Home Buying in 92103>Question Details

Robert, Home Buyer in 92103

Where can I fin PRE MLS listings?

Asked by Robert, 92103 Thu Feb 25, 2010

I am already working with a Realtor who is capable of searching through the MLS and arranging property tours in the 92101 zip. I am open to MLS realtors for 92103 provided they will only get credit for an MLS sale in their zip (The 92101 Realtor already knows my intent). I am currently not leaning towards either zip.

What I really want is what I will call... PRE MLS listings. Basically, a Realtor with inside knowledge on a great deal (20%-30% under current asking for a comparable) before it hits the MLS or properties where the agent holds the listing and will simply not work with other Realtors because you know you can easily sell it without additional promotion. Sorry but, desperate individual sellers also welcome!

I have a Pre-Qualification letter from a great lender and targeting 2bed/1bath 1,000 sf up to $300k. 1bed/1bath 900 sf to $230k. Ideal sale is $250k-$280k. Between: 12th st East, the water to the South and West ending at Washing in the North staying west of Balboa park..

Help the community by answering this question:



There are several issues to consider:

1.) Most buyer's agents get paid by a percentage of the listing agent's comission. (NO cost to you). The listing comission is already set in contract between that agent and the seller. A buyer's agent will work hard for you if you commit to them. Some agents use a contract for this, others don't. Some require a fee if you do not purchase but they have spent time on your behalf.

2.) There are several types of sales in this market (short sales, REO/Bank owned) that require a lot of work, time, patience, and navigation. Plan to submit multiple offers. The competition on these properties is high, thus increasing the end result sales price. If you are really lucky you will find a "traditional" sale.

3.) The listings you see on the various online sites may never make it to market. Some are notices of default that get modified by the lender, some get foreclosed on and go into auction or REO status, and others go through a short sale process.

I could go on and on, however it would be best to sit down with the agent you are already working with and find out how they can best help you.

Good Luck,

Marcie Sands, REALTOR
Simply The Best Real Estate Company, Inc.
Rancho Bernardo
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Do you know what market you are looking?

I find your post fascinating and it shows (IMHO) that you do not comprehend the nature of the market. Based on your post ....put yourself in the shoes of the seller....would you want YOUR Realtor giving advance notice to buyers and selling YOUR property under market value?

Probably not.

So, what makes you think that there are Realtors "with whom you have no formal relationship? who are going to abandon their fiduciary relationship with their client so they can give YOU a good deal?

Are you kidding? Really, think about what you are asking.

Good luck. BTW, I hope your Realtor in 92101 reads this. If I were them I'd put you on a tight leash or turn you loose. We do not work for free and I find your attitude very disturbing.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
I always find this subject interesting.... it seems that Buyers and Sellers know more about real estate industry than those of us that work in the field on a daily basis. I also am amused by the apparently widespread concept that a Buyer can get a discount if he/she goes directly to a listing Agent. The reason a layperson works with a real estate professional is so that they have professional representation and protection in their side of the transaction.

Consider the analogy... if I were in a lawsuit with you, would it be OK with you if my lawyer defends you? This is similar to what Buyers are trying to do by working with one Agent on both sides of a transaction. Further, it is the Seller who pays the commissions to the Buyer and Seller's Agents. Not the Buyer.

Perhaps others on this forum have put it more eloquently than I, but frankly I won't work with any Buyer that is not comfortable making a commitment to work with an Agent under a Buyer Representation Agreement. Buyers Agents can spend months trying to find a property for a Buyer expending time, effort, resources.... and possibly never be paid for that work when the flippant Buyer walks into an open house and writes an offer with the agent on duty with complete disregard to the Agent that has been helping them.

No Agent or Seller would consider listing a home for sale without a listing agreement. So why is there such a problem with the Buyer Representation Agreement?

However I digress, my input on the issue in the question from Robert is to work with one Agent that will represent you. Discuss with that Agent that fact that you want to consider non-MLS or pre-MLS properties. Your Agent should be able to "pitch" you as a Buyer at weekly Realtor and office meetings to other Agents that may have these pre-listings. Additionally your Agent should be able to tap into their office's REO department and find out what is in the pipeline coming up. There may be properties there that can meet your needs.

In closing, consider this. You are asking your Agent to do a lot of research and work for you to find a property that meets your needs. So don't ask the Agent to work for free. Make a commitment (Buyer and Agent) to work together with one another and you'll get results.

