Buyers often say they are going to buy in a year or two, but by the time you have been talking to the agent for 6 months or so, it is very likely that one of you is going to get tired of the process. Since the longest buyer agency contract allowed in Pennsylvania is one year, the odds are pretty well stacked against this first agent being in the picture when you get to the point that you are actually ready to buy.
If the two of you discuss this and come to an agreement that you will work WITH her to find the right property, then you are more likely to get a higher level of service.
Frankly, I have a computer full of people who told me that they wanted to work with me, but have never decided to buy a home. I am sending them listings from the automatic email system in the MLS, but I couldn't possibly give all of them the kind of attention that I give to a person who is ready and willing to buy now. We stay in touch on a periodic basis, and most of them are still quite friendly, but until they get to the point that they are real buyers, I am letting the system handle them. (UNderstand, these are people that have not signed a buyer agency agreem with me. They are potential customers, not clients.)
When somebody tells me they are very picky and are willing to wait for years for the right home to come along, I know that they are "needle in a haystack" buyers. The automated system is just not set up to handle that kind of search. If you are a "needle" buyer, then you need to cooperate with your agent, show her a level of loyalty that is on a par with the level of service you expect, and plan to be a partner in the search. I would bet that if you call and say "here is a home that I saw in the Sunday paper" she will be happy to get you detailed information and set up a showing immediately. (Just understand it must not be exactly what you told her you needed, or it would have come up in the listings she is sending to you.)
Do try Realtor.com though. At least they used to pull up homes for you and rate them as to how close they are to the full set of criteria that you put into the system. On almost all other systems I know of, if you say you want 4 bedrooms, you won't see any that have only 3.
My that was long! I hope it helps though.
Eileen's Green Team at Gateway
Your Agent should be in contact with you every week via telephone and email.
If your Agent/Realtor doesn't give you their time, then they are not valuing you as their Client.
I give my clients a lot of attention!
Please contact me directly for your real estate questions or residential buying needs.
Liberty Bell Real Estate Agents
Direct Phone 215-237-4147
Has your agent set you up to receive matches for exactly what youre searching for? Its very easy to have the MLS automatically send you listings that match certain criteria on a regular basis or as they become available. Lots of agents have a few clients on the back burner for years before they even want to see something. I don't know about 300+ but we all have a few. I agree that as realtors with limited time available during the busy season we need to prioritize between who is serious and who is not but you should definitely not be having to chase anyone down to get listing information. I hope your problem has been resolved since your original post! Good luck!
You may want to think about employing a buyers agent instead. These types of agents are professionally trained to work mostly with buyers and they know how to please their buyers. Go to one or two real estate offices and speak to the broker owner and ask if they have a Buyers Agent in the office.
If you cannot find a good agent simply continue looking online, newspapers and even drive around in case your agent misses something that matches your criteria. Simply let your agent know of anything that interests you so they can get you into the properties and represent you and your wife through the process.
When you retain the services of any professional, including a Realtor, you should feel confident that they will meet your basic expectations. Oftentimes, a simple discussion of expectations is all that is warranted to clarify how a relationship will work to fulfill the client's ultimate end; in this case, an acquisition of property that will meet your search criteria.
Regarding the identification process, it is often a concerted effort between both client and Realtor to search for homes that meet criteria. Both parties will utilize all media outlets to identify these properties, but mostly, because your agent is full-time (she is, right?), they will probably come across, if not already seen, properties that meet your criteria because we are on appointments all day. You should expect to be forwarded those properties and do your own drive-by to determine if the property initially meets your criteria; if interested, then schedule an appointment to preview the property. Also, due to market conditions and seasonality, the frequency of these listings will vary.
This is a major portion of the job. While many clients can now peruse the internet for listings and find the homes themselves, when a client tells us that they want us to handle that aspect, since we're so much closer to it than they are... we're in the MLS multiple times per day... and hear of properties coming on, prior to them hitting the public websites, yes, it's reasonable to expect your agent to send you those listings as soon as they become available.