Dan, Home Buyer in Auburn Hills, MI

Are there knowledgeable and aggressive buyer's agents out there who will truly work for a buyer?

Asked by Dan, Auburn Hills, MI Mon Oct 1, 2007

My current agent isn't aggressive in negotiations with sellers and their agents about the market value range of homes and market conditions. She literally just forwards counter-offers back and forth between me and the seller, and allows negotiations to stall. She's even attempted to tell me that my counters are "too low". Then when I present research backing up my positions and ask her to do the same in gathering favorable information on my behalf and be my advocate to the seller, I get no response.

I have my suspicions that my "buyer's" agent is really trying to play games with me and attempting tactics to get the price up toward where the seller wants it to be, not where the market range shows it should be. I need a straight-up aggressive BUYER'S agent, who is willing to get tough but productive with sellers and CLOSE A DEAL.

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Sometimes Agents and Buyers are not a good fit, Sometimes buyer's do not know the whole story also. Looks like you are playing games. If you want the home dont do these "counters" back and forth and just pay the price and move on. You are putting your buyers agent through hell. You offer, then a counter comes back. If you do not like the counter then move on. Dont chip away and counter counters of counters and more counters. This makes all partys tired like you. Just get the home.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 12, 2010
some sellers do not move much on Price and if you are coming in low that may drive up the price.
You should just offer what you will pay and stop counters going back and forth. The seller does not care about your research and cares about the bottom line. ALL people neeed money and Sellers will not just give homes away. How about a fair offer and give you agent something to work with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 1, 2012
We are out here! Ask your agent how they determine what to offer on the home. If the answer is long and drawn out. You might have just found your agent. I start from the moment there is interest in a home talking to the agent and discussing the situation with the seller and how to get the deal done within the comparables. With all the upside down mortgages, prices are sometimes what the seller owes, not what the market is doing. The agent must find out if possible the seller situation, analyze the comparables, and then determine from the buyer the desire to achieve the property. Generally going in lower and working to a agreed price, but if calculated and discussed, agreements can come immediately. If you are offering within the comparables, your agent has a lot of bargaining power with the selling agent. The sellers are not always willing to take a loss and your agent may let you know when that is the case. The mortgage won't go through if you try to pay too much for the home and then what will these sellers do? The sellers must be convinced through comparables, the listing agent and the buyer agent that the comparables are accurate. Even though all this happens, sometimes the seller is in a position to wait for a buyer offer that is higher. They may be disappointed when the mortgage fails. Walk away from these situations if you can. There is no reason to start out upside down in this market today even if you do have the cash to make up the difference. So my advice for next time is ask your agent how they determine the price to offer on a home.... Thankyou for your question.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 1, 2012
I have Exactly the same experience as Dan. But my personal problem is that I am honest. No lies of commission or omission are allowed. A lie is a lie. My bank has me pre APPROVED, for any house I want on a conventional loan. I don't need OPM (Other Peoples Money), but a low interest loan that costs me less than my investments pays me, is a no-brainer. I net a profit even on the mortgage interest. Yes I am qualified....and I HAVE BEEN BURNED by lying agents. They know buyers wont sue, because the contracts are written for them. So I go through maybe 1-2 agents per week and still haven't found one who is either not an order taker...Do you want fries with that? Or a kiss up to the listing broker. If EVERY buyer performed DUE DILIGENCE we would have NEVER HAD A HOUSING BUBBLE. Yes, I and I still rent month to month trying to find ONE property that is not a leftover from the crumbs that Realtors leave behind. They scoop up all the deals, and want us to be the sucker to pay them for their greed and hubris. Salesmen do not have to be psychopaths, what are so many in the business? So we look and wait as house priced decline, while mortgage interest is kept to almost zero in order to keep bloated house prices high. When mortgage interest rates return to 7% or more , we will see phase two of the housing price collapse, which has JUST STARTED. Affordability has always been defined by Realtors as PITI and DTI. What happens when PITI increase because of interest? Affordability bu this month to month definition will create a second round of walk aways. JUST like the banks...but no giveaway zero interest loans to mortgage debtors.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 19, 2011
Since it is almost 4 years since you posted this, but the conversation is still alive, it would be interesting to know how this worked out for you, Dan. The market has changed drastically since you first wrote your question, but presumably you bought a house long ago.

