Home Buying in Antioch>Question Details

John, Home Buyer in Antioch, CA

Using multiple agents for different purposes

Asked by John, Antioch, CA Wed Jul 16, 2008

I'm interested in buying property for primary residence in the antioch area. I've visted a few reos (some in awful conditions, others decent).

My current agent cant seem, or not too interested in going after the pre-forecloures. I understand it takes months, but I think the conditions of these houses would be better because the family wouldnt want to damage the house before leaving like the reos.

I've asked my agent countless times if I could be shown properties that are pre-foreclosures. Time and time again agent suggest their website and to email when I have found a house I want to see. Problem is their website doesnt show pre-foreclosures.

Question. Can I use a different agent for this purpose (havent signed any agreement to only use 1 agent)? Also I feel my agent lacks personal knowledge of area. Should I just use a local agent who is intimate of the local area.

Also agent always suggest listed price in reos with strong terms. I would like a bargin with this market.

Help the community by answering this question:



I want to confirm what "Nervous" said. Just because an NOD is filed, that property is not yet a listing, and in fact, if an NOD is filed and the owner is still living there, if you are an investor, your agent can't represent you in that purchase even if it is being offered for sale.

I'm surprised that no one else has responded to something in your question that immediately struck me, and that is what seemed to me to be the question of whether or not it is okay to work with more than one agent simultaneously. And the answer to your question is that it is only okay if all the agents you are USING are informed that you are USING other agents simultaneously (emphasis on the word "using"). I don't know what you do for a living, and I always like to put information into a picture people can relate to. So I'll just make one up to illustrate. Imagine that you are a mechanic, and a car enthusiast asks you to help them work on their classic car. You spend hours with them rebuilding the engine and other systems in the car. But what you don't know is that the car enthusiast has also enlisted the help of other mechanics as well. When you're not there, other mechanics are working on the same job. Finally, after months of grease, sweat, bruised nuckles, etc., you are close to completing the job. You step out for a coffee break, and when you come back in, the car enthusiast is handing a check to another mechanic who just stepped in and tightened the last few lug nuts on the tires. You ask the car enthusiast what is going on, and they thank you for your effort, but since the other mechanic completed the job, there is no check for you. It was nice of you to have "helped" but basically you're out of luck. So sorry! This story may sound outlandish. After all, everyone knows that mechanics bill by the hour, and all the mechanics who worked on the car restoration would expect to get paid, and would get paid. But this is not the case in a real estate transaction. Only the agent who writes the offer and conducts the transaction gets paid. Any other agent you "use" in the process is just out of luck. So in all fairness, it should be up to the agent to decide if they are willing to work hard for you knowing that there is a good chance they will not get paid a cent for all their efforts. After all, if the shoe were on the other foot, would it be okay with you to go and do your job and then not get paid?

Think about it.

Janice Spencer
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 16, 2008
RealtyTrac is often months out of date and also has completely wrong information. I wouldn't rely on it at all. Also, just because a house is in PreForclosure does not mean that it is for sale. This is probably why they aren't showing up on your agent's website. Your agent obviously cannot take you to see a house that isn't for sale. I think this is what your agent is trying to tell you when they say that they wont show you preforclosures. I bet there is just some miscommunication going on between you and your agent so you should really sit down with them and get clear information.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 16, 2008
In pre-forecloses I assume you mean Short Sales. Short sales pay less commission to Realtors so there's your sign. Short sales are in better shape and you’re not stuck with as is like with REO's. It's no problem to send you short sale and or REO's (bank owned) listings. You can use any Realtor you so choose and if you’re not happy with your current agent I suggest a change. We will not work with any buyer that is using multiple agents because this is how we make a living. We show all homes that buyers are interested in and when they chose one we expect to write the offer. We have never had an unhappy client because we do the right thing and represent our clients with their best interests in mind, "That is in our code of ethics as Realtors". Your agent is steering you to certain listings based on the commission rate and steering is illegal period.
As far as bargains in Antioch, all of these homes are at a bargain, they have dropped over 50% in the past 2 years. When banks establish a sell price for a REO or Short Sell that's exactly what they are willing to accept nothing less and it's still a great bargain. Remember, the lenders are settling for about half of the funds that they have loaned and have to eat the rest.
If you have any other questions don't hesitate to call The Tietz Team @925-628-5105
Web Reference: http://www.tietzhomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 11, 2009
All Antioch homes are currently a bargain. Prices have dropped to over 50% in the last 21/2 years. We are now experiencing multible offers on some of the better REO lisings so I wouldn't waste much more time before diving in. We show and list short sales, REO's and owner owned homes. The best deals are still REO's although short sales are becoming more attractive because of Bank Cooperation. Your best chance of purchasing a Short Sale is to make sure the 1st and 2nd loans are with the same Bank or Lender. It's the owner of the 2nd mortgage that usually holds up the entire process.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 12, 2008
bottom line...find you a "go to guy" and communicate your expectations upfront
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 23, 2008
You can certainly use multiple agents, however if your current agent is not meeting your needs, why stick with them?

