Home Buying in 19428>Question Details

Judy Merkle, Home Buyer in Conshohocken, PA

Should I expect my agent to be telling me about every property?

Asked by Judy Merkle, Conshohocken, PA Tue Aug 19, 2008

We're looking for something very specific, and we're aware that these kind of properties in this area won't come up quickly - it's probably a 2-3 year search, and we're patient. But we were hoping to have an agent that would send us information each week as she began to understand the type of property we want (my husband is a landscape architect and we want a large yard so he can develop it and show it to clients; large yards aren't typical around here).

Once we talked to the agent a few weeks ago she seemed eager to help and understood the issue, but we've noticed a number of houses that have matched our needs fairly closely come on the market without her saying anything. When we asked her, she said that most clients find the houses on their own through web/newspaper searches. This is my question: am I wrong to expect that during a long, multi-year search that my agent should be telling me about properties each week, or do we need to be looking every weekend?

Help the community by answering this question:


May I ask you a couple of tough questions? If the agent found you the right home this week, what would you do? If she has the feeling that you aren;t ready to buy, then she may not have you at the very top of her urgency list.
Buyers often say they are going to buy in a year or two, but by the time you have been talking to the agent for 6 months or so, it is very likely that one of you is going to get tired of the process. Since the longest buyer agency contract allowed in Pennsylvania is one year, the odds are pretty well stacked against this first agent being in the picture when you get to the point that you are actually ready to buy.
If the two of you discuss this and come to an agreement that you will work WITH her to find the right property, then you are more likely to get a higher level of service.
Frankly, I have a computer full of people who told me that they wanted to work with me, but have never decided to buy a home. I am sending them listings from the automatic email system in the MLS, but I couldn't possibly give all of them the kind of attention that I give to a person who is ready and willing to buy now. We stay in touch on a periodic basis, and most of them are still quite friendly, but until they get to the point that they are real buyers, I am letting the system handle them. (UNderstand, these are people that have not signed a buyer agency agreem with me. They are potential customers, not clients.)
When somebody tells me they are very picky and are willing to wait for years for the right home to come along, I know that they are "needle in a haystack" buyers. The automated system is just not set up to handle that kind of search. If you are a "needle" buyer, then you need to cooperate with your agent, show her a level of loyalty that is on a par with the level of service you expect, and plan to be a partner in the search. I would bet that if you call and say "here is a home that I saw in the Sunday paper" she will be happy to get you detailed information and set up a showing immediately. (Just understand it must not be exactly what you told her you needed, or it would have come up in the listings she is sending to you.)

Do try Realtor.com though. At least they used to pull up homes for you and rate them as to how close they are to the full set of criteria that you put into the system. On almost all other systems I know of, if you say you want 4 bedrooms, you won't see any that have only 3.

My that was long! I hope it helps though.

Eileen's Green Team at Gateway
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 19, 2008
Absolutely poor form. You should be set up on a search straight from the mls from your agent that send you every listing that matches your criteria the second they hit the market.
Web Reference: http://BobbyDaddis.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 21, 2015
Hi Judy!
Your Agent should be in contact with you every week via telephone and email.

If your Agent/Realtor doesn't give you their time, then they are not valuing you as their Client.

I give my clients a lot of attention!

Please contact me directly for your real estate questions or residential buying needs.


Alexis Jeffries
Liberty Bell Real Estate Agents
Of Jenkintown
Direct Phone 215-237-4147
Email: alexisjrealestate@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
Hi Judy,

Has your agent set you up to receive matches for exactly what youre searching for? Its very easy to have the MLS automatically send you listings that match certain criteria on a regular basis or as they become available. Lots of agents have a few clients on the back burner for years before they even want to see something. I don't know about 300+ but we all have a few. I agree that as realtors with limited time available during the busy season we need to prioritize between who is serious and who is not but you should definitely not be having to chase anyone down to get listing information. I hope your problem has been resolved since your original post! Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.greeneragent.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 12, 2009
Well, cmost agents have 300+ buyers that want to buy. Some right now, some in 3 months, some 6 months, some in a year, Some in 2 years, and some are when they find the right house (could be 3+ years). We have to give the most attention to those that need to buy right now, and then 3 months, 6 months, etc. So you may be on a list of "potential" buyers that "may buy someday". We cannot stay in business if we do not follow this model. We can send automated listings, but only to so many people. For the most part the agent is probably giving you more attention than most would. You should try to work with her and be patient, like she is being with you. I am completely honest with all my buyers that have a long term search request. They know I have other clients, and they most likely will receive listings from me. However, when they decide they are ready to search more seriously, I will show them my full attention. Does that make sense. If they say no, I am ok with that. At least I know at theend of the day I can look t myself and say I did the honest thing there was to do. Maybe sit down with her adthank her for all she is doing and expand your search to include the etire ara and you can sift through the "undesirable" ones. You will know then, that you saw all the listings. Hope that helps. :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 21, 2009
Probably not. Keep a look out for yourself. My house has a big front and back yard and is for sale! Happy hunting!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 21, 2009
The biggest complaint most buyers and sellers have is lack of communication. If you are working with an exclusive agent to buy in your area, you should have a Buyer Agency agreement signed. That means your agent owes you a fiduciary relationship. It’s possible the bloom is off the rose if you’re not hearing from your agent at all. She may think your criteria are impossible to find. She’s off to sell someone a house today. If you like her, I would recommend having a conversation with her. Find out if there is some way to keep in touch that makes you happy, if not, it may be time to find a new agent. Here in Connecticut, our MLS gives us the ability email our clients listings that match their criteria daily or weekly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 19, 2008
Judy...the biggest problem between clients and real estate agents is communication! If you have given a clear explanation of what you are searching for than your agent should be contacting you with homes that match your criteria. I do find that a sifting search is best when working with my clients....start with the areas you'd like to live and your needs in a home(give the top 5 in order). check out the results and then begin to fine tune your search...in the homes you feel the agent missed there may be one item you dont want (i.e. unfinished bsmnt, missing a bathroom,etc) that is preventing the agent from contacting you about the new listing. explain to her what you would be willing to accept as a close match to your needs(different areas, work needed, other styles of home). open communication is key to finding the right home for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 19, 2008
You and your wife should definitely expect the agent to match you with the type of property you are looking for and to send you updates on a regular basis. Unfortunately it's hard to find a dedicated agent that will work for a buyer for a 2-3 year period.

