I will be relocating to the Hampton VA area and will be considering the purchase of a home.

Asked by Dan, Yorktown, VA Wed Oct 1, 2008

The biggest question I will have for agents during the interview process is how many homes they have settled in the past year as a buyer's agent, the list price of all transactions, and the amount of the final settled price they were able to negotiate. Is this information that could be given on this site?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:

Answers

11
Alvin Lapitan, , Virginia Beach, VA
Thu Oct 2, 2008
Hey Dan, Danilo sounds like he's definitely on point. Where you wrote - "I have good reason to believe that this will be my family's final move and would like to be able to own my home again.", also keep in mind that the Hampton Roads area has never had a true decline in property values during the long term. Though most markets have experienced temporary short term decreases, historically the "7 cities" of Hampton Roads (Hampton, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, & Newport News) has never had a 5 year period of decreased property values. The best indicator of the future is generally the past. Since you're in the military, VA definitely has the MOST attractive financing options available! Let me know if I can get a Good Faith Estimate out to you.

Thanks,

Alvin Lapitan
Sr. Mortgage Consultant
Toll Free: 877-534-7420
Email: alapitan@cavaliermortgage.com
0 votes
Danilo Bogda…, Agent, Reston, VA
Wed Oct 1, 2008
Sorry for not saying it earlier...thank you for letting me quote your previous comment.
Web Reference:  http://www.LoudounScene.com
0 votes
Danilo Bogda…, Agent, Reston, VA
Wed Oct 1, 2008
Fair market value is what the property is worth today. This is based on recent comparable sales (within the last 30 to 90 days) and current market conditions. A key component to a great buyer's agent is negotiating the best price and terms on the property based on their buyer's needs and the specific situation surrounding that property.

Yes, factoring in closing cost assistance to come up with the "net" sales price comes into play. I often have to remind buyers to do the math correctly and factor in their $___ amount of closing cost assistance. I always look at the "net" purchase price when discussing an offering price. I also factor closing cost assistance when looking over comps/previous solds.

As far as your comment about what listing agents say... What they're probably trying to say is "I know the market and know what listing price will bring an offer and I won't list it for less than that so that I don't give the house away". There is actually a lot of truth to that and the good listing agents know exactly where that fine line is for the specific property their dealing with. Price it too high...no offers and it sits on the market. Price it too low...you're leaving money on the table. Price it just right...get the most for your property at the particular moment in time.

Then there's the listings agent who "buy listings" by promising to sell the house for an amount that's totally un-achievable and above market value. Those agents are screwing over their clients and should have their licenses revoked on the spot.

Did I answer your question(s)?
Web Reference:  http://www.LoudounScene.com
0 votes
Dan, , Yorktown, VA
Wed Oct 1, 2008
Sure Danilo,
Anything that I post in this site can be quoted. I feel like I've done my homework (and will continue to do so) and hope that my experience, good or bad, will bring buyers back to the market. I do have one particular question to ask you concerning your earlier post. You stated:
"In those situations, don't be surprised to pay full asking price, if not more than asking price. But that doesn't mean you're paying too much. For example...if the property is priced at $400K, but it's fair market value is $450K, then paying $425K is still a great deal."
Could you please define, or explain who does define, fair market value? You see, I'm active duty military and have done my share of moving over the past 4 years. I've moved from NC, where I purchased my last home, to Phoenix AZ in 2005 where I didn't DARE buy a home, to Layton UT in 2007, where I was told BUY BUY BUY because the market was great, great, great, only to watch it freeze up and DROP by 15% (and this area still remains the example of a good market). All the while being told by professionals that the current asking price of homes was the "fair market value". It only takes a quick "google search" to find out what happened to these markets during these time frames. I have good reason to believe that this will be my family's final move and would like to be able to own my home again. I have considered buying at all "stops" along the way and noticed several "quirks" in the real estate business. I noticed that when agents represent sellers they claim "we will get you the MOST amount possible for your home". Yet, when agents represent buyers they claim "we'll make sure you pay FAIR MARKET VALUE". What I want to hear from someone that is representing me as a BUYER'S AGENT is "I will work as hard as I can to make sure you pay the least amount possible for your next home." BTW, if you need to add closing cost and seller concessions in these numbers feel free to do so. I'm an intelligent guy I can handle the details. :)
0 votes
Danilo Bogda…, Agent, Reston, VA
Wed Oct 1, 2008
Dan - You have no idea how happy I am to read what you wrote. Too many "family members" or "friends" have completely screwed buyers and sellers out of proper representation.

May I please quote what you said on a blog post regarding finding an agent?
Web Reference:  http://www.LoudounScene.com
0 votes
Kihalani Pay…, , 23692
Wed Oct 1, 2008
Dan -

I'm glad you and your wife take hiring a REALTOR seriously - Some advice I would like to give you and your family when hiring a REALTOR.

