Fixed price agent in Los Altos Hills Bay area California

Asked by Vincent Kabler, Los Altos Hills, CA Tue Jan 1, 2013

I have found the house I want to buy. I have done all the analysis and the financing is in the bank. I have been living in the neighborhood for 10 years and so I know it really well. I am also very computer savvy and will be closing the deal very quickly. I would willing to write up a contract limiting liablity if that is what the agent is worried about.

I am looking for a fixed price buyer agent or a "price per hour" buyers agent.

The help I need is to:
1. Write up an offer.
2. Close the deal.

Do you know someone who has some experience in the Los Altos Hills and can help me out.


Vincent Kabler

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Joe Velasco’s answer
Joe Velasco, Agent, Los Altos, CA
Tue Jan 1, 2013
Hello Vincent Kabler,

I send you an email direct to your gmail account. When you buy a home you don't have to pay the BUYER AGENT to represent you at all, it cost you ZERO he or she is paid by the seller. :-)

Joe Velasco
1 vote
I want to get a rebate from my agent to fix up the house. I know that the buyer agent is paid for by the seller.
Flag Tue Jan 1, 2013
Bill Mccord, Agent, San Jose, CA
Tue Jan 1, 2013
You are talking about a Facilitation Agreement which I typically base on the amount of work needed, rather than a percentage.
The term "Close the Deal" will define the amount of work required as that is in fact 50% of all the time spent on a typical transaction.
If the property is an mls listing this work would be less than if it is to be a private deal (off the mls).
To get a fee quote you will need to provide all the background to the transaction so far.
Good luck,
0 votes
Tx, I will give you a call. What would be the best time ?
Flag Tue Jan 1, 2013
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Fri Jan 4, 2013
Several cliche' are called to mind:

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.
So is Hubris.

Why would you do this when a Buyer's Agent is FREE?
0 votes
Katalin Horv…, , Los Altos, CA
Fri Jan 4, 2013
Hi Vincent,

I've just read your questions regarding property taxes and "fixed priced" agents. In case you haven't yet made the offer, based on the information provided, my brief answer is that you might be better served by a real estate attorney, where you don't have to worry about offering "limited liability" and can get the job done for a fixed price, or an hourly rate.

However, if by "write up an offer and close the deal" you meant to say you need to rely on he advice of an agent experienced in Los Altos Hills to negotiate the transaction and close the deal, what you are asking for is a full service agent. And this is where proper compensation comes in, as a seasoned and consciences agent/broker, who is taking client representation serious, would have difficulty compromising even with "limiting of liability" you offer. By-the-way, when you have a chance, ask any real estate lawyer about limitation/waiver of liability.

You sound like someone who is proactive and knows what he wants. It would be my pleasure to further discuss real estate specific to you needs, how you'd be best served while helping to achieve your goal.
0 votes
David Blockh…, Agent, Los Altos, CA
Wed Jan 2, 2013

If you feel you understand all of the intricacies of a real estate transaction and you understand market prices why do you need a real estate professional at all. You should just go get a contract from your local stationary store and write it up. After all it is really easy and any issues that come up you should be more than capable to handle them. After all, you sound like you have a lot of experience in real estate purchases (I enjoyed your highly complicated and intricate question about property taxes) Sarcasm intended! I'm not trying to piss you off but... You may not know what you don't know.

Vincent, most serious buyers do a lot of research into the market, similar to what you have done. Ideally the process, negotiations and closing goes smoothly. That is a sign of a good agent (on both sides of the transaction) more often than not it doesn't. Appraisal issues, property condition issues and financing issues lead the list of potential problems that can derail "closing the deal." In the hills, you may have additional concerns with foundation, sewer/septic, site, slope and drainage issues etc. Hiring an agent or and attorney does not come cheaply but given the size, complication and liability of the transaction, it shouldn't be.

