Home Buying in Portland>Question Details

Raggedyann, Home Buyer in Portland, OR

Why is it "wrong" to have different realtors working different areas for you? (No signed contracts with any of them.)

Asked by Raggedyann, Portland, OR Wed Aug 31, 2011

We seem to have irked three realtors, all in significantly different areas, because we were "working" with realtors other than them. We have been VERY scrupulous about having whomever showed us a given home do all the dealings regarding that home. But we're looking for something pretty specific, and we're having to cast a pretty wide net in order to find it. When a realtor seems to run out (i.e., no personal contact for weeks) of suitable homes, we truly need to keep looking -- and look for homes in another area with another realtor in that area. Our own home is sold, "everything" we own is in storage, and we're temporarily living in an apartment with two big dogs, sleeping on the floor and paying not only rent,but also a fortune to have everything stored. We appreciate what they have done for us, but when push comes to shove, WE STILL NEED A HOME! Why are they so offended?

Help the community by answering this question:


Let see....
1. One in five buyers working with an agent will actually close on a home.
2. Every buyer requires six times the time commitment as compared to agents who do listings
3. 'Very Specific' requirements means burning the midnight oil and eliminating the homes that can't possibly meet your needs, but you are not looking over their shoulder to see them toiling away in the darkness.
4. Working with THREE real estate professionals. Now instead of a 20% success possibility your choice has reduced the success possibility to less the 5%.
5. Willingness to compromise, Buying and selling of real estate is a negotiation process. Stringent requirements may suggest unwillingness to negotiate in good faith. You may be operating from a false notion that the buyer will set all the rules. Not a good premise for success.

I don't know what business you are in, but I confident if you were asked to toil away into to night with a 95% probability of FAILURE,,,you would be THRILLED! 90% of the work a real estate professional does goes unseen by those they serve. Laboring on your behalf only to discover you have BETRAYED them by 'casting a wide net.' I know I would be compelled me to extinguish your number from my telephone before you are able to siphon away attention that should be spent on those with a possibility of actually buying a home in the foreseeable future.

Be aware, you have not irked three realtors, you have indeed BETRAYED three real estate professionals. This is why we read so much about compelling buyers to sign buyer contracts. Had these betrayed agents insisted,...perhaps you would be unpacking now.
7 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
Raggedyann - we are in a similar place as you. House hunting for months on end, uncomfortably getting by on the minimal necessities while our life is packed in storage boxes as we rent an apartment. We've been close to closing a few times now, but generally are fed up with the system overall which seems to keep screwing us. We've had deals undone by REO comps from an out of area appraiser, a seller's agent who walked away from her brokerage while we were mid-negotiation infuriating the seller and making them remove the property from market altogether, and cash offers coming in at literally the last second to undercut our offer. Wishy-washy realtors who generally don't have our best interest in mind, only their commission seem to be the norm. We've bought before in different parts of the country, had better luck, but not better realtor experiences.

I know not all realtors are unethical, selfish, and whiny, and the majority will be hard working and actually have their client's best interests in mind, but some of the comments below just reinforce how greedy these "professionals" come off as being sometimes. There are different areas which a realtor is familiar with, THEY are the ones who say that. If I'm looking to buy a house ideally in Gresham, would consider something in Vancouver WA (if the location and price are ok), but would love to live close in near SE Hawthorne -- these are entirely different areas and I'd feel more comfortable working with different agents who know and understand these local markets.

Raggedyann, there's no reason why different agents can't set up a search in each of these areas for you and be happy to have a client. The wider net you cast the more potential houses you can locate. If you're looking for something unique, that seems like a much wiser choice. Three agents from different offices will have three times the possibility of bringing to you a house which hasn't been listed yet as well.

The service provided by a realtor really doesn't justify the cost increase the seller has to tack on to the sale price, in my opinion. A fixed commission of $1,000 for filling out some paperwork and taking a few phone calls should be more than sufficient per sale. Tagging the commission to a percentage only incentivises both buyer's and seller's agents to negotiate a higher price.

