science." In my opinion, you've given this agent a chance that they clearly messed up. Considering other option may be in your best interest.

Most agents that sit "open houses" are hingry and motivated. Consider attending some open houses on Sunday not as much for seeing the property but meeting your next real estate representative. Seeing agents in the trenches, interacting with people and thinking on their feet can tell the story you are needing to hear.

Good luck,

Bill
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
Ms. Glass, I would describe the behavior you describe as "passive." I am sure that you have done everything you could to to be clear, and by the results, you are certainly missing something important - houses you would have loved!

It's often asked, "What makes a great agent?" Agents like to answer, well, whatever their best quality is! But I think what makes a great agent is the ability to customize their behavior to match the client. Clients should not be missing houses, and apparently the agent does not realize that you are a serious, ready-to-buy-today client. He might have this idea that he doesn't want to be pushy, or a sense that you prefer to take charge of the search and call him when YOU'RE ready. I don't know what's going on in his mind, but clearly, he's not figuring YOU out!

Still. There are a lot of good agents out there, and I think it's easier to find a good agent that compliments your personal style, than to find that "great" agent who has ESP.

Agents really should never say things like, "I showed a house last week and thought of you guys." When we're having a thought like that, we really need to stop and wonder - why did we not CALL "you guys?!!"

The overwhelming majority of problems in real estate come from miscommunication. It's really not the client's job to figure out the agent's style, although, relationships are a two-way street.

That's my take, Ms. Glass; I hope you never have to hear those words again, "I just sold a house you guys would have loved!"

All the best,
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
Thank you all. I am very appreciative of your input.

Neither of us are first-time home buyers, and I don't know if it's the area, but we've never been asked to sign a contract to look at homes, in our previous purchases or this time around. I guess that is a good thing, in the current situation, but could also be part of the problem.

We liked the idea of scouting open houses for a new agent, and plan on telling our current agent that we will not be working with him anymore and why.

Thank you again!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
Glassketcher,
I can't speak for my friend Mack, but if you were not clear in what you expected from this agent, he might not know. Perhaps that is what he means by being a passive client.
My suggestion is don't just take the first agent that floats by and shows you a house. Check us out, interview a few, read our blogs and websites. Some of us are very proactive and looking hard for our buyer's needs. Others are passive as you may have found or pushy with their own agendas.
A good agent sets expectations and will at least meet them, a great one will exceed them. This would include having an automated search for homes which meet your criteria set up and sent to you as they come on the market. Personally, whenever possible I like to preview homes for active buyers. This can save them some time and help to find some great homes which didn't photograph well.
If you continue with this agent, tell them what you need them to do and hold them to it. Otherwise interview a few, read our answers here and on other sites and read our blogs and pick an agent you can have confidence in.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
Mr. McCoy, thank you for your response. If you could clarify what you mean by "passive client," I would appreciate it. We think we've done everything we can to be clear, but perhaps we're missing something important.

We've actively been looking for these properties ourselves, take the initiative to contact our agent when we find something that is a decent match to what we are looking for, and have expressed to him, clearly, our expectation that he should make recommendations to us. We gave him a written list of our must-haves. He gave us every indication that he understood, and yet, he initiates no showings. I feel that we have done the majority of the work here, and since we are both very busy people, we would prefer not to have to monitor MLS listings like hawks. Is that what you mean? That we'd prefer to be more passive?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
Bad combination - a passive agent and a passive client. Your agent probably missed out on a sale because they misread your passivity as disinterest, bad for them, bad for you.

Agents are simply a subset of the population, and we run the gamut from shy wallflowers to tigers that will harass you until you want to join the witness protection program.

But the agent-client relationship is a relationship, and you know as well as anyone what the most important component of a relationship is. Well, fidelity is good, too. But communication is of the utmost importance. Clearly, you and your agent were not communicating about your expectations in this relationship.

Let me advise you to be a little bit more proactive in engaging an agent to be actively searching on your behalf. I suspect that you need - because of your passivity - to engage an agent that is moderately aggressive. Not so aggressive that they call you constantly, but enough to balance you and your boyfriend so that, as a team, you can find a home you want.

I don't know if it is this agent's fault or yours, but communication is a two-way street.

All the best,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 11, 2011
Glasssketcher2000,

I am an agent with Gold Key Real Estate & Aprraising. There are plenty of properties in the Mifflin / Juniata area that are 3 bedrooms and definitely well within your price range.

If you still have not found a home that suits you and your family with your current agent, I would be more than happy to go the extra mile to find you what you want.

Just call the office @ 242-9151 and ask the receptionist (Karen) to transfer you to Lukas Rhodes.


-Luke
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 10, 2011
You need a more enthusiastic agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
Yes, find an agent who is more aggressive than this. What good does it do you if he thought of you but didn't call?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
I agree with someo of the other posters. Make your needs clear to this agent (or the next). Have they set you up for the MLS? For some reason it sounds like your agent thinks you may not be a 'hot' buyer, but he is doing himself a disservice. If you are not happy, I would interview other buyers agents, keeping in mind that if you have signed a contract you may have to wait that out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
Depends. Air your feelings with your Realtor and guage their reply. If the reply is lacking detail so that you understand their position, maybe it it time to disengage them, just be clear that your disengaging with them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
Everyone is different so I'll just say how I do it. First, the potential client and I meet for a consultation at my office. I listen to what they want, we get their Pre-Approval Letter, we go over the whole buying process, and then decide if we want to work together. If we do, we sign the Agency Agreement and make a Showing Appointment.

If the client is really ready, the Showing Appointment may be in 24 hours. Depending on the client, we will meet weekly, 2 or 3 or 4+ times a week, or maybe every other week until we find the right house. The first Showing trip is more to get a real life feel for what the client really likes. After 1 - 3 houses, I'll have a very good idea of what they like and want. When we go out again, in a few days or the following week, I will have 4 or 5 houses to show them that will meet their needs and maybe some of their wants. If a house comes on the market that I know would be good for them but is in good condition and very well priced, I will call and tell them that they shouldn't wait until next week because that house might be gone. Sometimes, a client can't make time to go look and the house sells to someone else. I don't spend a lot of time telling my clients about houses they missed. I call, they come or they don't. So, we continue on until we find the right one. Clients who are serious about buying a house will make time to go look. Clients who only want to meet every other week are not quite ready. They are close but just not quite there yet.

In my market, we have an abundance of inventory so a house can be found fairly quickly. I would think that in 2 months, a house could be found if you are willing to go see houses. Once you find the house, you are still 30+ days away from closing. You have negotiations, inspections, resolution, final loan approval, and appraisal to go through before the closing documents can be prepared.

My suggestion would be to sit down and talk with the agent you chose, see if he can help you. If you don't feel good about the result of your conversation, ask to be released from your agency agreement and seek an agent with whom you feel more comfortable.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
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