I do understand your position as I wouldn't want to be bound to an agent either--Initially. However, as an agent who has spent years doing research for people, driving them around for hours, days and weeks, (at what is now $100 per tank of gas) and even buying them lunch only to have them use their "other" agent or buy directly from the listing agent. It shows a complete lack of respect for me and for my time and resources to use me to find you houses and then not have me complete the transaction. The last time this happened, the buyer called me after he signed a purchase and sale agreement with the listing agent to apologize. He paid MORE than he would have--He got exactly 3% off the list price lol.
So now, I give people one freebie. They get to meet with me once and I'll show them a few homes. If they're not ready to buy then I'll ask for a buyer agency agreement. At this point they should be able to ascertain if they like me and want to continue working with me. If not, their loss.
I've had too many "well intentioned" buyers leave me holding the bag and my time is just to valuable to go chasing after buyers in desperation.
If you do not have a buyer agency agreement with the agent, you should make that commitment to the agent before you start expecting the agent to make a total commitment to you.
It sounds as though he's already costing himself a potential client. Buyers need to see as many homes as it takes them to "find the right one". That may mean 2 houses, and it may mean 100 houses.
I'd suggest finding an agent who's more interested in assisting you, rather than who much money it's costing him to "assist" you.
Wheels, It sounds like your doing a great job, why not put your name on your posts and maybe some contact information, you might get more business.
Gleen, It sounds like you've had a bad experience. Did you talk to the agent about it or just get on this national web site to vent?
Dan's original question was - Is it ok for a buyer's agent to limit the number of homes he's willing to show you? ANSWER: It's up to each individual agent. If you look at over 40 homes and still want to look more, then the agent has to say what he is willing to do. Lookie Lous come out of the woodwork every summer and just want guided tours of homes to get ideas on how to decorate. The full answer to Dan's question can be found by talking to his agent, not coming to the Internet and not telling the whole story.
I wouldn;t worry about seeing every house on the market, but you are entitled to go through enough of the search process to feel comfortable with making a choice. For some people that would be 2 homes, for some 10 , for others 15. Only you know what works for you. I would caution you about chasing "that next best thing". There is always another house over the horizon, and you could spend the rest of your life searching and never buying if you aren't ready to make a decision.
I read your answer and two factors come into play here. #1 with todayâ€™s technology buyers can find homes on the internet and get all the info about the home. They can look at virtual tours, photo layouts, etc. You can drive areas and decide where you want to live. All that being said you should be able to narrow you home showings to a reasonable amount of homes. #2 you said you are looking for the perfect home. Well, good luck with that, because the chances of finding the perfect home are so high that I don't think you will find it. As far as finding the home that has all the things you want in a home, i.e. big kitchen, 3-car garage, 6 bedrooms, etc, that is more reasonable.
If you were realy looking for homes in just one area that you want to live in, i.e. shadow valley, Indian Hills, etc, there wouldnâ€™t be 547 homes to look at in the first place, so it would appear that you need to narrow your home search to where you want to live and what do you want in a home as mentioned earlier. Then the number that comes up would be more realistic and your agent wouldn't have any problems at all I would think.
Once I'm back in my office I'll look through the list the gave me and check out each house that we didn't visit. I can start eliminating homes that, at first, they thought they wanted to see, but after walking through a few, I will be able to cross some houses off the list for them. Always keeping either mental or written notes as to why we aren't seeing a house they liked. Typically they will agree and be thankful that I'm doing my job and saving them time.
So to go back to the question of can the buyers agent limit the number of houses they show you? On one side, you should hope that they are limiting the houses down to the ones that you will like. It will save your agent time and money as well as your time and money. The other way to look at it seems sketchy to me. If I were a buyer and an agent told me to pick any number of homes and that all I could see, I'd be pretty upset. I think that if an agent says you can only see this many homes cause they can't afford to show you more, then they need to find a part time job to pay for ga and you should probably look for a new agent. If the agent is doing their job and eliminating houses that you won't be interested, then you've found a good agent who is willing to do their job and do it right. So, if its just to save money and gas then its no good. But if they are just trying to find house they you can call home. Then I'd say trust them and let them do their job.... Hope that you can find a house soon and that everything goes well with your transaction.
As a real estate agent, he is an independent contractor and can deduct his gas off his taxes. It is a cost of doing business.
Don't let the actions of this agent discourage you. Real Estate agents are a very valuable asset to the community. This is most likely the biggest investment you have made in your life and a good agent will save you time and money through their knowledge.
