Franciso, Home Buyer in Edison, NJ

Thinking about changing realtors:

Asked by Franciso, Edison, NJ Fri Aug 1, 2008

Hello all,

I am a first-time home buyer and have had trouble finding a responsive agent. So the other week I met a young woman at an open house and she offered to show me some homes that I would be interested in. I submitted here a list of MLS#'s numbers in the same town and she showed me the homes. Now I am interested in one of the homes that I have seen twice and came to find out that she has only closed on one home and others came close. She only has a year and half experience and is a realtor part-time. I am just afraid that when I submit an offer, that she can't talk it up to persuade the sellers or sellers agent ( is that how it works?). And I'm worried that something may get messed up when and if we come to a closing. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated on this matter, I would feel super bad if I went with another agent on the home (or am I obligated) but again there is a lot of money at stake.

Thank you for your help,

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I agree with J R on this we were all new agents at one point and at least you know one thing now and that is your agent is being honest with you about her experience. I certainly hope her honesty counts for something in your eyes and that is a trait you look for in an agent?

You may be held liable to pay a commission if she showed you the property and then you choose to place the offer with another agent. If you are really concern that she is not competent I would go and talk to her office manager and tell them about your concerns and ask them if someone in management will supervise and work with her on the deal to ensure it goes through without a hitch.

Quite frankly like J R said, if your offer is lousy and the agent is an excellent negotiator the offer may still be turned down. The agent shouldn't have to "negotiate" anything at the offer stage, they are not conducting a garage sale and this ain't no flea market. I recognize that in certain cultures negotiations are expected and always done however in the U.S. quite often I find the buyer so concerned about the negotiations before an offer is even on the table is planning on insulting the seller with a ridiculously low offer to begin with in order to feel them out. As a sellers agent I inform the sellers not to dignify the offer with a counter offer and just flat out reject it and you'll also find the seller will be willing to give up a lot less then they would for a serious buyer who came in with a more realistic but low price to begin with.

Negotiation skills almost always come in after the home inspections, at the offer stage the agent must possess a different skill which is knowing the strong points of the contract offer and presenting them in a strong presentation. I've seen agents who "think" they are good at negotiating and/or presenting offers but stink at it. I am thinking of one right off the top of my head recently from a W****ert office, I'll withhold her name. But she felt it was necessary to give her summarized resume to the seller before presenting the offer to show she knew what she was talking about. "I live in this town for years", "I been through this market several times" (Obvious Lies), "I know the market", I know this and that... BORING.... the seller felt the same, get to the point and insult me already instead of the big setup!

Of course the agent really low balled the offer and insisted the house was over priced and the house was great and beautiful, gorgeous but the neighbor’s lawn is not cut so the neighborhood is shot to hell and there is a main road that backs to your house behind the stockade fence and so on...

Needless to say the seller rejected the offer and the agent came back another time to present another offer only slightly higher insisting her comps and better then the ones I showed her. The seller was not moved and asked not talk to her anymore. The agent came back again, slightly higher but still way low and stomping her feet and demanding this and that. I presented the offer over the phone and the seller said emphatically NO!!!!

Bottom line, even a good agent needs some ammunition to work with when presenting offers or negotiating otherwise it’s like coming to a gun fight with no bullets.

I don't think you should have anything to worry about unless there is a multiple offer situation on the table, and then you need someone with mad skills. NOTE: I've met brokers and long time agents who were terrible at negotiating and presenting offers. Some agents, scratch that many agents don't even present their own offers, they somehow picked up a bad habit of Faxing them and letting the listing agent present them.


Good Look, I'm rambling and need to get some food.

Victor Kaminski
Broker of Record
Marivic GMAC Real Estate
2056A Lincoln Hwy. (Rt.27)
Edison, NJ 08817-3330
Office: 732-650-9911 Ext.302
Cellular: 908-884-5757
Toll Free: 1-866-745-GMAC(4622) Ext.302
(Monmouth/Ocean MLS)…………
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 3, 2008
I'd like to second the advice given by Patti Bridges. The old cynical pro who' knows it all' won't neccessarily do a better a job of representing your interests. Remember all those unresponsive agents?
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 2, 2008
Perhaps you can share your concerns with her . I am sure she will be willing to listen and try and make it work. Perhaps there is a more experienced agent in her office that she can ask to work with her on the deal, thus providing you with more confidence in your representation. If she doesn't have anyone to ask, suggest you both sit down with her office manager and share your views. I am sure they won't want her to lose the deal she has worked on your behalf for, and will do what ever they need to help your sale come to a successful conclusion for all of you.
All of us were new at some time, and we all had a first sale. I personally had a mentor in my office that helped me through the rough patches to make sure I always represented my clients best interests.
Give the Realtor a chance to provide you with some feedback on your doubts.
Good Luck.
Sharon Kozinn
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 1, 2008
The house you like and saw 3 times, all by the same agent? If so, that agent should submit the offer. And, you should insist the agent present the offer in person. When done, the seller should sign something that says the offer was received.
Do not try to use a variety of agents, keeping it a the secret from them. Use one agent, always your choice. Agents who are well trained and have experience in business and/or are intelligent will out perform old timers every time. Real estate is a profession of "keep doing whatever works". Many ask themselves, "what can I do different from before and be better." That is who you want to represent you.
On the offer, it is mostly about the money. But If you have a great credit score, reveal that to the seller thru your agent. The closing date might be the key to acceptance, if so emphasize it thru your agent. But stick with the agent who works and found the house and showed to you 3 times, if that is true.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 11, 2008
Thank you all for your much needed feedback and professional experience! There have been a lot of good comments and concerns to think about listed below. If I decide to make an offer on this particular home, I will stay with my agent and express my concerns to her directly. If I move on to other homes, then I may have to rethink my choice in an agent - at least somebody that is full-time. The entire home buying process is flat out "Scary", well to me anyways. Thanks again!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 4, 2008
Franciso, good morning ....