As far as using an Antioch agent, be careful. Over 80% of the homes sales in Antioch are sold by non-Antioch agents. (Source: MLS) Surprised? The experienced agents are not afraid to pursue short sales or bank owned homes. We know how to get the deals done.

HOWEVER...the new trend in Antioch/Pittsburg is that lenders are under pricing bank owned/REO homes to create multiple offer situations....and eventually bidding wars. There is a ton of invenotry on the market in Antioch...and lenders are trying to clear their inventory quickly. If you're looking for a deal on an REO.....choose homes that have been on the market at least 45 days.

ShortSaleSheep.com is a good resource for short sales and bank owned homes...I own the site and move a lot of inventory in Antioch. I'm not personally taking on any more pre-foreclosure buyers at the moment, but I can refer you to the producing agents that are. Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.cindihagley.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 16, 2008
The Hagley G…, Real Estate Pro in Pleasanton, CA
I think it is important that you discuss your concerns with your agent if you feel that you want another realtor to represent you. They may not be aware that you are not happy with their performance. When I had an employee that was under-performing, I didn't just fire them, but would take them aside and try to find out what issues they were have that was causing them to not meet the expectations of their job. However, I am not going to dance around the issue, if a client is getting poor performance from a real estate professional it reflects on all of us in the industry. I for one am getting weary of dealing with agents who lack the skills that are CRUCIAL for this market.

Just my 2 cents!

Thank you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 16, 2008
Thanks for all the responds.
Initially I was going to try to buy a house myself. Get the standard car contract and all. But sometimes I found it was hard to find who the listing agent was not being a real estate agent.
So I guess maybe expectations of what my real estate should be do in assisting me needs to be clarified or define.

Currently I look for listing daily. I setup email notifications and if interested comp the place. When I find about 5 of these places I then email my agent and schedule to see them. I usually want to make an offer in 1, and listing agent always suggest listing price or higher. Even though I tell the agent that other houses have sold for less and with prices still falling I feel I shouldnt need to pay listing price.

I guess my agent is helping me buy a house but not at optimal prices.

So I do all the leg work in terms of finding new listings, working with lenders who offer good rates (not someone they just know), and researching the area. Again agent does not know antioch intimately. Agent does fill the paper work, and submits the paperwork, but should an agent be doing more to earn the commission. Should I get commission back because I'm doing a ton of working finding new listing using various sites. 90% of the time agent website has the listing but then again theres that 10% . Thoughts?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 16, 2008
Hi John -

Just to help give you an idea - it looks like Antioch currently has 910 detached, single family homes for sale. Of those, 428 are REOs and 324 are short sales. If your current agent won't show you the short sales, you are missing out on 35% of the market. In my opinion, it is time for you to find a new agent that is more willing to meet your requests. There is no doubt (as John and Donna have already mentioned) that short sales can be slow and painful when compared to the sale of a house with a seller in good standing, but that's not to say they can't be done.

Good luck,
- Brian
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 16, 2008

The statistics are that only about 1 in 20 short sales (pre-forclosures are the same thing) end up closing. Not very good odds. Many agents now simply will not work with short sales due to the massive amount of time required and very low odds of success. They feel it better to wait until the home goes into an REO and then pursue the property in a timely manner. I have had 3 short sales in a row fall out, two beause the 2nd refused to accept the short sale and the other because after 4 full months of NO ANSWERS from the bank the Buyer simply bailed out. Interestingly the bank finally did approve that sale, but by this time (3 days ago) after being "in contract" since FEBRUARY, the Buyer had such a sour taste regarding the property and the Seller (the Bank) they simply said "Not only NO but ________ NO". Can you blame them?

