Home Buying in San Francisco>Question Details

Alison Hillm…, Other/Just Looking in San Francisco, CA

Should I tell my agent the highest down payment that I can afford??

Asked by Alison Hillman, San Francisco, CA Fri Jul 13, 2012

What are the pros and cons to being honest or low-balling my ceiling cap?

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Gabriel Rojas’ answer
Hi Alison,

In my opinion, transparency in any relationship is key whether it be business or personal. You have every right to limit what you tell your agent but you need to ask yourself if that is truly in your best interest and theirs. By giving your agent the most information you can they can provide you with the best service and the right homes for you to view.

If you have found the "right" agent and truly trust them, there is no reason why you shouldn't be giving them all the information you can.

Good luck!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
If you ever feel that your agent is trying to sell you something that you don't want remind them that you are the priincipal and they are your agent. They are to get you what you want so yes they should know what you can do.
It is a mistake to stay in a relationship with an agent who isn't working FOR you. If you think they are going to up-sell you get an agent that understands what "agency" and "fiduciary" mean.
All agents are legally bound by their license to put you, your needs, wants and desires before themselves.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
Jed Lane, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
Agree with Lance on trust, and Eric on your right to be conservative.

Lots and lots of buyers can afford more than the homes they look at. That isn't unusual. But if you aren't happy with the homes you are seeing in a given price range, and your agent has no idea that you are willing to spend more, they aren't even going to both mentioning those other homes to you.

Keeping your top price range from a Seller or Seller's agent - that's another story.
Web Reference: http://www.SFisHOME.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012

Your agent/broker is someone you have to trust implicitly to look out for your best interests and negotiate the best deal they can. Your question implies you don't have such trust. Why would you have someone representing you on what has to be an expensive purchase if it's in San Francisco if you don't?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
If you don't trust your agent find one that you can trust. Proper communication is key between you and your agent. It's like sending your lawyer into battle without providing him/her with all material information.

If you find it difficult to feel confident with your agent, put him/her to the test. Holding back information is one sure way of losing out on great opportunities.

Oggi Kashi
Broker Associate, Paragon Real Estate Group CA DRE 01844627
All data from sources deemed reliable but subject to errors and omissions, and not warranted.
Web Reference: http://www.oggikashi.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 16, 2012
Absolutely!! Your agent is part of your team, and if you don't feel you can be honest with her or him, you shouldn't be working together.

There is some game play in real estate, but the game is to be played with the other party's team - not your own!

The more open and honest you are with your Realtor, the greater their ability to assist you. Please, do not for a minute hold anything relevant back.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
Dear Alison,

It does not matter if you can afford a zillion dollars, if you comfort level is $500,000, then $500,000 or slightly over (for negotiations) is where your Agent will be looking. You should tell your Agent you can afford more - naturally, as well as all of your particular "wants & needs." I do not understand why you would even question that since, logically, you are working with someone you trust. If you do not trust your Agent, find one you can!

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
Why wouldn't you? If you can't spend all of it, then just tell him so. You have to trust your agent and your agent has to trust you. Set the stage for trust and avoid many problems.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
This is a bit of a loaded question. I think in order for an agent to best serve you they need to understand the picture of your goals. That includes knowing what the highest payment is that you want to comfortably make a month. A lot of people qualify for more on paper than what they comfortably want to spend and that is an important factor for me when i am showing my clients houses.

You don't necessariy need to share the highest amount in down payment you can aford but your agent will want to know the percentage of down payment you have available so they can know what financing options are open to you. All of these are factors that go into recommendations from an agent to a client on if a potential home is a good fit for a buyer along with bed and bath count square footage length of time the buyer wants to spend in the property location, ammenities, transportation needs, etc.

Your agent is matching you with a very big committment on your part and they way we serve you best is by understanding who you are and what your goals are. Most of us live by the customer for life mentality so its more important to us that you buy the house that serves your needs in every way not just the size of the price tag and the commission we will earn on a single contact.

I hope that helps answer your question. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss further.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
Hi Alison,

Your question is more indicative of your concern regarding trusting your agent.
First and foremost, it is important to have a strong communicative relationship between yourself, and your agent. The agents job is not to buy or sell a house for you, but to help you navigate through the transaction process and act as the liaison between the marketplace and yourself, and the seller and yourself.

To answer your question directly, it is always better to come from a place of total honesty. You can tell your agent, "here is my qualification ability, but I really only feel comfortable looking in such and such price range."

Good luck and I wish you well throughout the process!

Isaac Wigley
BHG Mason McDuffie
DRE# 01874483
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
HI Alison

I think the more important thing to do is get qualified for what you can afford, then decide how much you want to spend.

For instance, you may be able to afford $700,000, but want to spend $600,000. Being conservative is fine, but if you have the opportunity to get a property that you really like and want for $675,000, you want to be able to move on it.

Other factors such as competition and positioning yourself in the best possible light (like a larger down payment) will all play into your success.

If you trust your realtor, tell them the truth. If you don't, get another realtor you do trust who won't push you unnecessarily.

Best of luck.

Eric Castongia
DRE No. 01188380
Zephyr Real Estate
Web Reference: http://www.SFHotBuy.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
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