1) Make sure they are a member of the National Association of REALTORs, as well as the state and local associations. Each level requires REALTORs to follow strict standard of practices as well as Code of Ethics.

2) Make sure they have at least the Accredited Buyers Representative designation commonly known as the "ABR" designation. These REALTORs have been through strict training to ensure they are equipped w/ the tools to deliver the best services to the buyer/consumer, and ensure they have your best interest at heart.

3) A good REALTOR will also provide you a Comparative Market Analysis - to let you know what the market looks like for example Active listings, Pending listings, and Sold homes - to help you make an informed decision when it comes to preparing your purchase offer.

4) There is no getting around the fact--this is your market - A "buyers" market - Everything is negotiable (in any market; buyer or seller), but also a good REALTOR will let you know if the asking price is also a "fair asking" price.

5) Make sure you not only interview REALTORs, but also credible LENDERS - get pre-approved w/ a credible lender, watch out for those junk fees, select a local lender when you arrive in the area (stay away from internet lenders), demand a Good Faith Estimate before you even start interviewing REALTORs. As you know this will give you how much home you can afford.

6) A good REALTOR will also be realistic, honest, and truthful with you.

7) I would recommend you correspond via email or telphone with your prospective REALTORs to discuss more in detail your expectations as well as your request of closed transactions versus using this venue.

I hope this information was beneficial and valuable.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact any of the REALTORs who have posted a response or myself.

Thank you and have a safe trip to the Hampton Roads Area

Kihalani Payton, ABR, SRS, ASP
USAF Ret
GSH REAL Estate
Licensed in Virginia
Direct 757-926-5830
Toll Free - (800) 235-2745 ext 5830
0 votes
NonRealtor, , 23456
Wed Oct 1, 2008
Wait a year or two. This area has more price declines coming. This area is just starting to decline. The Alt A mortgages are beginning to reset and this area is full of funny loans. Good Luck
0 votes
Dan, , Yorktown, VA
Wed Oct 1, 2008
Thanks for the "tip". That is an excellent point. I know of some who have worked with agents that simply refused to deal with short sales, foreclosures and bank owns, saying that they were never a good deal and just too complicated. It's amazing how many people will list with the first agent or "friend of a friend" and have no idea the kind of representation they will get. Believe me, my wife and I will do our homework and hire the agent we feel will get us the best deal at the lowest price.
0 votes
Danilo Bogda…, Agent, Reston, VA
Wed Oct 1, 2008
Though your first question is an excellent one to ask, I'll have to respectfully disagree with you on your last question about final settled price as compared to sales price.

If your buyer's agent is worth his salt, he/she will be finding you the properties that are priced well below market value - the diamonds in the rough. The other good buyer's agents out there and other buyers will also find these types of properties and there will most likely be multiple offers on the property.

In those situations, don't be surprised to pay full asking price, if not more than asking price. But that doesn't mean you're paying too much. For example...if the property is priced at $400K, but it's fair market value is $450K, then paying $425K is still a great deal.

You should know that many banks, asset managers and listing agents are purposefully pricing properties well below market value to 1) ensure a quick sale and 2) receive multiple offers (I've seen 25 on one property before) in order to get the most amount possible.

Btw...try asking for references from the last 6 clients they worked with and how many short-sales or foreclosures/bank-owned properties they've closed in the past 12 months. The second question is a very important one because about half of the properties currently selling are distressed properties. You want to make sure your agent knows what they're doing when it comes to those types of properties because they're quite different from traditional resales.

Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.LoudounScene.com
0 votes
real estate…, , Montgomery County, MD
Wed Oct 1, 2008
Dan, make sure you get your financing in order first. Shopping homes is the fun part, and emotional part... and needs to be put in check not only with what you qualify for but to show you what your payment options will look like given the sales price range you are after.
0 votes
Alvin Lapitan, , Virginia Beach, VA
Wed Oct 1, 2008
Hi there Dan, and an early welcome to the area! It appears from your question, you are asking them to gauge the negotiating power and experience that the agent you choose may have? I'm not an agent, but a mortgage broker. Although a valid question, I'm not too sure if these figures would be a true measure of an agent's sucess. Experience is a big factor, you definitely probably want someone who does real estate as a full time career, and eliminate those that do 1-3 deals a year. Most homes do sell for less than the listing price, but you also have to measure other variables such as seller concessions. Closing costs assistance and these concessions usually aren't listed or factored in with the final price. If you are looking for financing, I'd enjoy the opportunity to work and earn your business. Being in the business for quite some time, I can also refer you to some experts, whom I have grown to trust. Let me know how I can be of service. You'll love the area! (I've been in Hampton Roads for over 25 years!)

Kindest regards,

Alvin Lapitan
Sr. Mortgage Consultant
Toll Free: 877-534-7420
Email: alapitan@cavaliermortgage.com
0 votes
Search Advice
Search
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more