Today most purchase agreements contain a clause that states the house must appraise for the purchase price. Appraisers became much stricter in the last few years in their views of value of the property.

Of course, you must be comfortable with the agent you have chosen and I hope it all worked out for you in the end.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 3, 2011
Maureen Fran…, Real Estate Pro in Birmingham, MI
Sounds like its time to move on for both you & your buyers agent. Part professionaly and say sorry it didnt work out. When you interview a new agent look for someone who fits your style & personality. Be frank and honest in what you want and expect from an agent. Tell them about your past experences and them them how they might handle the sitution differently. Also hire a full time agent. Not everyone is a good fit for each other but really good professional agents will do the work, ask for cma's on the properties and neighborhoods that you are interested in. The more information you can share with your agent the better they can service you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 30, 2011
I can sit here and apologize to you for other agents, but I won't do that. There are alot more details in this conversation then we know.
If you are under contract with a Buyers Agent that agent should have your best interest when negotiating offers, not trying to make more commission on the sale. Every one likes to blame the agent, we really don't know how low your offers are. Some buyers think they can put in very low offers because of the situation in the market and if it doesn't get accepted they want to fire the agent. If the seller doesn't agree and wants more the negotiations begin. If the buyer truly want the property and it is within his budget, I always make sure we negotiate until both parties agree. How long are you giving the seller to return with an answer. How much information do you have on the property. How long has it been on the market. Have there been other offers on the house. This might be a buyers market to some but I can tell you that I have put in many offers on homes where there were multiple offers. I don't call that a buyers market, the last offer I put in had 10 other offers. If the buyer wants the house he has to go higher. If you haven't seen the comps of what has sold in the area, ask your agent to pull them up. If the seller won't budge, look elsewhere. If you truly feel you need to change agents go to the broker and have a discussion about a mutual release.

@Scott, if everyone only used a seller agent there wouldn't be a need for buyers agents. Dan didn't say he was buying a bank owned property.

Pam Bava, Realtor
Real Living Kee Realty
Rochester, MI
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 12, 2010

You have had many excellent answers from the agents on Trulia. A good buyer's agent should be working with you to find a home in your price range, and all offers are supposed to be presented to the seller. Counter-offers are the norm in real estate negotiations. However, your agent should be explaining why your counters are low, and should be staying in touch and addressing your concerns. If not, you may need to meet with the broker and either ask for another agent to help you, or request a release.

I hope this works out for you.

Best regards,

Bonnie Chernin & David Rogoff
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 12, 2010
Hi Dan, There are many buyers agents that can and will work for you in your best interest. Negotiation skills are crucial in today's market where you have home sellers wanting to price their homes the same as the value two years ago. That combined with the difficulty in the mortgage industry, You need to find yourself a great buyer's agent. If you are not comfortable with the agent you have, then get yourself released from that contract, if you have one. Any breach of fiduciary duties will release you from that contract.

Though a buyer's agent with strong negotiation skills is a must to have, remember that a buyer will pay what a buyer will pay, and a seller will sell at a price that they are willing to sell at. Negotiation and persuasion are strong skills to have, but they can not move mountains. If someone is set on a price, there is nothing an agent can do. You have to determine your walk away dollar and then do it. If the seller doesn't get a better offer in the next couple of weeks, maybe they will then reconsider your offer if you haven't yet found another property.