To put things into perspective, most people pay a professional to cut their hair. It is relatively inexpensive and will grow back in a month. Buying a home is a big investment and it is something that will be with you for years to come. It makes sense to trust a professional.
Hope this helps
We are working with an agent that is getting upset at us because we refuse to sign a buyers agreement. I don't intend to take advantage of anyone but I'm definitely not going to bind myself to a lazy agent. I think in this depleted market you should easily be able to find an agent willing to show you exactly what you want, when you want and how many you want. Make them earn their money if that's what it takes.
Dan, I would hope you aren't going to base every single agent on one answer. I have in my life come across agents who think if you take someone out 3 times and they don't buy, that's it. Usually they work in areas that do not resemble the area I work in. But that's beside the point. You should interview an agent the same way you would interview anyone else you are hiring. If during your interview they tell you they are only going to show you x amount of houses, you say "NEXT!" .That's what WE do when we don't believe we are a good fit with a customer or client. There is always another agent to interview. Now get out and find yourself and agent who suits you.
"Call the agent of the home you may want to see and schedule an appointment. This will give you more barganing power when writing an offer because the seller will not have to pay a fee to your agent."
On the surface this seems like a great idea, but may not be so great after all. When I take a listing, the seller agrees to pay me a certain percentage, say 6%. When I sell the house, they pay that to me whether there's a buyer's agent or not. Now when a buyer comes to me and says "I don't have an agent, I want to be credited that 3%," I say "OF COURSE!!!" What I don't say is that I may not be getting them the best price for the home or the best terms or the best inspection response. They're so fixated on commission that I can get my client (the seller) thousands of dollars more out of these buyers. Remember--The listing agent works for the SELLER--And will never have the buyer's best interests at heart. It's not their job as a listing agent to get you a better deal than the seller is getting.
Unless you're 100% confident of your numbers, I always recommend using an experienced buyer's agent. You'll probably save more than he/she is making.
My wife and I have sent our agent several homes we would like to see, (all ALWAYS in our price range, remember I have a PRE-APPROVAL letter from a very respected credit union) when we show up to see them, none are ever on the list for the day. He always has a "better choice" HE likes. We also expressed interest in short sales and foreclosures and were told that they were a waste of time and that banks just use the price they list as a way to "run up" the price and to forget about them. We sent him one the other day we were interested in and were told "oh that's a short sale and the bank is no longer accepting offers on it." Now why weren't we given the opportunity to view the home and consider it? Because our realtor doesn't like short sales? For the record, I have bought and sold two other homes on the east coast using realtors in both the buying and selling process and never had an issue before. I have always worked with professionals that were always willing to bend over backwards to see to it I have had a positive experience. I will be looking for another realtor. This time I will do EVEN more homework before I select an agent.
Generally, your agent can give you enough MLS data on homes that would allow you to narrow down homes that are real possibilities for you and your family. I will show as many homes as it takes for a client to find the right fit for their family However, before we ever get in the car my client and I discuss how we can make the most of our search
I spend a great deal of time with my clients determining what their ideal home is like. Then I send them all the MLS data on homes that meet their criteria. I request that they try to narrow down their choices to 25 or less. I also explain why. If we do not find 3 homes they really like in the first group or 25, we go over the homes that were eliminated and look for 10 more choices.
My clients always find 3 homes in the first group. Occasionally a client will look at another 5 or so homes but that will be because they liked a specific neighborhood and we added all the homes in their price range in the neighborhood.
There may be 547 homes in your price range but I can assure you if you spent a little time reviewing the MLS data on your computer you will find that those 547 homes will dwindle down quickly.. Many will be wrong side of town, wrong schools, unkept neighborhood, too close to something, not close enough to work. etc.
By day 2 the homes begin to blend together and you will not remember what you liked and did not like. It is unfortuante that your agent did not tell you his 24 rule before beginning your home tours. You may not have done enough homework on your first choices, if you did not find anything that you liked.
As far as compensation, most agents receive 1.5% of the selling price. That equates to $300 for every $20,000 in sales price. Hardly enough to make anyone compromise their integrity and risk getting a bad reputation. The bulk of our income is generated from our "happy" past clients.
Clients who try to look at everything on the market become very confused, get overwhelmed and frustrated. All the fun and excitement fo the "new home" is lost.
If you have truly lost your confidence in your agent, it is best to find somenone new that you feel you can trust and make the change now.
Best of luck to you and your family.
