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Katie, Home Buyer in Philly

Real Estate Pros: I am a first-time home buyer in Philadelphia and do not have much experience working with

Asked by Katie, Philly Tue Jan 1, 2008

Realtors, although several of my family members are Realtors in other parts of the country. During my first experience with a Realtor in my area, I felt pressured to sign a 6 month contract that would lock me into using this buyer's agent exclusively. My family members who are Realtors have advised me that they have found these contracts to be a bad business practice, since it makes customers feel tied down and may cause that particular Realtor to spend less time on you now that they have secured your business. My understanding is that I would have to pay my Realtor a commission even if I was to find the home myself - which gives them no incentive to work hard for me.

Perhaps there are different mindsets in different parts of the country. What are your thoughts?

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Katie...Since you are a first-time home buyer, PLEASE PLEASE become knowledgeable in the RE process. This will undoubtedly be the biggest decision emotionally and financially you will probably ever make. By all means get advice form family and friends and get their experiences. The more understanding you get about the process, the better you'll be in validating such advice. Interview agents and choose one who you feel will best give you the service you demand. Get in writing what their marketing plan is and when they intend to implement such. I personally would not sign a 6 month representation agreement. Don't necessarily go with an agent because they have been in the business a certain length or has sold so many homes. Lesser experienced agents could be hungrier and will be backed up by their managing broker. Interview in their office so you can meet that Broker too. Everything is negotiable. Try a 1-2 month agreement to see if you enjoy working with this person. I don't know what the Philly market is doing these days, but I believe most agents would accept such. Get a copy of the purchase contract and study what it says. Check out websites that will give you a overview of the buying and selling process. Get pre approved for any loans and know what all the costs will be, not just in the initial purchase, but also the longterm costs. If you become knowledgeable, and know your market, and have a good sense as to where it's going, than this may indeed be a GOOD time to buy. You will feel enough pressure through the buying process. Having a RE professional add to that pressure is not the way to start the experience. Just my 2 cents worth.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 2, 2008
Katie,
Like Cindy, I rarely will even show property without the buyers brokerage agreement signed. The agreement doesn't deminish the buyer Realtor's efforts to find their client the home they want. They don't get paid unless they buy a home. Even if the client does find the home by visiting an open house, happen to drive by, etc ... the buyers Realtor is still there for the negoiation, offer, inspections and follow thru until escrow closes. Finding the house is usually the easy part.

What is the difference between a seller signing a listing agreement exclusively with an agent and a buyer doing the same on the buy side? Does a seller feel less "tied down?" In either case the Realtor can be fired for non-performance.

Interview agents until you find one the fits with you and your needs and wants. Make sure you lay out your expectations of the Realtor. That way you both will be on the same page.

Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2008
Are your family members that are Realtors experienced? As an experienced agent, I will not show a home unless 1) the buyer has been pre-approved for a mortgage, and 2) they sign a buyer broker agreement with me. If my buyer will not sign the agreement, I will allow them to sign an agreement for the specific home that I am showing them.

Cheryl is right - interview several Realtors (not just a real estate agent) and find one that you are most comfortable working with to represent you. Don't be afraid of signing a buyer-broker agreement. Service does NOT stop with your signature. The Realtor does not get paid unless you buy a home.

If you don't use a buyers agent and you buy a home, I assume you plan on using the sellers agent to represent you? Why? The seller pays the commission for your Realtor - who will represent you exclusively and negotiate all aspects of the transation with the sellers agent. Who do you think wins in a negotiation where one Realtor represents both the buyer and the seller?

The link below will provide information to you and your family on the advantages of using a buyers agent. Good luck. It's a great time to buy!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2008
The Hagley G…, Real Estate Pro in Pleasanton, CA
MVP'08
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Katie, try interviewing several agents until you find an agent you feel comfortable with and who you know has your best interests as their priority. You want an agent to be aggressive in finding you a home and aggressive in negotiating your contract with the seller. But if you feel they are being aggressive with their approach with you, tell them. Good luck
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2008
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