I wish you well. Cynthia
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2007
Buyers "are Kings" these days. Your agent should be working with you and for you on every avenue. You may want to consider a mutual release if both of you can't see eye to eye..... Is the listing agent from the same Real Estate firm?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2007
Absolutely, your agent should be working to get you every bit of information that can make you gain advantage at the negotiation table. She should do the comps, pull up public records, do some networking with the other agent to find out the motivation of the seller etc... etc.. etc... However, remeber that ultimately the market will determine price and the market represents both the seller and the buyer. If they do not both agree upon the a price than the seller gets to keep his home becuase he is the highest bidder and you start looking for a new home.
Web Reference: http://www.annbyerhomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 24, 2007
Your agent isn't also representing the Seller is she/he? Obviously if you have presented an offer, you have a buyer's agency agreement with your agent. Is your side of the negotiation being properly delivered by your agent? You might ask to be present when your offer is presented to the seller, that way you can defend your position. Seller has last word but it sounds like a communication problem to me. Need a more agressive agent that understands your position assuming you are presenting a respectable offer. Good Luck, Connie
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 18, 2007
All sellers have a bottom line, Sometimes you may do reasearch and get info to beat up the seller on price and the seller does not give in. Get the sellers bottom line. If that is not low enough for you find a new home to offer on.
Web Reference: http://kennaandco.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 1, 2007

One can sense your frustration and I would like to apology on behalf our industry to you. The event that you are experiencing should not be happening.

IF and I mean if, all you say is true then ask for a meeting with your agent and the broker. If the meeting goes badly, then ask your agent’s broker for another agent. If your agent is the broker of the firm, then get another firm.

Great agents will ask, then demand that they present their offer in person to the seller with the seller’s agent present of course. In this manner, your agent cannot just present the facts but also present you (or you and your family) to the seller. This “emotional-string” can make a difference.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 1, 2007
HI Dan,
Depending on the price range you're looking in there are some good deals in S/E Michigan. I take my duties to buyer agent clients very serious. I had a recent buyer that I told I would lower my initial offer if I was her, she did and I got it accepted. There are other buyers that have made low offers on homes that are priced aggressively saying the news says to offer____% under list price. One such home was a steal at list price according to recent comps and I made an 11% under list price offer on behalf of my buyer which was rejected and the home sold for list price in less than a week. Each home is unique and must be evaluated individually, as there is no magic formula to list, offer, and sales price. Much of Metro Detroit has inventory down and sales up over this time last year which should start raising sales prices (supply and demand). I always recommend signing an exclusive buyers agency agreement, as that assures you of what your agent is required to do for you. If there is a problem with that agent down the road asking them to cancel that will normally work. Please remember there is very little incentive for your buyers agent to get you to pay extra for a home when you do all the numbers even 30,000 higher equates to a negligible increase in pay to the agent. Choose an aggressive agent, sign a buyers agency agreement so you can be fully represented and remember it’s not all doom and gloom out there as the news would have you believe.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 1, 2007
HI Dan - A true Buyer's Agent should be working ONLY in YOUR best interest. That said, an agent does not get paid unless a deal closes and since we are commission based, the sales price does effect that amount. Have you signed an "Exclusive Buyer Agency" agreement with this agent? If they helped find this house for you, unfortunately they are the only person that can represent you with this house. If you are in agreement and you want to start looking at other homes, you will have to get a written release from your current agent.

As an agent, I present any offer that my client is willing to pay. The final decision is up to the Seller and if an agreement can't be reached, you have to be willing to walk away. There are a lot of homes on the market to choose from. If you are still far apart in price, I would suggest looking at others. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any specific questions. I hope things work out for you.
Web Reference: http://www.NicoleSleeva.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 1, 2007
Dan. Great question! In the SE Michigan Market, a buyer and buyers agent have the upperhand and should be incredibly strong in the negotiations for you as the buyer. The problem is that in this tough real estate economy, real estate profesionals have found their incomes reduced by as much as 50% from 2006. This leads to desperation to just close a deal and leaves your interests in 2nd place. This is more obvious in SE Michigan than in most areas across the country. I happen to specialize in homes that are deep discounted all across metro Detroit. Be careful not to sign an exclusive buyers agency contract.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 1, 2007
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