I would probably tell the agent that you are not going to stop looking at 24 homes, but you are going to stop letting him show them to you. If you have signed a buyer-broker agreement or an agency agreement just ask the agent to release you from it. If the agent will not, then contact his broker or the realtor board and file a complaint. I truly hope that the agent was just trying to say that you will find the home of your dreams within the first couple of dozen homes.
Realistically you wll not need to see more than about 20 homes, if you your agent sat down with you and figured out your wants and needs. The neighborhood, size of home, single family home, condominium or townhome, style of home, single story, number of bedrooms, number of baths, schools, what rooms do you spend the most time in, is the size of the kitchen important, do you need a formal dining room, fixer upper or does it need to be move in ready? This is just a sample of the questions that a Realtor will ask to help you find the right home. The more time that you spend up front defining your wants and needs will help you to eliminate 90-95% of the homes on the market.
As Realtors our main concern is (or should be) that you find the right home for the best price and that you are happy with the service that we provide you.
I wish you the best in finding your home!
One of our jobs is to listen and udnerstand what our clients' needs and wants are and hopefully we can help them idenfiy the houses they want to see and show them those houses. It is our jobs, when we reprsent buyers, to do the homework for them and that's part of what we are paid to do and what we can claim as an expert - to know the market and to know our clients (a huge part of being a good Realtor is the human part).
Dan - on your part, if you can give feedback to your Realtor as you see each house, it would help a lot. Out of the homes you see, did you narrow down the number of Beds / Baths, lot size, square footage, locations, amentities, a large / small yard, older/newer home? etc. As you said there are 547 homes on the market that you would qualify for, but how many of those actually fit into your criteria?
You have to help your Realtor by giving him your feedback. It is a two way relationship and it will help both in the long run - you really don't want to spend all weekends seeing hundreds of houses either, I am sure.
Gerald, the code of ethics does allow us to respond honestly, when approached by someone who is currently working with another Realtor (or agent). We are not supposed to interfere with the relationship, nor are we to "approach" that client.
But if the client comes and asks a direct question of one of us, such as "Is it OK for a buyer's agent to limit the number of homes..." I have no problem, nor do I feel I'm in conflict with the code of ethics by responding, as I did, with:
"I'd suggest finding an agent who's more interested in assisting you, rather than how much money it's "costing" him to assist you."
I guess I missed your post earlier.
Let me know how you are deducting the money you spend for gas. The last time I checked on what could be deducted gas was not on the list.
Also you might all read the question again: "He said we would have to "limit" our total choices and that he was only willing to show us 10 more homes from the 547 currently on the market that we qualify for."
That says Dan wanted to see all 547 that were on the market. With only 20 - 30 in Layton in his price range, where did the other 517 come from.
To all of you who said fire your agent and get a new one, apparently you speak without reading the whole thing, and you are quick to jump on a fellow RealtorÂ®, assumeing you are all RealtorsÂ® and not just real estate agents. Maybe some of you should go and read the code of ethics and then come back here again.
With that many homes to choose from you can probably rule many of them out just by driving by them yourself. The neighborhood and exterior condition is usually enough to rule out most homes....
I will take any day getting burned a couple of times in 6 years to get the clients that want to fire thier current agent for not being full time and being able to afford to drive them around. We have to treat our clients as with respect and work with them at thier pace not ours. The client may want to go out and see a hundreds of homes, but if they are really willing to spend all thier time riding in your car and taking time away from the family and thier jobs to be with you and to help pay for your families expenses by using you. Do you really think that they aren't going to buy a home?
If the cost of gas is a consideration for your agent in finding you the right home, then I think I might explore other options. Obviously you wouldn't want to look at all 500+ homes, but finding the right one with some expertise and experience behind you is your goal. Find an experienced agent who knows homes and the market. I'm sure you won't run into the same obstacles with a knowledgable person.
A straight answer to your question "Is it OK for a buyer's agent to limit the number of hoomes h'es willing to show you?" This is a free world and anybody can work anyway they choose to, so an agent can limit showings to one house if he choose to do so.
However, is this the agent you might want to work with? The answer is a resounding NO from me.
You are completely right - buying a home is one of the biggest financial and emotional move a person a can make in his lifetime, and it should be taking very seriously, both by you and buy your Realtor who care about YOUR needs, not their needs. It is mind boggling that in this buyers market, a Realtor will choose not to work with you the way you deserve to be treated.
From your response below, looks like you also have done your homework prior to asking your realtor to show you the homes you might like. It sure surprises me that he will refuse to show you certain homes because it could be too much trouble, whether they are short sale or not. I agree with you, it's time to find another Realtor who is willing to work for you on your terms.
