Home Buying in Houston>Question Details

Erion Shehaj, Real Estate Pro in Houston, TX

Do you think it is a real estate agent's responsibility to ensure that the client gets a good deal on a home?

Asked by Erion Shehaj, Houston, TX Mon Dec 1, 2008

Does the agents responsibility end at making sure that the home is merely worth what the client's paying or does it extend to the client getting the home under market value, especially in the current real estate environment?

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Good question Erion!
I think that the homebuying process should be a partnership and total trust between the buyer and his agent. should exist.

Yes, I think that it's our responsibility to make sure the buyer gets the best deal. We are the ones that are the "pros". In your particular scenario, the agent should give all the options to the buyer. If the house is already priced as a bargain, meets all the buyer's needs, is in a great location, has just been listed, it is likely that it will sell fast and if it's within the buyer's price range, then the buyer should make an aggressive offer. There are also the emotional strings... If the buyer is compromising simply because of the price, the listing may be stale, then a discussion about a lower offer should take place.

Naima
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 1, 2008
Margaret, your answer is a good question.. The next question would be how would a seller or buyer know you were a good agent in other ways than you declaring that you are? Davids response is a good one and the only reason to not follow it is if by the buyer/seller becoming informed it will expose the agents lack of knowledge. Something any good agent would not fear..

The agents responsibility is to do the best job possible for his client in exchange for compensation, no different than any other service provider. What the client expects? Supposedly you discuss the reality of what he can expect before moving on to providing a service.

Just my opinion, worth about 2 cents, Dunes
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 18, 2008
Question one: negotiate as if you were buying it
Question two: negotiate as if you were buying it

We should always assume that the buyer doesn't know anything about real estate or negotiating and inform them accordingly. We are not the one making the purchase. They need to be as informed as possible.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 18, 2008
Hi Erion,

The way you phrased it the second time, yes. But I don't think that would be considered us ensuring a buyer a 'good deal'. That is giving sound advice, it is ultimately up to the buyer as to what they want to pay for the property. That's my opinion.

Who knows what the market is going to do from day to day or week to week. Even if we pull comps that are more recent than 6 months ago to help give our clients a better idea of what is happening right now we can not ensure that it will still be a 'good deal' 2 months or 2 years from now. Anyhow, just saying that there is a difference between getting a 'good deal' which IMO is a vague and can be misleading statement and fighting for their best interest compared to what recent data is showing.

Negotiating our clients best interest is part of our duties and shouldn't be an option of whether or not it is right to do. Not giving clients comps on a property or making sure that they have all of the information they need to make a well informed decision is not in their best interest and if it is not our responsibility to handle that part, then whos is it and where would they get the information? (If we were to answer your question backwards) :) What clients do with the information is a different story.

Very interesting question though. Good seeing you over here on Trulia.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 3, 2008
In the end NO.

Who are we to determine what a "good deal" is? How about all the agents in Southern Cal from 3 years ago who got their clients homes under list price when prices were going up 20% a year. Did they get their clients a "deal"? I am deal driven myself and let my clients know that up front. I tell them as who am I to put a price on a prestigious neighborhood, or the wife's happiness, or the chance to meet a different neighborhood, or have their kid go to a different schoool. How will we know that a serial killer will move in next door next month. I think we have to be very careful and in fact perhaps it is even dangerous to profess that it is your responsibility to the client to get a good deal. Just as is beauty....the definition of a "good deal" is in the eye or mind of the beholder.
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 2, 2008
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
MVP'08
Contact
No, I don't believe it's an agent's responsibility to ensure that the buyer gets a good deal; that's the client's job. Real estate is an asset, so I treat its acquisition as a business transaction. The buyer is the CEO here, and the agent is a consultant.

Consultants are trained to help equip their clients to make well-informed decisions--but not to make that decision for their clients. And the reason why is only the client will sign his/her/their name(s) on the dotted-line, so only the client should make that decision.

Keep in mind, few people are as upset with the Dick Fuld's consultants as they are with him about Lehman's collapse. He was the CEO, and the buck rightfully should have stopped on his desk. Similarly, the property, if acquired will become the client's asset, so the client should be--and is--ultimately responsible for the outcome.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 2, 2008
Phrased that way, again, I do what is in my client's best interest.

We do what our client directs us to do. It is not our job to make the decisions for you, but to give you the knowledge for you to make the decision. If I thought the home was overpriced, I would tell you that and by how much so you could offer what you wanted to offer. If I thought it likely that a 90K offer would be accepted, I would advise you offer that much. But again, if you had to have the home, it was listed at $100k and my market analysis showed it to be worth 95K and would likely sell for 95K, I would advise you offer close to 95K.

Your motivation is everything, despite the fact that it sounds like an article from a magazine. We are here to do what is in your best interests. It is rarely in your best interests to overpay, but sometimes it is in your best interests to offer close to what it is worth, or more.

