Home Buying in Chicago>Question Details

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

Should I tell my agent the highest price I'm willing to pay for a house?

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

What are the pros and cons?

Help the community by answering this question:


Anything told to your agent is supposed to remain 100% confidential. However, not all agents are created equal, so you need to make sure you trust them.

Also, your agent should know your general search max and for each property you see. For example, your general max may be $150k, but the max for the home you saw today is $125k. Not all homes are priced correctly, so your agent should tell you when something is overpriced. Just because you are willing to pay up to a certain amount, doesn't mean you should. That's why you hire an agent.

Finally, a good agent should have strong negotiating skills to make the owner seem like they need your offer vs. you need that house. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
Thank you so much, this was a very popular question in other cities and I thought it would be helpful in Chicago too. Very good insight, thanks Andy!
Flag Fri Jul 20, 2012
Alison you should keep that a secret. You hould also keep the area that you are looking for a home in and your timeframe a secret. The less that greedy agent knows the less they can take advantage of you. Keep them in the dark and get as many agents working with you as you can.

By the way when it is time to buy partner with a Realtor®. Let them know your dream items and things you would like but that are not deal breakers.Full disclosure is the best way to get the home of your dreams (or a quick reality check) in the shortest amount of time.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 15, 2012
James, I am confused why a client can't be honest with their agent. You throw around "greedy" and "keep in the dark." I am completely in the dark as to why this is a good idea. Please respond.
Flag Sun Jul 15, 2012

I always tell my clients they should have a maximum price they are willing to pay for any particular home. This way when you go into negotiations you won't get caught up in undecisiveness, especially in this market of multiple offers. Know what your limits are.

Another benefit is you have to work together so that you're not shown properties you can't afford, it's a waste of everyones time.

There are no cons in working together.

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 15, 2012
even asking that question is a bad sign.. your agent is your advocate not your competetor and they know more about the game than you do or get a new agent
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012

Your agent is on your team. You should be working together with the same goals. Have an open and frank conversation about the negotiation process. Your agent needs to show you the recent sales comps and discuss the value of the property with you. If you don't feel your agent is on your team, you might want a new agent.

Best of luck,
Ivan Sagel
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
YES, if you hired them as your agent then you should trust them. An agents responsibility is to look out for your best interests and no one elses

Sohail A. Salahuddin | Broker Associate | Visionary

Innovative Property Consultants Team | Sales and Leasing

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1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
If you trust your agent, then the answer is "yes", you should tell them everything that might impact your purchase. if you don't trust your agents, you should change agents.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in 60201
Whereas there is wisdom in Mr. Gordon’s response, albeit on the cynical side, you the buyer are ultimately responsible for protecting your money. But an honest-to-goodness real estate broker is bound to put your interests above their own. My buyers and sellers customarily provide me the fullest possible understanding of their goals and this has only helped me serve them better. Never once have I used this information to get them to pay more. Unconscionable and illegal. Find a broker you can trust, and then tell them everything.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 19, 2012
This can go either way...sometimes I'd rather not know so the client doesn't think im trying to get the sellers to accept that number.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 17, 2012
Honesty with your Broker is always the best policy. http://www.naplesrealestateguys.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 15, 2012
I would have to agree that to no provide your agent with this important information you could find yourself in a very disappointing position.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 15, 2012
Of course you should! You are only doing yourself a disservice by working with an agent you do not trust 100%.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 14, 2012
Yes if you feel like you can not disclose certain details of this transaction to him/her then you need to get a new agent
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
Hi Alison

If you cannot tell your agent and cant trust him or her, you are truly out of the market.

Have a great weekend.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
Yes your agent should be aware of your financials which will help Him/Her negotiate better for you. On other hand not too much info. to sellers agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
Very consistent advice across the board, thanks everyone. I appreciate your quick responses, this was really helpful.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
Your agent is your advocate, your coach and your advisor. If you do not trust your agent, they why are you working with him/her? Get pre qualified and make sure that you look for homes only below what you can afford.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
100% yes. You need to trust your agent and they need to know where you want to head on this if your looking to buy. If you dont how can they get your best price. Plus its satisfying to get it under what your "top dollar" is
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
The agent owes loyalty to you. Even though he is paid by the seller, everything that he does should be to your advantage. If you trust him, then tell him.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
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