I'm sure I'll upset the NAR members here, but really, the ethics of your industry comes into question when tens of millions of $$ are spent annually on lobbying politicians. Lets just keep it simple and civil in the responses here. Buyers have their interests in consideration only, sellers their own interests, and realtors (buyer/seller agent) a separate set of interests. Don't give Raggedyann a hard time about doing what is in her best interest and we (buyers and sellers) will cut you a little more slack for keeping your best interest in consideration.
5 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 5, 2011
As long as you're up front from the beginning, then they have no reason to be upset if they agree to show you properties.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 2, 2011
Yes, dear realtors, we ARE still reading! Stunned! Astounded! But still reading . . . every word. It may help to know that the areas we are considering are rural or at least semi-rural, and would consider a minimum of FIVE counties, one of those gigantic. We have also considered (if necessary) two additional counties just over the state border here. We have learned that realtors are definitely NOT all working from the same MLS data base! They are only working from the ones to which their organization SUBSCRIBES! In our past experience in buying and selling houses, the best service comes from a realtor who actually knows and works the area. Typically, we search multiple databases for suitable homes, find one good realtor in that area, and ask them about all further homes in that general area. We're the ones doing most of the search, and before we ask any realtor about any home, we have already driven by it. And we would NEVER buy a home from anyone other than the realtor who showed it to us. It may also be useful to know we've been shown a grand total of five homes through four realtors over a period of eight months. And we're still sleeping on the floor -- which is most certainly not any realtor's fault -- and we never even remotely indicated that we thought it was . . . but it is not ours either. We just want to get settled and on with our life.

Now . . . I'm going to run for cover, and see what you all have to say!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 2, 2011
Annette said: "Be aware, you have not irked three realtors, you have indeed BETRAYED three real estate professionals. This is why we read so much about compelling buyers to sign buyer contracts. Had these betrayed agents insisted,...perhaps you would be unpacking now."

No betrayal if everyone knew about each other. Besides---the author spoke about NO CONTACT. This is an important lesson for all in the 'sales' profession.

I'll bet thousands of agents have lost commissions because they left the clients WONDERING what was going on. As a young broker, I learned this the hard way. During my first few weeks a buyer hired me to help her. I looked and took her a few places---what she wanted was also a bit out of the ordinary. At first I would call her (email wasnt even invented LOL) and tell her what I did/didnt find. It became tedious. One Thursday I started showing to another client and nothing new came up on the market. I was busy and ASSUMED that she would know nothing was available or I'd have called. EL WRONGO! Monday I called to tell her that I was working on a new, unlisted seller who had called our office. I was excited! She coldly told me she already bought a house over the weekend. She said that since I had not called her for three days, she assumed I had given up. A two-bit idiot who shouldnt have even had a license had just thrown a new in-house listing into the Sunday paper and she called him instead of me. I say idiot not because I lost the transaction---the guy was really stupid. I dont know how he passed the license tests. She later showed me the contracts and they looked like a 3rd grader scratched them out.

I learned by that and by watching other agents. You LIVE with a client. They are looking to you for help. They RELY on you. It may seem excessive from your end but place yourself into their shoes---especially if they are about to be transferred, have a deadline for taxes, etc.

Anyway, the poster said there wasnt any contact so I believe there was no problem at all with contacting other agents. In a way, thats betraying the buyer, isnt it? Of course we dont know the entire story. Thats it for me in this thread...Happy sales, everyone!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 1, 2011
Dear Raggedy,
I think the problem stems from a lack of understanding on everyone's part. What is the roll of the Agent? What is the goal of the client? What are to goals of each?Is there a professional relationship established?

When I work with buyers, I begin with a meeting that will outline our goals and objectives. I cover all aspects of buyer agency and answer all questions. Normally, this meeting will determine my working relationship with my client. We cover contracts, including buyer/broker contracts, finanacing etc.
It's at this meeting that we make the decision to proceed...or not. Based upon mutual goals and needs.

Once a committed professional relationship is established, I think you will find, your agent will be working hard to find a property that meets your needs, and you also will be more satisfied with the results you get.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 1, 2011
Because of the multiple listing system, any realtor can show you everything in the MLS for that area. If all of the locations you are looking in are in the same MLS, then you only need one really good agent to hunt for a home. If you are not making a commitment to an agent, they won't want to make a commitment to you. If you DO commit to an agent and they don't stay in touch with you, then you are completely within your rights to terminate that commitment.

If you are looking in different MLS areas then you really need different agents, but remember that agents work on commission and are not paid anything for their time and efforts unless they sell you a home. Appreciation is a wonderful thing but it does not put food on the table. Ideally you will be honest with the agents in each area and tell them that you are working with other agents in different locations so that there will not be a surprise.
Web Reference: http://www.lynnhayes.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
Hi Raggedyann,
I get it. I've been in both sets of shoes on this issue, before and after I was broker.

When I go to continuing education classes, we typically stand up to intorduce ourselves, and our area of service. Some folks are very narrow, I like to Work Northwest San Antonio and on out to Medina Lake. It's a specific area. Other will stand and say "They Work Texas". While that is great, I would not want my sister using them to buy a home, because there is no way they can know everything about "All of Texas".

One of the points of that exercise is to network with folks in different locales. I did collect several cards, and we have referred business back and forth. I have referred poeple out to neighboring counties, and the same with languages. I have Italian, Spanish, Russian and German in my Rolodex should the need arise again, and it does come up.