You may want to think about employing a buyers agent instead. These types of agents are professionally trained to work mostly with buyers and they know how to please their buyers. Go to one or two real estate offices and speak to the broker owner and ask if they have a Buyers Agent in the office.

If you cannot find a good agent simply continue looking online, newspapers and even drive around in case your agent misses something that matches your criteria. Simply let your agent know of anything that interests you so they can get you into the properties and represent you and your wife through the process.
Web Reference: http://www.KandHhomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 19, 2008

When you retain the services of any professional, including a Realtor, you should feel confident that they will meet your basic expectations. Oftentimes, a simple discussion of expectations is all that is warranted to clarify how a relationship will work to fulfill the client's ultimate end; in this case, an acquisition of property that will meet your search criteria.

Regarding the identification process, it is often a concerted effort between both client and Realtor to search for homes that meet criteria. Both parties will utilize all media outlets to identify these properties, but mostly, because your agent is full-time (she is, right?), they will probably come across, if not already seen, properties that meet your criteria because we are on appointments all day. You should expect to be forwarded those properties and do your own drive-by to determine if the property initially meets your criteria; if interested, then schedule an appointment to preview the property. Also, due to market conditions and seasonality, the frequency of these listings will vary.

Good hunting!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 19, 2008
Yes, you should expect your agent to be e-mailing, or phoning you with every new listing that comes up, as it comes up, that matches your criteria.

This is a major portion of the job. While many clients can now peruse the internet for listings and find the homes themselves, when a client tells us that they want us to handle that aspect, since we're so much closer to it than they are... we're in the MLS multiple times per day... and hear of properties coming on, prior to them hitting the public websites, yes, it's reasonable to expect your agent to send you those listings as soon as they become available.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 19, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
An initial interview with every client is VERY important. It takes time to discover what a client really needs and must have. Once the "must haves" are identified I set up search parameters and search for those homes. Searching on lot size is a standard field in our MLS so it is very easy to do. Add that to other needs (bedrooms, bathrooms, etc). REALTORS should be able to set up an automatic search of the MLS and send you daily, weekly or monthly updates, depending on how frequently you wish to receive updates. The more specific questions your agent asks and the more specific your answers the better the search. However, if you're too specific or have too many other requirements the search may be too narrow and you'll miss some of the homes that would otherwise have fit. Unless the client is absoultely sure about what they want I'll only put in a few narrow specifics.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 19, 2008
You should be getting all the properties that match your needs. Let your agent know the top 2 most important things you want for your new home such as nice big yard, etc. There are many homes out there to match your search, but if you have too many specifics, it does narrow down the search alot. Let me know if that helps.

Cheryl Supplee
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 19, 2008
It is alot to ask an agent and sometimes you will need to assist them assist you. They should be sending them as they come on the market, not just weekly, with email now a days it is easy to send a listing sheet where in the past you would have to print and fax taking up time and expense. with emailing the listings it taks seconds, and you take the time to review it and make teh request to see it or discard it. As well you should be searching on your own and if you find something, contact your agent to get the address or more information as needed. Waiting a week to gather everything and make a weekly update is more time condsuming than doing it every evening when reviewing the new listings for the day. Seeing your are being so specific, you need to assist them as well. As you get losts of new listings you can change or add what you like or dont like to help the agent send you different, less or more lsitings as thy come up. Also if you wait a week or 2 weeks for an update, a home could be sold by the time you get it. Good luck in your search.
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 19, 2008
Your agent should send you everything that meets or comes close to your criteria. Many times Buyers will see something that they really like and it is only close to what their criteria is. To say that the Buyers find the home on heir own is unusuall in my oinion.
Web Reference: http://www.patzollo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 19, 2008
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