I really don't think it has anything to do with the agent living in that city. Prices cannot be controlled by agents and they go up or down with the market conditions.
In addition to everything mentioned in the e-mail below by Carl, you also have to see if the property is a foreclosure since most of the foreclosure properties are selling with multiple offers over asking price. Agents representing the banks as the sellers are priceing them below market price and buyers that have done their homework through their agent understand that it is a great deal. They will pay way over asking price to get the home.
And then there are buyers out there that think that no matter what the asking price is, they can get it a lot lower since they keep hearing it is a buyer's market and there are a lot of homes for sale. That is not possible in every circumstance. So what you need is a good agent who will show you all the comps and negotiate the price for you. Keep in mind foreclosed properties may be a different ball game if it is a desirable property in a good location.
Help-U-Sell Achievers Realty
40083 Mission Blvd
Letâ€™s take a look at what your agent is supposed to be doing for you:
They are a coach, mentor, facilitator and negotiator. Their object is to provide you with comprehensive data for any area so that you can clearly see the following:
1. All comparable properties in the area that have been on the market in the past 6 months (actives, pendings, solds).
2. Average sales prices for the neighborhoods in which you are looking.
3. Average current actives by both sales price and price per square foot.
4. Trends for the neighborhood showing you in graphic detail where prices are projected to go in the neighborhood over the next few months.
Once they have provided you with the data, it is in your best interest to examine it carefully, then tell your agent what you are willing to offer on any given property. Your agent is not the one to set offering price, you are.
If your agent is not willing to:
1. Provide you with comprehensive market data,
2. Write up offers at the prices you dictate,
3. Negotiate in your best interest regardless of their affiliation with geographical area:
Itâ€™s time to look for another Realtor.
If you are interested in comprehensive data and trends for the Fremont area, we can help, if you wish.
I understand your concern of whom to trust about the offering price. My advise is to ask the agents for the evidence or reasons to support her suggestion or opinion, you should always look and inspect instead of just accepting any verbal suggestion.
The knowledge of a local agent on the price trend far exceeds agents from outside areas. A local agent can talk to you about the price trends to the granularity of a particular development in a certain neighborhood. To quote an expample, there are certain areas in fremont and in cupertino, due to school reputations, there is always a huge demand and a very high level of resistance to price drop. Every home owner/ seller knows this fact and would wait to get the best offer. These are areas for most part not affected by the present housing crisis. The prices are still holding well and if the house does not sell, they take it out of the market and rent it. If you are considering any of these areas, I would say that your agents opinion is absolutely right to have a deal done successfully. Good Luck with your home purchase.
Iâ€™m not sure where you are looking (I live/work in Fremont); however, rest assured there are no locations in the Bay Area that have â€œnon-negotiable pricing.â€ While it sounds like you have had some bad experiences please understand that most agents who havenâ€™t already left the profession are sincere and committed professionals. That said, there are many real estate "service models" along the mix of focus between company transaction efficiency and personal service level. It sounds like you may have been stuck in a "transaction-focused" model rather than a "service-focused" mentality.
Bottom Line: ANY agent who suggests a certain offer price, at a minimum, should be showing you a Comparative Market Analysis to validate the offer being discussed.
I would also suggest you review the Realtor's client testimonials and pick some to speak directly with (don't be steered by the agent, choose from their list on their website). Ask these past clients what they liked about working with the individual, but more importantly; ask what they didn't like about the experience, or what went wrong, if anything. That is how you will get the best information.
Here's another tip: Make sure you are working with a licensed REALTOR, not every licensed agent in California is a REALTOR who is bound by the following Code of Ethics (summarized):
Don't be discouraged, the good ones are out there, you just need to know how to find them. And, once you do find that person be loyal the same way you would be with a great doctor, dentist, insurance agent, etc.
Steven A. Ornellas, GRI, ABR, e-PRO, CMPS, RE Masters, MBA
REALTORÂ® / Mortgage Banker-Broker / Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist
Steven Anthony Real Estate & Financial Services
Expect Excellence. Get What You Expect.â„¢
I really don't think sellers in this market environment getting good advice from their agents or all the options are not given to sellers that they are facing foreclosure.
I have posted examples!