I am a cash buyer & I went to the listing agent for the house I wanted. Is that an advantage ? What do I do now? I'm a 1st time buyer!

Asked by Kim, Lake Forest, CA Sun Sep 29, 2013

I'm anxious to purchase standard sale mobile and went to the listing agent to have advantage of knowing the amt. of any other offers.
I offered 20,000 less because the house needed work & I found it 11 years older than was listed on mls!
The realtor was selling the house for his relative & said that he would submit my offer & that he wants to do best for his family & that he wasn't taking the commission for the sale.
Also that, the advantage of selling to me would be the add saving to his family.
He proposed my offer to but, never wrote it up & just asked for POF which I did! Next day,says that they have another offer from agent's client who they want to consider fri 27th. Then,it was delayed till sat 28 & they were willing to wait.
Said he'd then let me know sunday what the offer is, so I could decide what I wanted to do.
Now it's sun 29th & he texts "we'll talk tomorrow???!!!. Don't want to look desperate but i'm worried I'll lose this. Please any suggestions appreciated

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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Mon Sep 30, 2013
Some very good answers already. So I won't restate their points.

What the agent likely is doing is shopping your offer around. He's saying, "I got this offer from Kim, but it's way low. Why don't you top her offer by $5,000? You'll still be getting a bargain."

I don't know how you arrived at your offering amount, but I do know that mobile homes typically have a lot of flexibility in price, and that cash can really drive the price down. So I don't fault you for the apparently low offer. But as you found out, the listing agent isn't going to tell you the amount of any other offers.

While it's possible you'll lose that one, it's not too likely. Even where I am--a very hot market where houses go under contract in a week or less if they're priced right--mobile homes can sit on the market for months without an offer.

I'd play it tough. First, apparently, the listing agent never even submitted your offer. And he hasn't been able to find anyone to top yours. You could tell him: "Write my offer up. Make it good for 24 hours. Then it expires." Keep in mind that the sellers have already had several days to consider the offer as relayed by their agent. Or find a buyer's agent to represent you. Make a written offer for $3,000 LESS than what you orally proposed.

The point is: That property has been on the market for a while. There are no other offers. You're offering cash. That makes you very attractive. (And there are lots of other similar properties out there.) Be serious. Play tough.

Hope that helps.
1 vote
Thom Colby, Agent, Irvine, CA
Mon Sep 30, 2013
All of the answers provided below are excellent. As somoene else said, there are many RED FLAGS. The very first is whether the agent provided the "Disclosure of Agency" which is required by law at the first meaningful discussion of Real Estate. Further, the agent is related to the seller and does not represent you. If anything, he would facilitate the sale and become a Dual Agent. However based on what you've said, he's not looking out for your best interest.
Finally, you have NO OFFER in place. It sounds like you've signed nothing and provided no earnest money. Do you know for sure this person is licensed to transact real estate in CA?

I would strongly suggest you contact a Realtor, sign a Buyer's Representation Agreement with them and look for another property. If you have your own agent, you will be protected.
Best of luck,
2 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sun Sep 29, 2013
Back up and begin over....

If you are working with the listing agent as "your agent" you might want to consider the possibility of a conflict of interest. Because of the potential for conflict with these types of relationships, some states do not allow "dual agency."

It's always recommended that buyers have their own personal representation. Someone that is going to advocate for them and be in their corner.

These relationships can work but there's just too much risk involved.

Good luck,

2 votes
Robert Adams, Agent, Henderson, NV
Tue May 6, 2014
I would recommend getting your own buyer agent to represent you to avoid any conflict of interest. The seller pays for the buyer agents commission so you get buyer representation for free.
1 vote
Birgit O'hea…, , Orange County, CA
Mon Sep 30, 2013
Hello Kim,

As so many fine agents have commented that you need to have a Buyer's Agent that will represent you with the purchase of your home. Your Buyer's Agent has a specific duty to represent you in a manner that is fair and with care, integrity, honesty, and loyalty. As a buyer, you want to work with a Realtor that places your interests first, not those of the seller or the agent's family.

Your Buyer's Agent works for YOU. Your relationship with them typically begins with a meeting during which time they will strive to get to know you better and learn more about what you are looking for in a home/property and how soon you are looking to make a purchase. They will likely educate you on the process for purchasing a home and will tell you what you can expect during various stages of the search and purchase process. They will work closely with you and your lender it that were the case, to determine the exact price point you quality for. Once the groundwork has been established, your Buyer's Agent will show you property. Quite likely they will even send you property information directly from the Multiple Listing Service. Once you find a property that you would like to purchase your Buyer's Agent will likely prepare a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) so that you will know what similar properties have sold for. If you have questions they will seek to find answers for you. Your agent will guide you in the determining what price to offer, will prepare all documents necessary for your offer, and will then present your offer to the seller or seller's agent however the case may be. From that point on they will communicate with you by phone and in writing and will negotiate your offer on your behalf. After your offer has been accepeted, they will work with you through Escrow and will assist you in scheduling inspections, reviewing reports and disclosures and requesting repairs as needed.