One tactic is to offer on multiple houses, deposit to be placed in escrow within 3 days of acceptance and see which one pops first. You still have your inspection period, even if the bank guts your contract with their "acceptance" of your offer. (Acceptance means a 15 page document generally giving the bank all the options and taking most of yours away).

Yes you should find an agent that will send you a daily listing of all short sales and reo's. This is easy to do and automated to boot using codes on the MLS. Today there are 498 REO's and 355 short sales in Antioch. This is out of a total for sale in Antioch of 1013 homes. That means there are less than 160 "normal" sales in all of Antioch. That does not count the "possible" short sales of the "normal" ones. Wow!

Seriously, look at some of the "normal" sales. You may find an owner that is motivated, realistic and ready to take the financial hit and move on. You may even find one that has paid down or off his original loan so that he will be getting a good chunck of actual cash from the deal. Do not be concerned about the "asking price"! Have your agent comp the house and offer a justifiable offer. Some "normal" Deep Water Houses in Discovery Bay have sold $100 to $200K + UNDER asking based on that very criteria. The same concept applies elsewhere. Many sellers will NOT allow an asking price anywhere near the number they will take when faced with an actual buyer with a signed contract and actual money in hand.

You should expect your agent help you get all the information but expect to do most of your own leg work until you have it narrowed down to a handful of houses.

I work with a couple of Excellant Antioch agents. If I can be of help please contact me.

Best of Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 16, 2008
John, the agents have given some great answers below. I would like to add my two cents worth!

Many of the "pre-foreclosures" or "short sales" will also be in need of a lot of work. The homeowners have not been able to keep up their payments and most likely there will be deferred maintenance as well. Make sure you have a home inspection.

RealtyTrac sends out lists homes that have received a Notice of Default. Those homeowners may only be 31 days behind when the Notice is issued. Many of those homeowners will cure the default and those homes will not be on the market at all.

Agents normally do not seek out homeowners that have been listed on RealtyTrac because it could be premature. As soon as those notices are filed the homeowners are inundated by people knocking on their doors and letters in their mailboxes from people offering to "help." The homeowners usually do not receive the knocks at the door with a smile on their face to say the least.

As far as looking for a bargain, there are many out there. You need an agent that is going to look properties up for you and send you a list to go over to see which ones you would like to visit. I do not know the market in Antioch but you should have your Realtor pull comps for you of the houses you are interested in to see what the market is truly like.
Web Reference: http://www.DotChance.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 16, 2008
Hi All

Thanks for the advise on the short sales. How about the pre-foreclosure. RealtyTrac seems to know which properties have been given notices, and which one just got handed to the lender. I'm also interested in these properties. Does anyone know of an agent who has this specific knowledge and can offer me these listing. I feel like my agent should be giving me a listings instead of me doing all the work of finding listings. Am I wrong here?

Also how does everyone feel like the sales trends at antioch. Looking at the stats in Trulia prices in antioch are still dropping fast. IE 4 bedrooms are listed on avg of 350k but avg sale for a 4 bedroom is only 300k. what are your feelings on this?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 16, 2008
Donna and John both have good advice. Regarding getting an agent, you really want to find one who has experience in short sales - and who has positive relationships with the listing agents as well. When interviewing, ask them about the challenges and how they deal with them. Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 16, 2008
Good morning. Donna put it well. With a short sale it is just a yes or a no to the offer. You can even get an approval and 3 days before you are to close, the bank will pull the deal and not do the short sale. I have seen this a few times and it is ugly. As far as pricing from the banks on reos, many of the banks are pricing well and getting multiple offers. A home in Brentwood, three years old, perfect condition, single story 2,800 sq ft, big lot, nice location came on the market for $337,000. The home originally sold 2 years ago for $799,000. As of yesterday the office holding the listing had 34 offers! There is no mistake, this is a bargain market. If you feel that you need to offer less than what the bank is asking for "in the current market conditions" you are going to miss out on the home you want. If you would like to discuss this further, my contact information is on my website. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 16, 2008
Hi John,

If you’ve not signed any buyer agency agreement you should find an agent who is willing to work for you and has had some experience with pre-foreclosures and short sales. It does take a bit of time and is more work for the buyer’s agent, but you can get a good deal on these homes. Your offer should be rather strong, as most of these homes have been priced below market value. There is usually some room for negation, but if you’re dealing with the bank in a short sale situation most of the time they don’t negotiate, it’s just a yes or no to your offer.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 16, 2008
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