Mark W. Miller, Realtor
Keller Williams San Diego Metro
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 26, 2010
Robert, try Craigslist and look at For Sale By Owner (FSBO) listings. Generally Seller's who are in trouble (pre-foreclosure) don't want to pay 5-6% broker's fee out of their sale proceeds. Hence, they try to sell themselves. Zillow also has an FSBO section. Also try the UT. Should you actually find a property you like, and you and the Owner both agree on terms, you will still need a real estate professional to finalize the transaction to cover all legal requirements and disclosures. The agents here are trying to pass on their hard-won experience - me included.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Hi Robert,
Pre MLS listings are also know as pocket listings - a listing that has a signed contract but is not or will not be advertised. Investors are very active in the 92101 , 92102 and 92103 areas and they are all looking to find a deal before it hits the market so that they can maintain their buying and selling margin, which is usually $100,000.
I would encourage you to look in another market.
Janet McCarthy
Connect Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 30, 2012
You need a real estate agent that has their finger on the pulse of your market.
These are not the find them on the internet offering low commission type real estate agents.
They are professionals that know what you are looking for and network with the respect of their fellow professional agents.
This is the agent you want.
If you are working with an agent that is part of a 'we sell it to you and credit back your commission agents' well... that is not an agent who is going to be able to access 'inside' information.

Just my humblest of opinons!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 24, 2012
You will most likely have to work with agents that have pre-listed or "in-house" listings if you want the information.

Patrick A. Hale, CDPE, RSD
Real Estate Broker & Investor

"Help Over 360 Distressed Home Owners Avoid Foreclosure"
If You or Someone You Know is in Financial Distress Visit: http://www.SDRealEstate360.com
Web Reference: http://www.reofsd.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 12, 2010
Check the filed NOD's and call the owners direct. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 30, 2010
Mark Miller = Best Answer. Well done. Robert, take a good look at Mark's response.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 26, 2010
Well Robert, if I were your Realtor, I would not be pleased. In fact, I'd "fire" you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 26, 2010
My goodness your question stirred up a hornet's nest it appears. If you feel what you are doing is going to work for you, then you will soon find out if you are right or you are wrong. There are agents out there that will work with buyers who are working with other agents. The difficulty is in finding them, as I am sure you have already figured out. I have learned over the years that our buyers and sellers either figure we are worth what we do or we aren't. You are tending to lump agents together as all the same and doing the same job, so I can totally understand your your goal setting. You must do what you think will work for you.

Generally, and I am only speaking for myself, when we obtain a good lead for a purchase, I go to my best clients first. I am guessing most realtors who have made this a career do the same thing. I might suggest that you ask your current 92101 agent if they have any agent friends specializing in 92103 properties or if they know any agents who work in 92103. It used to be a lot easier to find an agent who focused on one specific area. The internet has opened the marketplace, so many agents tend to be working wherever their clients want them to work.

Have you tried searching the PreMLS properties you want in RealtyTrac? That is a foreclosure tracking service and if you have the time and patience it may be helpful to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Yes, Robert, I was selling real estate since 2002 with over 100 closed transactions and over $30million in sales. I am good at what i do.

But I understand your frustration. We all do. In these times, all my buyers are REQUIRED to sign a buyers agent agreement. That way, they get the best service available and I dont get screwed by buyers like you. Why would any agent want to give you 100% of their time if your not 100% commited. I know its a vicious circle, but truthfully, it boils down to the agent you choose.

Try Seth Obyrnes Team in 92103 www. sethobyrne.com he is top notch agent with some great buyers agents. He is dooer and will not dissappoint. But keep in mind he is a pro and will not partake in any shannigans.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Hey Paul,
Thanks! That was very helpful. I did look at craigslist but found a bunch of spam. The term "FSBO" is what I was looking for. Should help my search alot. I will keep you in mind for the review process if I end up going this route.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Thanks Marcie, I will just stick to one agent that can handle MLS listings and I will keep an eye on other distressed properties and maybe show up at an auction or two.

My first route however will be offering 10%-20% below asking on properties I care less about. Hopefully that practice is still acceptable!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Seriously David, I am here as a buyer seeking advice in an open forum. I am not looking to slam or be slammed. I did use a Realtor in 2006 (I paid 3% for 12hr of work) and I did not buy from a developer. I had no idea where the peak was or that there was a peak. I was simply a YUPPIE in love who just cam back to the US after spending 4 years overseas in the Military to everyone telling me "buy now, prices are going up".

I am actually curious if you sold properties in 2006 or early 2007. If you did, sounds like you knew the peak but led your buyers wrong.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Robert, just because you were naive and uneducated when you bought in 2006 does not make you more educated or less naive. If you review your last purchase in 2006, your problem started with buying after the peak and choosing the right agent.

I have a feeling that in 2006 you probably did not even use an agent and bought from a developer becuase you thought you were saving money.

Irregardless, real estate is a long term investment, not a short one. Take the "greed" and the "pride" out of the equation and your buying process will be less convoluted.

Lastly, #1 rule in real estate as my pappy once said, "Dont Get Emotional, Son"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Marcie and Christine, thank you for the insightful response.