My only advice, which is what I would appreciate....is that you simply be upfront. Tell me that I am the guy for the Northwest Area, but you are also considering X, Y and Z as well. If I have a good referal for you, I will speak up, if not,I can help you interview and find the right agent in the other areas. No harm, no foul. And we let the other agents in on the situation as well.

We're not all greedy, or thin skinned. I hope this helps, and congratualations on such a good post!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 5, 2011
The answer is very simple. No agent wants to waist time showing homes to someone who is not dedicated to seeing the process through with them. After all we all go to work to get paid and if you are not dedicated to finding a home with them they won't take you seriously. These agents did not create your situation, they only want to help you solve it. Like you they have the same choices about who to work with. They want to spend their time in activities that produce income. If you want an agent not to loose interest you must be dedicated to them so they will be dedicated to you. Try to work with one agent as a team to accomplish your goal. This of it like dating. If you date someone and that someone dates many other people you may not get serious about that person. But if that person only dates you a spark may develop and end up in a long term relationship or more. If you are not finding what you are looking for, it may not exist. Try to expand your search criteria and you should be successful.

All the best,
Gary Geer

2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
Hi Raggedyann,
Yes you've gotten a multitude of answers here. I understand you're perplexed and seem upset that there are lapses of time where they can't seem to find homes to show you.
I won't address the multiple realtor issue because i think you've gotten several points of view here. But i would like to add something else. I can see you're stressed about not finding a home and you wonder what happens for weeks in between when you need one now.
Things are very different when buying a home today. there are many homes on the market, but its much harder to find good homes, well priced, and in good condition. Its not like it used to be, when i would meet a new client, show a few homes, and they would be in a home in 30 days. today it takes months, and there are many times when weeks can go by when i'm not showing them anything, because nothing new fits their wants and needs. and on top of that you say you want something unique, which makes it even more difficult. You seem to have multiple issues going on.
I will say you did it the right way, by selling first and then looking. Unfortunately it will take your patience and maybe an adjustment in plans. But hang in there, just when you think its hopeless the right place invariably shows up. When there's a lull because of lack of homes, I just let my buyers know "nothing this week" and they're disappointed but understand and appreciate my constant communication. I can't change what homes are up for sale! we have no control over what comes on the market, but can only be engaged and diligent in looking, which as mostly a buyer's agent, I'm very engaged in doing. I can't say about your realtors, as i don't know enough about the situation.
I would say set your expectations a bit differently, because no one can control what's available, and just make sure you're looking too. Today a realtors job has much more to do with the process of negotiating and closing, and buyers have so much information available that you can be more engaged in looking online and driving by a home. that up front screening by you can really help...it's a team effort, especially in your situation with limited time.
My best to you
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
Hi Raggedyann,
I understand that your primary goal is to find that perfect house for you and getting the help of a Realtor is the right thing to do. Realtors are very ethical in general and they expect the same time of honesty from their client. I believe if you were clear regarding your specific requirement in the beginning and made the Realtor aware about your current situation,there should not be any misunderstanding. I would like to ask you and our friend "Weary" here to contact me so that I could help you find Your Dream Home as I'm currently working with Buyers who all have different requirements for their Home and I love a Challenge!
Web Reference: http://www.Manishajain.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 6, 2011
I have worked with buyers who like to look in different areas. I am willing to sign buyer agent agreement with them for the areas that I serve and refer them to agents in other areas who I know will help the buyers in those areas. If your agent has disappeared call the broker and see if there is a reason .
Web Reference: http://www.gitabantwal.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 5, 2011
Simpy put ~ there is absolutely nothing inappropriate with the practice of working with different agents who best service different area in whcih you are interested. I like to work the areas I know best - like where I know everything going on -- and that cannot be more than several municipalites at be st.

I work with comsumers all the time searching with other agents in other towns or counties -- it's entirely routine, there's nothnig wrong with it and any broker who finds this daunting or off-putting is either an amateur or somebody who's feeling financial pressure. By the way - it's also a decent thing to convey this to all your respecftive agents.

Best to you and enjoy the long weekend!

Jim Longo
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 2, 2011
i couldn't agree more! this has been hysterical... i've been on here for years and never seen so many responses. My heart goes out to you... I'm sure you've asked, but if there's only 5 homes, i wonder what it is? I don't mean to be rude but just asking honestly, are you being unrealistic about what you want? what have the experts in those areas said as far as availability of what you want? You're going to have many of us curious now, especially those of us who love a challenge! and no, i'm not offering my services. the last thing you need is another realtor! your best advice was just be up front with everyone. If it were me, and i had this recently as we all do, one of my clients wants forest grove outskirts which i don't know at all. I was perfectly willing to refer her and I would get a piece of the transaction if there's a referral involved. so that works out on all ends and i don't feel pressured to know an area, that I don't!
so just be up front, review your desires, maybe look at a few homes that you don't think fit to see what is available and then review again. you must really be looking for something unique. Are you still in your home and under a time limit to move? you might need to consider a temporary move. I wish you the best, you certainly got us all going!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 2, 2011
Hi Raggedyann,