Case in point: I had a client I was working with for a very long time. She was OK waiting on things, so we had put in a few low offers on homes and negotiated hard to try and get them low despite the seller's market we had here this past spring/summer. This one home came on the market I knew she would like, so we saw it within an hour of it coming on. We were one of 4 parties that saw it in the first 2 hours. She loved it and HAD to have it. I knew it was priced just about on point, and knew there was another offer coming in, so we offered 5K OVER asking. She lost out on the home because all 4 parties offered on the home and someone offer 7K over asking.

So, in the cases where she did not have to have the home and it was in her best interests to try to get a deal (her desires) we did so, but when she had to have it, we put our efforts towards that goal.

So,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 1, 2008
An agent's responsibility is to first, find out what the client's needs and desires truly are, and then help them reach those goals.

If your goal is to buy a home for a great deal and you have no time restraints, we will try to accomplish that. If you have to have a home under contract next week and want the best deal ever, we will try to accomplish that as well, but your primary goal is to get into a home, so our efforts will be to that end.

What we do is based on what your needs are. I will likely not advise a client who needs to get a home right away to negotiate hardball if that is the only home they find that fits their needs and they cannot wait for more to hit the market. The primary focus at that point is to get them into the home. We will try for the best price possible, but if you have to have it, sometimes the best price isn't possible. A home will only sell for what a seller is willing to take, and hopefully, they have a good listing agent to keep their feet rooted in reality.

Hope this helps!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 1, 2008
Buying or selling.......we feel an agents responsibility is to provide their customer with the information necessary to determine their own destiny.....

A good deal is something that only the buyer or seller should have the ability to determine. An agents impression of a "good deal" may not fit their expectations.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 1, 2008
My job is to help meet the client's goals, whatever that is. Many times their goals have nothing to do with how others will value the property. I have a couple of deals now where the people are paying retail at least and they waived the appraisal... because they don't care, they want the property.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 1, 2008
When you are working with a Buyer's Agent, it is important to make sure that you and the agent understand your individual goals. While the agent represents your interests as the buyer, you need to make it clear to the agent what you are trying to accomplish from the transaction. Some buyers may want to buy a particular property and will pay more than the actual market value if it meets their individual needs, such as being in a certain school zone or being located next to a relative. Others are looking to obtain a property under market value in order to rehab and resell the home. You must make it clear to your agent what you are trying to accomplish in order to receive the best possible service from your agent.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 1, 2008
If I was a buyer-agent, I would always try to get the buyer a fair deal....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 19, 2008
Erion,
Is this a trick question? Why would some one want me as an agent if I were not going to hellp them get the best deal possible?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 18, 2008
yes, yes, yes...I always help my buyer-agent clients get a good price...and, likewise, I help my seller-agent clients get a good price. In Penna. when t,here is a written agreement spelling out the type of Agency, the agent is much freer to truly help his/her client..

jimmy V
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 3, 2008
Erion

Your main job as being an agent is to make sure your clients are making a good decision. We as Realtors are told to keep our opinions to ourselves. I have never agreed to that because if the home is priced correctly with the comps "you will find", and the home is next to a city dump station I would tell them not to purchase this home and I would find them the perfect home that has a good re-sale prospect .

Mitch Grooms Atlanta Realtor

mitch.grooms@coldwellbankeratlanta.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 3, 2008
It's not the agents responsibilty nor is saying BUY BUY BUY!!! IMHO
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 3, 2008
I feel it should be a collborative effort.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 1, 2008
Cindi Hagley…, Real Estate Pro in San Ramon, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Erion, I think it depends on the circumstances involved. If the property has other offers on the table, and the market value supports $100k+-it would be in my clients best interest to offer the $100k if they really want the home. If not, and my clients are fully aware that "they" are taking a chance on loosing the property, and my market analysis shows value of only $90k-then of course, I'm going to try to get them the best deal possible and supply the comps along with the offer to support it. I sit with my buyers, just as I would with a seller, go over recent sales and comparables in the area to help them come to an informative solution. I supply the knowledge, they make the decision. Communication is key.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 1, 2008
In my humble opinion, many of the answers to this question sound like Realtor magazine articles. Let me pose the question another way:

"Posed with a situation where a foreclosure home is for sale at $100,000 and the buyer is prepared to offer list, but you as an agent know from your expertise that there's a good chance the Buyer may be able to get it at $90k -- What do you do? Do you opt for the safer list price offer or take a chance and try to get your client a deal?"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 1, 2008
Why do you ask? Do you feel guilty? In my humble opinion, real estate agents have no responsibility. The buyer is ultimately responsible for the decision to purchase--that's why their signature is on all the documents--not the realtors. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 1, 2008
I believe for the best part locate a home matches the client specifications hopefully below market value. Therefore it is a win / win situation for all parties & referrals.
http://www.lynn911.com http://www.homes-for-sale-dallas.com
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 1, 2008
An agent cant guarantee any future value whether higher or lower. An agent can tell you if it is a good deal today. After that there are no guarantees. Everything that goes up will come down and everything that goes down will go back up.
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 1, 2008
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