For starters, it's "your" money and it's "your" future, not the agents ... you don't want to be sitting in a house in 6 months thinking you didn't get the very best deal, for whatever reason.

Second, you've lost all confidence in this person ... and confidence is 95% of any real estate transaction - so move on.

Third, there is no contract -- she's got zip.

Fourth, this is all about "you" and your future and your feelings - not anyone else's ... find an agent you feel comfortable with and go from there ...

Fifth ... get her a $50 gift certificate at the Olive Garden and call it a day.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 4, 2008
I echo the statements of speaking to her about your concerns as well as her broker. If she lacks experience and knowledge there should be someone mentoring her and over seeing her actions.Find out who that is. (Her broker will be responsible ultimately) Be sure to get a good home inspection company and attorney as these will make a significant difference. Remember every agent was new once upon a time.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 3, 2008
Hi Fransisco,

This is pretty simple. You agent is inexperienced. Her supervising broker is not. Simply speak to him or her and explain that you want a thoroughly experienced agent to represent your interests in the transaction. Leave the commission battle to the supervising broker. He will sort that out internally.

You are correct in being concerned about being represented by an inexperienced agent who is part-time. That is not a good formula for you. In fact, it is scary-bad.

Other buyers reading this should learn from your mistake. Always retain your own experienced buyer's agent before going out to look at homes. Do not put the cart before the horse. Your representation is probably the most important decision in moving forward on a purchase.

It unfortunately takes nothing to get a real estate license. And there are a lot of part timers in the field, which is a huge disservice to the buying and selling public. Always insist on a FULL-TIME agent before even discussing other qualifications. You cannot do this business correctly on a part-time basis. Period.

Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 1, 2008
Hi Francisco, In fact if you did not sign an Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement, you are not obligated to work with her, but is she/he has shown you the home twice, she/he could make a case for procuring cause for the sale and be due comission.

My recommendation is to voice your concerns to the agent and his/her manager if need be so that additional support can be added and ease you jitters. If you are not satisfied - and quickly - so that you don't lose the opportunity, then move on.

Good luck,
Jeannie Feenick
Search and connect at
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 1, 2008
Stick with them, everyone has to start somewhere, in a year you can learn alot as an agent. Just because they have only sold one house, in your first year generally you dont sell very much. You have their undivided attention as they dont have a ton of buyers or sellers. I guarantee they will work hard for you and can get any needed guidance from their broker/manager/mentor....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
Hi Francisco, you've come to a good conclusion and I'm glad to know that our collective comments have been helpful.

Good luck to you.

Jeannie Feenick
Weichert Realtors
Search and connect at
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 4, 2008
If your offer is good, it will be countered and you'll get what you want. If your offer is lousy, or if the seller just doesn't feel like negotiating, it doesn't matter how much the agent "talks it up" with the other agent. We were all new agents at one time, and most of us turned out fine. For myself, I had guidance all along from my office manager and other agents in my office. I don't doubt that some agents just "wing it", but there are plenty of long time agents who are not great at negotiating.

Not that it's something you did in your question, but I find it funny that there are people who think THEY can do a great job negotiating their own deals and if they have a little problem they ask it here, but on the flip side, a new agent can't negotiate, when they have the whole office behind them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 3, 2008
You "hire" a real estate person to assist you with the biggest transaction that many people will ever make. To ignore your gut feel would be foolish; get who you are comfortable with to review the property with you, and let the first agent deal directly with the listing agent if she feels entitled for having opened the door to the house for you. It seems cold, but the bottom line is, you have to watch out for your interests. To have doubts throughout the process is unneccessary. Not all agent/buyer relationships work; most of us have learned to deal with that, and move on. Good luck.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 1, 2008
I agree with Donna's comments and would like to add that even if you didn't sign a buyer representation agreement, please consider discussing your concerns with your agent. The only way any partnership can work is if there is good communication. She can't address what she doesn't know about. Most newer agents work with other more experienced agents and brokers who can help in new or difficult situations. Hopefully this can reassure you and you will get a good deal on your home. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 1, 2008
Just as an added side note, no I have not signed any type of paperwork with her. She also didn't seem very educated on the home and was reluctant to point out any things that may cause me some cocern. She even had trouble identifying the furnace. I'm just trying to paint a picture for some good feedback . Thank you for your comments and I will keep them in mind.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 1, 2008
As a Realtor in Baton Rouge La. I'm not sure if your laws are the same but here.I can tell you if you signed a contract with her you must use her or you may be liable to pay the fee anyway. unless you can get her to realease you. If she gets wind that you have dumped her. she can go after the other Realtor,for the fee .It is called procuring cause, she showed you the houses and had a relation ship with you. If she has been in real estate this long she probably knows the ropes well enough to handle anything that comes her way. Sometimes -talking it up- as you put it, will sour the whole transaction, from the other Realtor to the sellers.. you have to be carefull if try to ge there. Just submit your best offer and give the girl a chance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 1, 2008
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