I think the answer depends on how different the areas are. Are they different parts of the same town or truly different areas where a Realtor would not service competently? In general a buyer agent works very hard with the hope that at the end they may get paid to find their client a great home.. by spreading your search over 3 agents each agent now must assume at BEST a 33% chance of every getting paid for their work. The reality is that we all have families and do not charge to show 10, 20 , 50 or 100 houses... so If the homes are in a close enough area.. find the best agent and let them work their tails off with the knowledge that if they find you the best deal you may buy it.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 2, 2011
I agree with both Caroline and 'higher living' Its a judgement call. Heres a thought---post HERE exactly what you need and see who first steps up to the plate with a match! I'll grab some popcorn. Honestly, Im not trying to make light your needs or the issues. Who knows---you may have never even come back to this thread. Generally its better to put your trust in one real estate agent who will EARN their fee. On that I agree with all those who want to be the exclusive agent. Its perfectly understandable. I do not understand why all the ones with whom you worked so far have not come up with anything. To be fair maybe its JUST NOT OUT THERE?!

You mentioned lack of contact---NO EXCUSE for that. If they dont contact you then dump em. Perhaps you should tell them up front that you require updates because you are in a hurry. One might say an agent should know this anyway so why should you have to ask? See? Its a double edged subject on many levels.

Good luck to you. By the way---31% of all sales now are bank auctions. Perhaps you should have someone looking into distressed properties?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
Their biggest issue might be because they weren't aware of what was happening. If you were upfront about what your goals were, and how you're going to go about doing that, then I think it's up to the realtors you're speaking with to decide upfront if that's a situation they're individually ok with.

I think working with a different realtor in different areas is fine -- particularly if you're seeking the local expert in that area. But spelling it all out upfront is really what's going to prevent resentment from building up. Hope it all works out.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011

If you were hired to do a job, but then your boss hired someone else to do the same job with the stipulation that only one of you would be paid, I find it hard to believe you or anyone would put in full effort. This is just a suggestion, but hire 1 agent and sign a contract with them. You might be surprised what kind of motivation that installs.

You might find lots of agents willing to work for you without signing anything, but how many other people are they also working for who haven't signed anything? There's no way to tell because their time is going to anyone who makes a phone call to them. Who gets my time? My clients (they signed a contract). This is a business, not Realtor Roulette.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
I have mixed feelings about this and would like more information before giving a full opinon but in general, no onw wants to work for free. If Im trying to find a home for you and so are many others, its possible that I will have worked for nothing if one of the others gets lucky.

On the other hand---why would another agent 'get lucky' and adge me out if Im doing the job? How about timing. Maybe 5 agents all see a brand new listing and all try to call you but you are at work , etc. The first one to speak to you gets it. Now lets say Im working with many buyers and Im just a little slow that day. You deserve the best service and I didnt give it. Also consider the REGIONAL KNOWLEDGE. Sure, we are all members of a Multiple Listing service but all properties are not in the MLS! We may know of neighbors willing to sell. We may use TRULIA, countless FSBO sites, etc. We may have been 'farming' an area and have no official listings but know some who will sell. Some call those 'pocket listings'.

It sounds like you are in a hurry. If you have set parameters---area, home type, etc than one good agent shopuld be able to handle it, especially if they specialize in or live in that area. If you are casting wide nets, Talk to several agents and tell them you are looking for area specialists and working with them all. Thats fair. If they want to work for you then all will know the rules and no one can be unhappy over the outcome. I value properties for banks when they are considering foreclosure. I do hundreds of them--all day long in 3 counties and probably have a better knowledge of values than many agents BUT I dont claim to be an expert in them all. I live in Tigard and know it very well. Oddly, I know the Zig Zag areas on Mt hood, Washougal WA and parts of North Portland very, very well. If you wanted me to be your area expert for SE, Clackamas, etc Id have to say Im not and only have MLS access like everyone else.

Im not going to throw my hat into this stack of agents trying to represent you, and my opinions are more consumer oriented than they should be for a 'sales' person. That said, grab agents from different areas and let them know the score up front. They can take a chance or not.

Hint---we are all NOT rolling in business! You should be able to find enough people to chase houses for you under your ground rules.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
It's not wrong, but your appreciation is scant compensation for a broker's time and effort.

This is among the reasons that brokers do themselves a dis-service by not having signed agreements in place with prospective buyers. For one thing, buyers do not have a commitment or even an understanding from the broker as to what services they will provide; they're just assuming that they are a top priority and if the broker sees a house for them, they'll call.

