Are listing agents reluctant to deal with buyers who aren't using a realtor?

Asked by Christie, 48135 Sat Apr 14, 2012

I am looking for a house and do not currently have an agent helping me. I went through the home buying process a year ago (the deal ended up falling through after many months,) and was very unsatisfied with the realtor. This time I thought I would try it on my own and when I find the house I want to purchase, I would just use the listing agent for the transaction. I understand the benefits of having a buyer's agent but have still decided against using one so far. I have been looking mainly at HUD & Homepath homes and my thinking was that the listing agent would like to get the double commision from the sale.
Anyway, I have called and left messeges for listing agents on a few properties that I wanted to see and haven't gotten a single call back. I am wondering if this is because I am a buyer without an agent.

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Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sat Apr 14, 2012
Hi Christie

I find it hard to understand why an agent, especially the listing agent, wouldn't call you back in regard to an inquiry on their listing.

I can only speak for myself - I respond to questions on my listings promptly.and it has nothing to do with the possibility of having both sides of the transaction.

I am not sure how dual agency is handled in Michigan, but perhaps that has something to do with their lack of a response.

To me, the interesting part of your postition is that, like it or not, you will, in fact, be working with an agent.......just not one who will be representing you.

Good luck - hope you hear back soon.............give them another call...if you still don't hear back.......hire your own agent!
1 vote
Francine Wil…, Other Pro, Whitmore Lake, MI
Sun Apr 15, 2012
Good agents ot brokers show houses to buyers whether they have the listing or not. Call me if your looking for an agent.

0 votes
Kathy Persha, Agent, Birmingham, MI
Sun Apr 15, 2012
Christie, If you sign a contract with a buyer's agent and you are not happy with that agent, you can get out of that contract. Signing a contract does not mean that you are locked in for life. You are only locked into the contract with that agent for the houses that he or she has shown you.
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sun Apr 15, 2012
Christie, now that you clarified your reasoning and reluctance to work with a buyer's agent, why not ask an agent if you can meet with them several times before committing to sigining a contract?

Kind of like taking a "test drive" to at least see if you have a comfort level before signing on.

In my area we don't use signed agreements in order to work with a buyer, so it is never an issue here.
0 votes
Scott Hulen, , 64068
Sun Apr 15, 2012
In our area most of the listing agents for REO’s have 50 or more listings. Most will not show you homes, they are basically running a different type of real estate business outside the traditional model. The generally ignore most Realtor® inquires, unless it’s a solid contract which a check attached or they just send you to the HUD website and you put in an offer. You need a good Realtor® on your side to help in this process. The other problem is many buyers watch way too much TV and think they are going to steal a property, this just does not happen! A general rule of thumb when offering on a bank property is about 10% off list price, more than 10% and most of the time your offer is rejected. Some REO’s in our area sell above list and most of the good ones which are move in ready with good schools sell at or above the listed price. The public perception is it’s a foreclosure I’m going to get a great deal. In my area we had a builder go under but before he did he did everything to try and sell his home. Originally listed at 389,000, he dropped the price over a period of time to 299,000 and still could not sell it. The bank foreclosed put a sign in the yard “bank foreclosure” and sold the property for 359,000 in 7 days! The buying public needs good Realtors®
0 votes
Christie, Home Buyer, 48135
Sat Apr 14, 2012
Thank you for the responses. One thing that I don't like about using a buyer's agent is that you have to sign a contract to use that agent exclusively. Last year when I was looking, I could tell fairly quickly that my agent wasn't working out well, but I signed the contract and thought I was "stuck with" her. I don't know if it was the fact that I was looking for a very inexpensive house (under $60000) that made it seem like I was one of her last priorities but thats how it felt. That's what makes me nervous about trying another agent; I don't want to get stuck in a contract with another realtor who Im not crazy about.
Also, if it is a case of the forclosure selling agents being too busy to get back to me, wouldnt they still be too busy too get back to an agent I was using?
0 votes
Kathy Persha, Agent, Birmingham, MI
Sat Apr 14, 2012
Christie, as in any profession, you will come across good and bad. There are some amazing agents and there are some that are an embarrassment to the profession and most will fall somewhere in the middle. Agents who list bank owned properties or HUD houses are usually very busy and detached from the properties since they do not work directly with a homeowner but with a corporate entity instead. I, too, have had many bad experiences trying to get a return phone call from many of these agents. The houses that they list just become a numbers game to them and the personal touch is just not there.

I am very sorry that your first experience with a realtor was a bad one. But if you have a great agent on your side, he or she will try their hardest to get the best possible deal and terms for you. If you decide to use an agent in the future, you should interview that person just as though you were interviewing them for a job. Because, in actuality, you are hiring them for the job of helping you find your new home with the best terms for you.

Much of my business comes from referrals because I do an amazing job for my clients. If you would like to talk, please give me a call or visit one of my websites below.

Kathy Persha
Keller Williams Realty
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