I think you got some terrific answers here. I hope you are either comfortable with your agent or are looking for a new one.
I have to disagree with Wendy's recommendation that you use Zillow to do a CMA. I have seen "Zestimates" as high as $400,000 over market and as low as $400,000 under market! It is just not accurate!
It's so sad to hear (or read) you say that. We have many wonderful agents in Pasadena. It is unfortunate that you had bad experiences so far.
Please do not hesitate to contact me and I'd be happy to provide you with the data you need to run your market analysis. No obligation at all.
I hope that will help you.
Best of luck with your purchase!
Be straight up with your agentâ€¦ tell her to want to discuss the recent SOLD properties around the house youâ€™re interested in. Show her the comparables you found on this site.
Also keep in mind that the difference in commission can be easily calculated: A buyerâ€™s agent usually earns up to 3% of the purchase price: 3% of 400,000 is $12,000 in commission. (which she'll then split with her broker)
If she wants you to offer $410,000, her commission increases by only $300.
So it's not likely that she's trying to cheat you for just an extra few hundred bucks...
So my answer is, show her your comps... facts are facts, and the more questions you ask, the better you're going to feel about the process.
You can try going to LA Times - DQNews site. It lists zip code by zip code the number of homes sold and price per sq. ft. You can also go to Pasadena Foothill Association and pull up all listings - http://www.pfar.org. You'll need to log in as a consumer, of course.
I would ask your agent to just print all Sold, Active and Pending sales within the last 4 months around the 1/4 mile radius of the home address that you are considering purchasing. You can then look at the data itself vs. a CMA that someone else has prepared for you.
Is the agent representing you or the seller? If the seller, please consider protecting yourself by hiring a buyer's agent to represent you.
Hope this helps,
It's true that there are islands of price increase and price decrease in Pasadena. Even in the increased price islands, there can always been an isolated decreased price home.
It helps to know what you want to pay, and what your goals are. Keep interviewing RE agents, and you will find one who meets the bill. lol It''s not a good idea to purchase without an agent, since they do know something, usually learned the hard way.
Can you do your own CMA? Of course. Check this site, the MLS, and RealtyTrac. I think Zillow is not very accurate. If your agent won't sit down and teach you how they do their own CMA, dump them.
Thanks again for your help!
It doesn't sound like you trust your agent. Play it straight with your agent and ask for more info.
My answer begins with a question. Why are you working with a Realtor that you don't trust? Before you start interviewing for a replacement, show her the comps that you found and let her explain. Perhaps your information is not accurate. If she specializes in the area that you wish to buy, she may have a lot of knowledge about the condition of the properties that you are using that you don't have. Give her a chance to explain. You may learn something. If you don't feel comfortable with her explanation, let her know that you are going to start working with a new agent. You absolutely need an agent that you trust and I know from experience that there are a lot of great ones out there!
As far as your finding comparables on this site for 25% less than asking price, I'd be careful. Unless your job is a Realtor, what you think is a comparable may not necessarily be one. Let your agent do her job for you. If you have doubts about the comps she provided, ask her to go over them with you. Then present the ones you found and ask her to go over those, too. I'm sure after a bit, you'll see the why's and why nots to the statistics.
However... there is one little secret I will tell you... but I'm afraid it will get me stoned by all the noobie agents in the forum! It's pretty much a SOLID way to get a TRUE CMA from an agent...... ok.. here come the stones....
Call a reputable real estate office and ask for the agent on duty.... just tell them you're thinking about buying but would like a CMA for the property first! doh... i can see the stone coming already... it's duck and doge time! lol
I understand your concern and I suspect that you have not had a chance to establish a rapport with this agent, which makes it difficult for you to trust her. She may still be a stranger to you. I would think the agent would welcome the opportunity to earn your trust by going through listing information with you. I know I would. Unfortunately, I find that many clients don't have the patience to go through lots of listings in detail.