From the broker's point-of-view, I think we all need to realize that the times have changed, and that buyers are not necessarily "loyal" to us. (You see, Ann, we used to think that our buyers were truly "ours," and it used to come to a shock to us to learn that they might be using other avenues to search for homes.)

I know we'd like to think that we create loyalty by our professionalism, expertise, and personality - but the fact is, fewer buyers are seeing us as trusted guides that they need to get them through the process, and more of them are seeing us simply as access points.

Ann, thanks for bringing this up. All the best,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
They are offended because they feel they have been working for you and unless you buy a home from them - they have no compensation for time, energy, etc spent. It is NOT your fault that they did not stay in contact however. That is a realtors largest complaint in most cases. They should have at least stayed in touch and let you know the areas they were covering. I am sorry that did not happen for you. I hope you find a home soon and when you find the realtor that stays in touch and finds you the home both of you will be glad you did.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
Good Morning Raggedyann! I am a Portland area Realtor....while the answers so far have been from Realtor's out of the area - they have been great answers. As a Portland area Realtor, I'd like to know what areas you are expanding your search out to and what is unique about the property you are looking for? My team, as well as most Realtors in the area, cover all of Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington Counties. Some Realtors are also licensed in Washington and are in the Marion County MLS system. It's all about having a conversation with a Realtor you like to see what areas they cover and how knowledgeable they are regarding the property you are looking for, picking one and allowing him/her to go to work for you. If you are also looking outside the areas covered - then I see no problem using more than one Realtor...but I can't stress enough, keep everyone informed and communicating so no one feels "cheated" on. My team has fired multiple buyers for lack of loyalty - it makes no more sense for us to devote time to a buyer who is not loyal to us, than for you to work with a Realtor that's not familiar with areas you are looking in or knowledgeable about the property you are looking for. That scenario does nothing but waste everyone's time and no one will be happy. It sounds like you are reaching the point of being pretty desperate to find a home..........that is all the better reason to pick a good Realtor to go to work for you, who will devote their focus on finding the property you seek. I can't help but think that the lack your loyalty to any one Realtor may be some of the cause of their lack in responding to you on a regular basis and/or working diligently to find you a home. Of the other answers you've received so far - I highly recommend reading Annette From Palm Harbor's answer again - she's give you a wealth of technical details and a very good answer.

Best of luck to you in finding your home. If you need any further help - just let me know.

Kelly Gebler, Principal Broker
Cornerstone Group NW @ Keller Williams Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
Good for you, their working for you and if they at this point can't find you a home, keep looking. Lots of websites so you can do your own looking, as they seem not to be able to push you into a first few homes they show you.

Best to you and let the realtors, earn their commission.

HLR, we sure have to earn our tiny fees to what their commissions are.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
I guess, for me, it would depend on how far apart those different areas are. If the areas are all in the same general region, then it's reasonable to allow one agent to search all of them for you.

If the all the areas can not be covered by the same agent (unfamiliarity) then it's reasonable for you to use different agents. But I'd be upfront with them and tell them I'm working with you to help me find something in Castle Rock, Long Beach and Warrenton, but I'm using someone else to search downtown Portland, Tigard and Beaverton.

Portland is not a huge geographic area, however, and it's probably common to have Realtors who are familiar with and cover the entire area.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
Not at all...........

Our recommendation is to make it clear to the parties involved, letting them know what locations they are responsible for so there is no duplication of services.