How can you tell if you have a Buyer's Agent working for you? They may have asked you to sign a Buyer Representation Agreement or at the very least a Disclosure that describes your Real Estate Agency Relationship and of course you have a copy of the signed paperwork. A Buyer's Agent doesn't present your offer to purchase a home verbally without submitting in writing as well.

I'd be happy to assist you with your home search. You can view properties on my website and you can contact me by email or telephone. I look forward to assisting you.

Wishing you all the best,

Birgit O'Hearn, Realtor
1 vote
Cynthia Flem…, Agent, Laguna Niguel, CA
Mon Sep 30, 2013
The listing agents is working for the Seller so no, it is not an advantage for the buyer. Also, the listing agent cannot disclose details about any other offers. You are better off working with an agent representing you who can assist and negotiate on your behalf.
1 vote
Connie Bramb…, Agent, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Mon Sep 30, 2013
Hi Kim,
You really should have insisted on the agent writing an offer for you. Did the agent tell you he thought you should have offered more money? This agent sounds like he is not treating this sale as he should because it is a relative. Many times people think they can cut corners when it is a relative involved. I think you should ask for a written offer, ask for the realtor to provide comps so you can make a reasonable offer. Just because the home is older than you thought does not mean it is not worth what they are asking for it. $20,000 less on the price is a great deal to come down if the home is priced right to start with. Get the comps and make a reasonable offer in writing.
Connie Bramble
Prudential CA Realty
bre# 898302
1 vote
Ingrid Ski R…, Agent, Mission Viejo, CA
Sun Sep 29, 2013
Hi kim

A couples of things are a red flag from what you have mentioned
First is you have no written offer which doesn't make any sense at all
Saying he is not getting any commission ( if thats true or not) this should not even be an issue to discuss with a buyer Seller pays this with the agreement they have with the MLS listing.
Next is only wants your proof of funds only.
Then he tells you they have another offer they want to consider
That tells you right there (red flag) that they maybe accepting that other offer
And there seems to be not much communication with the (your) agent
In this case you should have someone to represent you as it doesn't seem this agent is doing that

If I can help you in any way. Please contact me. My Info is below
Talk to you soon

Ingrid Ski Realtor
1 vote
Jim Olive, Agent, Key West, FL
Sun Sep 29, 2013
Having your own agent could help. But it also sounds like your offer may not be that strong. A big problem with that is that some listing agents may "color the truth" when they tell you what the other offers look like. If you want the best price...wait them out. If you want the house, and are willing to pay more to make sure you get it...bump up your offer. A good buyers agent can help you with advice like that and will be looking out for only your interests. best of luck...
1 vote
Satar Naghsh…, Agent, Irvine, CA
Sun Sep 29, 2013
The first thing the listing agent should have given you before discussing price and offer, was an Agent disclosure form. At this point, I do not what capacity, if any, the agent has in representing you.

He is probably using your offer to negotiate a better deal with the other offer he got.
1 vote
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Sun Sep 29, 2013
I agree with Bill. It is always best to have your own buyer's agent. I also don't think we make great decisions when 'desperate.' If there is one thing I'v e learned, there is always another home...it may take a while, but eventually, these things work out for the best. Don't let 'desperation' be your guide.

Wishing you the best.
1 vote
Diana Hellman, Agent, Larchmont, NY
Tue May 6, 2014
When you go to the listing agent for a purchase on a particular property, that agent becomes a dual agent. The fiduciary relation is neither with you nor the owner. It is not the preferred situation. While it is allowed if both parties agree and understand the implications, it is better to have an agent who is working solely in your interests. In this kind situation, the listing agent can assign a designated agent to work for you, which is more desirable. It is very ironic that so many people do seek out the listing agents of properties they would like to buy, thinking they will get a better deal, but it is better to have one agent looking out for your interests, one who knows you and can, through your ongoing relationship, find properties that conform to your criteria in a more efficient manner. Also, when you deal with various listing agents, you may miss out on properties that your particular agent may send you immediately , upon hitting the multiple listing service.
0 votes
Darren Smith, Agent, Corona, CA
Mon Apr 14, 2014
The listing agent owes a fiduciary responsibility to the seller.
Here is a scenario to illustrate the point:
Imagine someone is suing you in court, and when they serve you the summons the say "Don't worry, my lawyer can handle both sides of this dispute and represent you too."
Do you think you will get fair representation?
An aggressive agent working only for YOU is the best way to go.
Good luck!
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Tue Oct 1, 2013
By now I hope you have things in writing.
A real purchase contract with real signatures.
If not,
don't wait...
Pick up the phone and call a Laguna Woods CA Realtor.
Have this agent write a formal purchase offer.
0 votes
Nicole Fedor…, Agent, Santa Ana, CA
Tue Oct 1, 2013
Hi, Kim-
You have received a lot of great advice here, so I am not going to repeat anything.
I do have a mobile-home listing coming up in the next few weeks in the Corona area, if you are interested.

Nicole Fedorchek, Realtor
Tarbell, Realtors
DRE 01920370
0 votes
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