Our industry is experienced based, the longer an agent has worked as well as the variety of transactions we are involved with provides us with the experienced necessary to handle most transactions. Your transaction may appear to be routine or easy (and hopefully it will be), but that is like saying taking one's appendix out is routine. More often than not removing the appendix is routine but every once in awhile the appendix bursts, then what?

I suggest that you work with agents based on their knowledge, experience and services and not their initial pricing. Don't disregard their fees or "pricing", but don't use it as the initial level of scrutiny/screening. FYI, you are asking agent's to take on a lot of liability for little in return. Most experienced agents would consider this a bad business decision.

Good luck,

David Blockhus
Coldwell Banker - Downtown Los Altos
DRE# 01169028
650 917-4250
0 votes
Scott Miller, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Wed Jan 2, 2013
Hi Vincent.

I'm a little lost, too. Why do you want an agent to do this work for you and pay him/her? It costs you nothing as the buyer.

Are you looking for someone to do this with so that you can keep the buyer's side of the commission and only pay an hourly wage?

Good luck.

Scott Miller
Realty Associates
Boca Raton/Miami Beach
0 votes
i believe this is precisely what the buyer wants--pay a very small fee and keep all of the commission.
Flag Wed Jan 2, 2013
Grace Hanamo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Wed Jan 2, 2013
Hi Vincent,

Thanks for your post. I am afraid that if you're looking for an agent to do this job for just a few thousand dollars--so you can retain the rest of the commission as a rebate, it is unlikely that you will find an agent or, more importantly, a broker, who would agree to this high level of exposure without comparable remuneration.

Your best bet is to find an attorney who can do this for you. Keep in mind, however, that an attorney will have no access to the same tools an agent has to help you negotiate a good price or check comparable sales. So while they can prepare the paperwork, the attorney will have no advice regarding housing marketability or trends in the area.

Also I have some serious reservations regarding your plans for a flip at this price in this area. I know you've done some research, but one of the principal benefits of working with an agent is that agents knowledge of the market and buyer trends in the area. This type of knowledge can save you from making a serious and costly misstep that can cost you more money than the commission you would be potentially saving by using an attorney.

So I would rethink this plan or hire an agent to assist you. At this price, you will be far happier with the help of a good agent to help you evaluate the purchase especially in an investment situation.

Good luck,
Grace Morioka
Allison James Estates and Homes
0 votes
Andrei Bandr…, Agent, Los Altos, CA
Tue Jan 1, 2013
Hi Vincent!
Sounds like you are an extremely savvy Buyer with the knowledge of the area, Real Estate transaction and more important, you know exactly what you want. I always appreciate your type of client, because communication becomes a pure joy and results are always win-win.
I've been practicing Real Estate in Los Altos Hills for the past twelve years and given the high value and most of the time complexity of the Hills properties, I've been surprised a few times, why people choosing to look for the limited service Broker, when they are making, the most important investment of their lifetime, especially when the Seller pay for the Buyer's agent service. It is like choosing not to have health, life or car insurance, given the scope of investment.
Said that, I never dismiss an opportunity to discuss with client the most beneficial way for him, to approach his purchase decision.
If you'd like to discuss your particular case, please contact me at:

Thank you for your inquiry.
0 votes
Tx, I will give you a call. What would be the best time ?
Flag Tue Jan 1, 2013
Dot Chance, Agent, Burbank, CA
Tue Jan 1, 2013
I'm not sure why you want this. The commission is paid by the seller not by the buyer. As savvy as you are, have you studied real estate and gotten your license? I'm afraid there may be a little more to it than you assume. You want an agent that knows what they are doing and is protecting you. Looking for someone that will work on a discount may not be able to offer you the service and experience you deserve.

All my best,
DRE #01494182
0 votes
I will be finishing law school soon. I have taken a lot of real estate law classes. Also I have experience of buying and selling approx 10 homes.

Hence the reason I am looking for a fixed price agent.
Flag Tue Jan 1, 2013
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