Good luck,

1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
Yikes! I see the dilemma clearly here. Realtors usually work on commission only, and the point of turning them on or off is reciprocal to the value they feel you place in them. Figure that we will spend hours/days/weeks looking for a house for you. Then figure that we have to get you through the offer process. Then figure that we have to ensure the escrow contingencies all work out (50% fall out rate here in CA). Then figure that we are praying that your loan goes through.
Considering the above, it becomes difficult for many of us to consider you a reasonable candidate for action.
For example, if you signed an exclusive agreement with me, I'd go "balls to the wall" to close the deal you want. We want referrals, and that means we want to do a great job so you'll refer us for more business. Clients like you are not considered bad or wrong; just in need of some enlightenment involving our mindset as business-minded folk.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
I wouldn't be offended. Do what makes you feel comfortable. Let the Realtor deal with their own issues
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 3, 2012
so RaggedyAnn, any updates? I'd love to hear how you're doing, and that maybe you've been able to find a home. I couldn't agree more with Kelly, it's really tough in Portland right now. I mostly work with buyers, and there's so little for sale. It used to take about 60 days at the MOST to find a home, often much less. Now it takes months to weed through the bank-owned, short sales, and regular homeowners, then in the end, everyone's fighting over just a few homes that are decent and well-priced. Its so easy to blame the Realtor. I would love to meet Weary, too, because obviously you've both had less than satisfying experiences with Realtors. I can guarantee you, when a buyer closes a transaction with me, not once have I had them question my commission, ever. I work very hard and my buyers know it and appreciate it. In fact, we don't ever talk about it so I don't think its something that crosses their mind, as they're too busy moving and enjoying the prospect of their new home. And guess what, if you think we make so much money for doing nothing, its a fairly easy business to start and we'd welcome any of you into our business! I think you'll find it has many challenges for us, but most of us do it because we love our jobs, and it shows.
So please, if you're still having trouble, I'm available just give me a call or email. I may not be able to make things happen faster, but I understand the market and as we work together, you'll at least have your expectations reasonably set... and that will bring a more positive buying experience. There are challenges in today's market, but there are huge benefits too with the amazing interest rates and lower, more affordable prices. Again, best to both of you, and we'd love some updates, maybe even some good news from one or both of you!
Sincerely, Marge
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 3, 2012
I admire how well written these answers are. Now, if we only knew what it is that the OP is having such a difficult time finding. The whole country is following this it seems. Hummmmm!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 2, 2012
Spring has arrived in Florida! (translation - we had no winter)
In December, a nice couple was doing a get acquainted tour of Florida. Their route, Jacksonville, Daytona, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Fort Myers, Sarasota, St Petersburg - Clearwater, Gainesville and Tallahasse. Yep, they contacted an agent in each one. No, problem, each of these areas have significantly different attributes and price points and most certainly operate from different MLS databases.
Meeting them that Saturday morning resulted in 236 potential homes meeting their price and size criteria. There in the office they added the 'wait-a-minute' requirements. Must have ground floor master suite, built no later that 2005, within 3 miles of beach, baths on east side of house, move-in ready, no shorts, nor reos, south facing patio, no pool(in FL?), gated, with nearby golf courses...etc, etc.
The final search showed three matches and one in the war zone. In my area, less than 2% of available inventory had any hopes of meeting their needs. Now, add to that there are 9 other agents looking in different areas also, and the outcome seems very uncertain. Many of the competing areas are not 'built out' as is my area of Florida. Newer homes in gated communities are less common here. From a business prospective, what needs to happen? From a personal prospective, what might a buyer consider?

Marjory made some really excellent points. Now, list your requirements and all the Portland agents participating here will be able to solve your issue by finding you a home or they may identify something else is at play. Post your requirements and let's watch magic happen.
Web Reference: http://www.MyDunedin.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 2, 2012
Hello Again! I answered your question back in the beginning and have been following all the interesting answers - it occured to me that there's one piece none of us (including me) thought to mention. Not that it will help you find a home any faster - but at least it might explain why few homes are being sent to you.....the Portland area market report published monthly by RMLS shows that our inventory of available homes is way down. If homes continue to sell at the same rate they've been selling and nothing new were listed - we'd sell every available home in 7 months. That probably sounds like alot of homes - however when you compare that to this same time last year, or even earlier this year, you'll see that this is considerably reduced. In the past 18 months, we've normally been running between 10 and 12.5 months of available homes for sale. If you factor in that you are looking for something very unique - I would assume that would narrow your odds of available homes even more. So - while you've got 3 Realtors working for you and you're still not getting many (or any) listings sent to you...it very likely is just that there truly are few new homes coming up to send.

Several of us have mentioned that we'd like to know some details about what you are looking for - I list bank owned homes and always have several that are in the process of getting ready to list, but that aren't on the market yet. I'm sure there are others here who also may have homes coming up that aren't live listings as well. It seems like it would make some sense to give some details so we can all check our inventory of homes in a prelisting stage to see if maybe we've got something that would work - that way you potentially beat the competition before it goes in RMLS.

Kelly Gebler, Principal Broker
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 9, 2011
I often come across buyers who are unsure as to what area they want to live in. Often, one of the areas on the 'possibility' list is an area I'm not familiar with (and not qualified to give great advice). I have many agents that i network with. If the situation you mentioned comes about, I'll call one of them and we will all work together to find you the home you want. I'll pay a referral if they buy in one of my areas and the other agent will pay me if the buyer purchases something while out with them. We also, with the clients participation, determine who's database (and thus future referrals because that's REALLY what keeps our business going) the client goes on. I'm not going to show property 2 hours away. If I ever move, I want the agent helping me to know the area and I expect most buyers do. It's not that hard of a situation to figure out and I'm surprized that the agents haven't suggested it. We work hard, and gas costs money so I think they are feeling like they are working for nothing. No one wants to spend money and spend time away from their family for a wild goose chase but if you are truly considering all areas, I'd look into having the agents work together and assure them that they are at least going to get gas money back!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 4, 2011
Wow Ann, quite a saga.
But once the inventory is exhausted in an area, (and an agent chooses the area they will serve), you have no choice but to use someone else in another area. Some, not many, agents will find a way to show houses out of their subscribed MLS. We have 40 agents ranging from part time house wives to retired septagenerians to full time agents who find a way to sell a house no matter where it is. I will stick my neck out and say that is what goes on in Oregon too. Point is already made that your needs may be unusually difficult to meet, which is obvious to you as well. Try Realtor.com as a source of everything. All MLS feed Realtor.com. Contact the listing agent yourself. Take it from there.
For kicks, how about telling us what the house you seek is like. If Mack McCoy, below, were licensed in OR he would help I am sure. He's that kind of guy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 4, 2011
Thanks for the update, Ann; sometimes it seems as if we're only talking to ourselves!