I recently told two of my clients that one thing we will know for sure is that whatever house they ended up purchasing will be the house they really like at the best price they can buy, because you guessed it, they will have looked at almost every single house on the market in the price range they can afford and the locations that they like. There will be no regrets and that's extremely important.
Interview a few, set expectation and make sure the one you ended up choosing will do whatever it takes to find the right property for you. You deserve that!
It doesn't sound like your "Buyer's Agent" is an ABR-Accredited Buyer Representative. It also sounds like you are not being "Represented" at all. You need to check to see if you signed a "Representation Agreement" that requires you to pay the Agents Brokerage a commission/fee in the event you do not purchase through them. If you did not sign a contract...... RUN as fast as you can to a REAL "Buyer's Agent." Look for agents with experience, and combinations of designations such as ABR, CRS, GRI. They are educated and usually the "Cream of the Crop."
If you did sign a "Representation agreementâ€ it appears that your Agent may be in breech of the contract. Review the contract, contact the Agent's BROKER and see if you can get your issues resolved and/or your contract canceled, ASAP!
"He always has a "better choice" HE likes. We also expressed interest in short sales and foreclosures and were told that they were a waste of time and that banks just use the price they list as a way to "run up" the price and to forget about them"
My new response to your question is "This guy's a loser."
I did a quick property search on Layton, Utah for homes in your $ 200,000 to $ 250,000 price range. If you have not tried a search on Trulia, it's pretty neat (66 homes in your range -- http://tinyurl.com/6lsaym
The statistics page is pretty cool -- http://tinyurl.com/6n7tz5
Then there is the Trulia Davis County HEAT MAP which may also be of some help â€“ good pricing overview: http://tinyurl.com/6n7tz5
It shouldn't be more than 10 houses. I learned a lesson showing more than 20 houses to my client when I first started this job. I ended up selling nothing because my buyers were so overwhelmed that they couldn't pick the house they want to make an offer. After that incident I made a commitment to myself to limit the search to 6 and they have to give me the final word after that, otherwise, I will refer them to someone else willing to waste their gas. The most valuable tip I give to my clients on the first interview is to get to know the neigborhood of their interest, the types of homes in that neigborhood and its price range. That way, they don't expect something more than what their realtor can give them. Many buyers right now expect something to pop out in an area they want. For example, the price they are looking is $350k, and they want 3bed and 2 bath, but the area is selling for $500k at least. If a realtor is smart, he or she can tell these buyers to stop looking in this neigborhood because there is not houses selling for $350, unless they want a fixer, a house with no bathroom and kitchen.
I am surprised your agent was willing to show you 24 houses. I wouldn't. If you can't find the house from the first 5, then you will never will.
As an agent, my value to you does not come from me giving you a tour of the city or unlocking front doors. It comes from what I can negotiate for you in the way of price, terms and other considerations.
But I would never limit a buyer to a certain number of homes. If I'm doing my job right, I'm going to send you only those properties that you'll really like anyway and you won't NEED to see more than a dozen houses anyway.
Yes, our time and effort is worth money, but we are independent contractors who knew when we signed up we were getting into a commission paying business. If it's too expesive for you to stay in the business get out of it. Buyers and sellers should not suffer because an agent cannot afford gas.
As for your concerns about a conflict of interest with your price of home and the agent's compensation, I really wouldn't put too much stock into your feelings about that. For me, my primary objective is to help my buying clients find a great house that they love. I have talked clients out of buying a more expensive house b/c I knew it wouldn't meet their long-term needs. I think that if my families are happy, and I've done something to guide them toward their perfect home, they'll call me when it's time to move up, or their friends are moving.
Good luck to you!
You didn't say miles in you earlier answer you said: "As a real estate agent, he is an independent contractor and can deduct his gas off his taxes. It is a cost of doing business." You said gas. There is no way to deduct the cost of gas. As far as miles driven, yes you can deduct them.
I also agreed with Chris Freeman, who suggested that if that's his policy, you make sure your agency agreement says that he releases you from your contract after he's shown you 24 homes.
I would seriously consider switching agents if I were you. You seem like an agent's dream- you know what you want, and you're doing research to find homes you want. He doesn't appreciate you for what you are- an educated buyer.
Sounds like your agent was not a good match for you. Having had two good agents before, you know how things are susposed to go. I think you have made the right decision to move on to another agent.
Wishing you the best in finding the right professional.