I am no Realtor so some concepts and terminology elude me. Clearly, I am not looking to make an unethical transaction. The thing that prompted my original question is the Realtor I spoke with in 92101, when asked about listings I find on foreclosure.com did not sound too excited about the prospect of researching or showing them. These include Foreclosures, Tax liens, Bankruptcies, Auction and other properties that I call "PRE MLS" as they show up before being placed on the MLS and sometimes not at all. I have seen some of these properties sell for 15% below comparable asking prices on the MLS.

I can and do go to many sites such as zilow and MLS fed agent sites which is what every agent does so, what am I paying 3% for when I can just contact the listing agents directly and let him/her get double commission and maybe even save 1-2%? I know, you run a conflict of interest doubling down but I bet every Realtor on here would do it and I am comfortable paying out of band for someone else to review it.

It sounds like it is taboo for me to work with more than on Realtor but it seems unwise for me not to. Maybe I am crazy but if I am going to be paying a percentage of the sale to an agent I want them to do more than setup MLS alerts for me and spend around 12 hours working with me before submitting an offer. I get that you care about the seller but I do not (Especially if it is a bank). Out of 500 properties, there has to be a seller/agent who have concluded that the market will decline in 92101 a bit more and selling at 20% under now is the cheapest alternative. I want to pay a Realtor to find me that property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010

You may have bought a house in 2006 that is 30% above what it is today, but that is not the definition of a comparable. Based on that definition people who bought homes in the 1950’s bought 500% under market. What you asked is to have an agent who will knowingly sell a home that is priced under market. Unless the seller aggress that they want to accept a price lower than the market value, the agent is not living up to his/her fiduciary responsibility. As for you paying 10% above market when you purchased, that may have to do with your experience and the quality of the agent you worked with. If you had an agent that was looking out for your best interests, you would have paid a market rate.

As to you working with multiple agents: That is your choice and the choice of your agents. Most agents will not work with clients who have multiple agents because it is not fair for them to do months of work to have the buyer go with someone else. If your agents are ok with that then there is no problem.

I wish you luck in your search, but repeat what I said in a previous post. If you work with an agent who is “getting you a deal” at the expense of the seller, you may be taken too.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010

A listing agent's responsiblity is to protect their client's best interests (the seller). What your are describing is a very risky dual agency situation that most credible agents would not consider . (I doubt you will find a REALTOR that would touch it). Your current agent is not limited to just one zip code, so I am confused why they are not searching for all properties/zips that meet your needs. There is not a "source" in place that I am aware of where one can learn about listings before they appear in the MLS.

Kind Regards,
Marcie Sands, REALTOR
Simply The Best Real Estate Co., Inc.
Rancho Bernardo
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Hi Robert,

As a listing agent, if a desperate seller wanted me to sell their property, I would try to help that seller get the highest and best price for their property. Otherwise, I am not being an ethicial or good listing agent. I am being a crummy listing agent because I am selling their home for less than they could get. The best way to get a highest and best offer is to put the listing in the MLS, and try to get as many buyers interested in the property as possible. The "desperate" sellers need this help the most of all.

Sounds to me like you are interested in "pocket listings," which are listings that may not ever go into the MLS...basically, the agent has them in their "pocket." These types of listings do exist, but they are rarely priced below market value. They are usually sellers who don't have to sell...but will if the price is right. Not exactly desperate sellers.

I'm sorry that you are not finding the answers you are looking for. I have found most of the realtors on this website to be top-notch and extremely knowledgable. I wish the best in your home search. Maybe you should visit Zillow?

Christine Van Tuyl
Prudential California Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Wow, this place does not have very professional or educated Relators. The 92101 zip has over 500 properties on the market, 100+ foreclosures. The current asking price for a place I would want is $240k and I would love to get a comparable for $200k. That is neither criminal or unethical seeing as how it is going there anyways. Seeking multiple sources of listings makes perfect sense to me and if Joe Seller walks into the Cool Realtor office saying "I need to sell now, I am desperate" I would love for Cool Realtor to give me a call and say "Hey, this place went on the market, want to make an offer and see if you can get it before it is listed"? If the seller then accepts my offer, what is the problem?

I actually think the agents that have responded are just aggravated I am wisely using more than one Realtor. And to you Ray Calnan, I purchased a place in 2006 so yes, I did pay well over 30%. Easily over 10% at time of sale because I was naive and uneducated. The role is now reversed and I am looking to make up for my loss.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
The scenario you want doesn't exist. ask yourself this: why would a seller want to take that kind of loss? Either your agent is not explaining how the market is or you are not listening.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
What you are asking for is someone who is unethical and possibly breaking the law to help you. I sure hope that this person is only unethical to others and not you. Why would you think that anyone would want to sell there property for 30% under market? Would you pay 30% above market?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Hillarious.. Am I on "Candid Camera?"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
Good luck with your Pre-Qual Letter.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 25, 2010
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