All the best,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 2, 2011
Most Realtors work with buyer rep agreement , we cover 70 cities here in DFW area show properties. I been resident in this area for over 31 years know it very well. Most buyers focus on one or two areas at best

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 2, 2011
Yes, dear realtors, we ARE still reading! Stunned! Astounded! But still reading . . . every word. It may help to know that the areas we are considering are rural or at least semi-rural, and would consider a minimum of FIVE counties, one of those gigantic. We have also considered (if necessary) two additional counties just over the state border here. We have learned that realtors are definitely NOT all working from the same MLS data base! They are only working from the ones to which their organization SUBSCRIBES! In our past experience in buying and selling houses, the best service comes from a realtor who actually knows and works the area. Typically, we search multiple databases for suitable homes, find one good realtor in that area, and ask them about all further homes in that general area. We're the ones doing most of the search, and before we ask any realtor about any home, we have already driven by it. And we would NEVER buy a home from anyone other than the realtor who showed it to us. It may also be useful to know we've been shown a grand total of five homes through four realtors over a period of eight months. And we're still sleeping on the floor -- which is most certainly not any realtor's fault -- and we never even remotely indicated that we thought it was . . . but it is not ours either. We just want to get settled and on with our life.

Now . . . I'm going to run for cover, and see what you all have to say!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 2, 2011
Ron... I wanna be your Realtor... I have to say that your post gave me the best chuckle I've had all year. Your profile says you are a Real Estate Pro... What area of expertise?

I hear what you are saying but if you worked with me I would find you such a good deal that you wouldn't care who got paid... I'm talking instant equity, building wealth, and living the rest of your life in an awesome house.

If Realtors are leaches... What about doctors? Are they con men selling snake medicine?

What about a waitress? Is she some slime ball trying to capitalize on your stomach pains?

Mechanics don't know anything either.... Oh yeah... and don't forget about our paramedics... Total doctor wanna be's that do no good...

I could keep going, but you see negativity begets negativity.

If you feel like being toxic then by all means that is your right and none of my business but please Sir... Don't project that toxicity on the rest of us.

I just think Ron needs a HUG... =)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 2, 2011
A real estate purchase is much about feeling as it is about specifics. It's also a relationship business. What other purchase in your life can you spend days, months, or over a year with one sales person. Some of the anger from the agents may be due to their feeling that they had created a relationship with you but you didn't with them. It's easy to feel slighted when you have spent time and energy - even if you didn't see them - worrying about pleasing a client doing crazy searches for hours trying to find that perfect house. Some more communication about your needs and likes as you search with one realtor may help you find a home quicker. Ask them if they want to look farther and do a wider search. You may be surprised by one of the three working harder than the others.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 1, 2011
When purchasing a home, you really want to commit to one realtor. It is perfectly fine to interview several to determine who will meet your needs best, however, working with just one realtor makes the most sense because they can really get to know you and what you are looking for. When you have committed to working with only one realtor, they are more vested in you, will work harder for you, and can give you more customized advice to help you make the right decisions. When you work with several realtors, you don't really get 100% from any of them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
I would ask an agent what areas they work in, and let them ask questions based on your needs, desires, and wants. Once they have exhausted their listings, I would simply call them and let them know that you might be looking in another area and see if they work that area. In my area, we work very large geographic regions. Agents may feel they were cheated, but it might also be because the agents are just frustrated. They are working for free (or may have felt they wasted their time).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
There is nothing "wrong" with it...however, having a "buyer's agent" is a free service for you...So wouldn't you want to work with someone who is looking out for your best interest and not just trying to sell you the home you are calling them about? If you sign an exclusive contract with an agent, he or she will dedicate their time to you and will continue to find you your dream home. That agent doesn't get paid for their services with you until you buy a property...so it is in their best interest to find you a home that you like as quick as possible so they don't waste their own time or yours.

