Home Buying in Idaho>Question Details

Sam Spade, Home Buyer in Seattle, WA

What is expected from a real estate agent? I found a house I liked and contacted the listing agent on the sign. I was already working with a loan

Asked by Sam Spade, Seattle, WA Thu Mar 18, 2010

officer to get preapproved. She helped me make am offer, but that is pretty much where it has stopped. I am the one calling and getting quotes for insurance, delivering papers to the lender, etc. I speak with the lender directly when they need a doc or something. I am working two jobs, so a little help pulling all this together or deliverIng signed docs to the lender would really help. Am I asking too much?

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Don't be fooled Sam!

YOU are the one paying the commissions. While it may come off the top of the sellers net proceeds, you are the one who is going to be financing the final purchase price, am I right? Of course! So don't think for one second that the seller hasn't already reviewed a net proceeds sheet with the commissions right there.

THAT said, how does it make you feel to know that you are paying for an agent that, A. You didn't hire and, B. Isn't looking out for your interests and your interests alone?

Here is what I would recommend:
If you are in a dual representation situation, I would demand that the dual agent start performing for you. Period. If she isn't doing anything and she is in fact representing you, that's a no no. In that instance, I would be complaining to the principal broker. Because this is a dual agency relationship, the agent has a bullseye on them and better behave and represent you with care just as they would if you were their only client!

As for insurance quotes, papers being delivered to your lender, well thats another conversation entirely. It really isn't your Realtors job to shuffle paperwork for the lender, its the lenders responsibility so they need to step up too.

Both the agent and the lender are going to make a lot of money on this transaction and they need to step up and start accommodating you, even if that meas they have to drive an hour to get one signature from you. It's their job and I do it all the time....it's what I get paid for.

Lastly, if you are the one paying for the homeowners insurance, its probably not such a bad thing that you are calling for quotes on it. More importantly however, is that you find an insurance company with a good reputation and a hard working agent. There are a lot of good insurance companies out there, and there are also a lot of schmucks out there too! Choose wisely!

Contrary to popular belief, it's not such a bad thing to be in a dual agency relationship, as long as the agent is honest and competent. It isn't the preferred method, but it isn't the end of the world either. Next time, shop for an agent before you start shopping for a house!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 19, 2010
Sam, you bring up some great questions! But before I can answer accurately, is your agent a "non agent" or a "limited dual agent"?

Every brokerage in Idaho is supposed to have a printed "agency policy" which may vary depending on situation. For example, if you called on a new home community, you might be a "non agent" since we might represent the seller "exclusively"; or you might be a lmited dual agency where we represent both simultaneously withough sharing confidential data.

Some agents just close transaction with minimal service while others offer extended customer service to earn your long term and referal business! It is not the agents job to assist with insurance quotes, playing currier, etc., but the ones that do offer extended service are worthty of your future referrals if they do the job right!

Unfortunately, the time to negotiate for the right agent to represent you might already be over. The approach you might have considered up front when calling the listing agent is "why should I buy this property from you instead of hiring my own agent since I would not be the one paying the commissions?"!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 18, 2010
Yes, Sam, you are asking too much.

The real estate agent is working for the seller, not for you. That's who pays her. That's who hired her. She's got a signed listing agreement with the sellers. That's where her fiduciary duty lies. If she's smart, she'll do enough to make sure that the deal doesn't fall apart. But if you'd wanted "a little help pulling all this together," then you should have had your own agent.

Oh, and it really is your responsibility to apply for the mortgage and to get the insurance quotes in any case. If you had your own agent, he/she might recommend certain lenders or insurers, and would certainly remind you of your various responsibilities (such as applying for the mortgage within x days of a ratified contract . . . that sort of thing).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 18, 2010
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
Unfortunately, your first mistake was to use the listing agent, rather than your own buyer's agent. A buyer's agent represents only you. A listing agent represents the seller and in NJ, which is a dual agency state, once the listing agent enters a dual agency relationship, they really can't represent either side. I'm not sure about Idaho.
Its too late to go back now but it sounds like you really need to sit down and have a face to face talk with your agent to delineate what your expectations are and if they are realistic.
It is only to the agent's advantage to help you in this process but often people are unaware of what agents should and shouldn't be doing.
If talking to your agent doesn't get you the results you need, then try her broker. If you still aren't satisfied, the broker will probably be willing to assign another agent from the office who may be in a better position to give you the individual attention you require.
It sounds like you have a lot on your plate with 2 jobs and buying a home at the same time.
Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 18, 2010
There are some things that you should be doing yourself--quotes regarding insurance need to be done by you, your agent doesn't know what will suit your needs best; if your lender needs personal documents from you, they should be provided by you--privacy issues could come to play and you should be in direct contact with your lender anyway; as far as delivering the docs to the lender-- should not be a big deal why not ask your agent to do so.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 18, 2010
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