Hope this helps!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
WOW, I know this may seem tiring and stressful. I have read most of the comments. I definitely would ask for a referral. I can get you one ASAP. I do recommend signing a contract after interviewing two or three people and have the Realtor hold your hand too turn this into a fun, memorable, and exciting period of your life. Where you are now is uncomfortable, tiresome, and costly! Call me today so I can put you in the hands of a great Realtor too give you that much needed hug and assurance of a willingness and commitment too give you the level of respect and attention you deserve NOW!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
Be very upfront with what you are doing, and all the areas that interest you. If you like the realtor, and they cover the next area you are interested in, then offer them the option to show you homes there. In a particular area, different realtors should pull all the same homes if you give them the same criteria, so if you are switching to another realtor in the same area thinking they will show you different homes, that is one thing that will make a realtor a little ticked! I will work with a client who is looking in mulitple areas- I want to know up front so that I can plan accordingly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011

WOW, I’ll throw this into this pot with some good answers below.

1. When you enter into an agency, You are obligated to pay only one commission, therefore only one agent will get paid and they mostly will not split it with the others.

2. Sounds like YOU need to find a good agent and one you trust 100%.

Kevin Sucher
Principal Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
Margery Bare has my vote... I've worked with her in the past and she's on it! She's also a tough negotiator... Very valuable in today's market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
Raddedyann....seems you touched a hot issue here! The answer in my mind is that you have done nothing 'wrong'. As a realtor, I invest a lot of time and energy into a home search for my customers (for one customer this week, we have looked at vacant land and homes in three different counties). You must realize that a realtor typically is paid when a property closes, and receives nothing in compensation before. The reason they seem irked is that you can be perceived as working one against the other...they all have access to the same properties.

This is why it's important to select one realtor, stay with that person, and have your expectations clearly defined. To not be in contact with you for weeks is not acceptable, which in my mind would be justification for going with another realtor. To interview the realtor is important......and to set expectations of each other.

As I invest a lot of time and money in my customer (travel being one), my preference is to get an agreement from the custome that they will use me as their exclusive realtor. This eliminates the second guessing of each other, and provides for a good, mutually agreed, working relationship.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
I want to be your Realtor! If you have a Realtor... I want to be your back up Realtor... I'm not scared to compete. Just part of the job.

Oh Wow! What a good question. Thank you for posting. There are as many views on this as there are Realtors.

I feel like if you a Realtor hasn't found what you want... You should say something like: "I would love for you to put a deal together for me, but it's been so long that I'm going to try another avenue... If you do however send me something I want, then by all means I will use you".

When you work for commission only, it really sucks to lose a buyer. On the other hand it's a great thing when you find a Realtor that has some kind of work chemistry with you.

Just be honest.. Then your job is done. Bottom line.

Also, Sometimes Agents want the buyers to find another Realtor. It really goes both ways. Not personal at all.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
One thing no one addressed here is why you don't have a signed contract with any of the Realtors you are in contact with. You have received excellent answers addressing how this situation treats the real estate professionals who think they are working for you. Have you considered intereviewing three Realtors to see how they would handle your business? At the end of the day, you could ask them for a contract. Having a service contract in place gives you some assurance that you are a priority, your business is important to the Realtor you are employing and that you understand exactly what services you can expect including showing time, property research and consultation. A contract provides you with a vehicle to question your Realtor's expertise in all areas of the city so you know you are getting what you expect. You deserve a service contract......and your Realtot deserves your respect and your loyalty.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011

My guess is the agent disappears when they realize you are working with other agents. We are professionals and should be valued for our experience and expertise. We all have access to the same MLS, so there is no reason why one would "run out of homes." For me....I want a client who will work with me alone, and if I do something wrong, then please let me know and move on....but I'm not going to compete in a real estate "beauty" contest..... :)

I think you need to find a solid agent that you like and can work with....and then let them dig in and find you a home.

I hope it goes well for you,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
Ok, so I'm a Portland REALTOR® and unless like Alan below mentioned and you are looking outside of the Portland Metro area..like lets say Salem,Tillamook or McMinnville, then you only need one good agent to represent you. You don't mention the areas..but if for example you are working with one agent in West Linn, another for Tigard and have the third in Gresham, then I can see why these agents are not happy. Did you let the one agent that "ran out of homes" know that you were open to casting your net in other areas? If these were areas outside of their expertise, then they would be able to help you work with another agent in those areas as a team effort.
Unless you sign a buyer's broker agreement, you are considered a customer, not a client. Since we work on commission, it makes sense to give first priority to our clients who have commiteed to working with us to find them a home. In your position where you really need to get into a home and your criteria is specific, you need to find a good agent, commit to them and they will work very hard for YOU knowing that you will stick with them

All the best!
Web Reference: http://cindywestfall.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 31, 2011
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