Looking to buy a short sale house from a listing agent that meets my need.

Asked by youngvb2, Falls Church, VA Fri Jan 4, 2013

I want to buy a short sale house in Temecula (possibly in Morgan Hill, Wolf Creek or similar areas [within Great Oak HS boundary]) or Murrieta (possibly Greer Ranch or Copper Canyon). We have an existing home and have qualified for $450k loan. We can either rent out our existing home or sell it when we find our "dream home" (modern with open floor plan). My fico score is 790 and I intend to put 20% down payment on the new house. I'm actively looking but I have plenty of time to make a prudent decision.

1) How appropriate is it to not have a RE agent, but to go directly to the listing agent on the house I want and tell him/her I want the house and have the listing agent receive both side of the commission?
2) Because I don't have a RE agent, how would I see the house without tying myself down to one RE agent? I think it goes without saying why I don't want a RE agent in this competitive market.

Thank you in advance

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Team Forss,…, Agent, Temecula, CA
Sat Jan 5, 2013
I would agree with most of the comments below. Hire a great agent to help you instead. Let the agent to their work and use their expertise. There are several great agents here in Temecula. Use Trulia and look at client reviews as a start, but interview a few until you find someone you're really comfortable with.

I manage the largest and most successful real estate company in Temecula. We sold 38% more in 2012 than the closest competitor in Temecula Valley, and we have some 140+ listings and many listings that are not even on the market yet. As an example: We have two homes coming up in Redhawk's premier gated community with only 69 homes - Rancho Madera. One is a 5 bed/3bath 3100 sf home in absolutely turnkey condition with lots of upgrades and it has approximately 3100sf and will be priced in the 300s. Another one is a 6 bedroom, 4 baths with 3600 sf and pool with golf course views. It will be priced in the $400s. Both of these homes will be coming on the market in January. We also have several other upcoming listings in south Temecula starting in the $200s.

We have a unique website where you can search on school, map, and almost on anything you like, plus it shows videos, photos, taxes etc. You can even chat with us if you don't feel like talking to someone. Absolutely no sales pressure from our team.
Web Reference:  http://www.come2temecula.com
2 votes
Walter 'Skip'…, Agent, Brea, CA
Fri Jan 4, 2013
What I find interesting is that you don't want a real estate agent BUT you want a real estate agent's advice.
Good luck,
1 vote
Eddie W. de…, Agent, Riverside, CA
Thu Jan 31, 2013
Great questions! From a former broker and a current lender's point of view, you obviously have the right to reach out to whichever Realtor you want. However, with this being said, it is probably in your best interest to establish a relationship with a Realtor that will meet most of your needs. Although it has been said that Realtors are a dime a dozen, good Realtors are hard to come by. A good Realtor is going to take the time to listen to your needs, wants and desires and will work with you to find a property that will closely meet most those needs, wants or desires. Furthermore, once you have established a relationship with a good Realtor, that Realtor will be proactive in looking for properties, writing up offers and negotiation with the Listing Agent on your behalf. I won't totally put down double agency as I have done it in the past, but in your opinion, wouldn't it be better to have an Agent that is committed only to you and not the interests of the seller as well? Of course you would want an Agent committed to you, so why wouldn't you commit to the Agent as well? Facts of life, Real Estate Agents don't get paid unless you purchase a home, so wouldn't it make sense that Agents do not want to waste their times with "wishie washie" Buyers who are not committed to them and will go to the next Agent that whispers sweet nothings in their ears? Good Realtors will work hard for you and all they ask in return is a committment, if not, they are not obligated to show you any properties or waste their time on you. Realtors are not tour guides.

On another note, you do have the right to represent yourself, but your first hurdle is how to gain access to the property? The listing agent won't want to waste their time either just to show you a home where they will not be representing you. They may open the house for you if you lie, but think about how that will work out for you when they receive your offer.

Furthermore, a Great Agent may require you to get pre-approved with their lender of choice even though you already have a lender. The reason for this, is that the Realtor may not necessarily know your particular lender and has no idea how this lender may perform. You will have the ability to choose whoever you want to use as a lender, but if the Realtor asks you for cross qualification, do it. The Realtor is just trying to prevent Buyer fallout in order to protect you and the Seller.

I do not wish to offend you or anyone reading this post. I just want to share what some Realtors may be hesitant to share since they do not want to shoot themselves in the foot.

I do work with some awesome Agents in that market, so if you would like a referral, please let me know. Feel free to call me at 951-210-2101.

Also feel free to look me up on the following sites:


Eddie W. de Leon
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #238369
0 votes
Temecula Own…, Home Owner, Temecula, CA
Wed Jan 30, 2013
From a fellow buyer's standpoint, I commend your approach.

Of course every realtor will tell you that you must have them, and need them. Their jobs depend on it.

I have previously bought a house in Temecula Valley and had a successful and pleasant experience doing exactly what you are describing: familiarizing myself with homes for sale, often doing drivebys and chatting with neighbors, going to their open houses and meeting the seller's agents.

When I found the right house, I went through the seller's agent, they were so happy to make double commission that they helped me get a great deal, and really pushed the bank to accept my offer. It was the edge we needed in this competitive market.

All the loan paperwork was done with the broker. It was painless and I felt much more in control than the times I let someone else, no matter how professional, look for houses for me and try to tell me what I want.

I got an amazing deal, and would never buy a house any other way, unless it was a direct transaction with the previous owners.
0 votes
Scott and Sh…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Jan 23, 2013
Hello Youngvb2,

Lots of good answers below --- I would highly recommend that you find an agent you like and trust to represent you. I would do your research online and then make some phone calls until you click with someone.
Read testimonials on Trulia, Zillow etc...and look at their individual websites. If it is a canned website I would move on. it would be a good idea to pick an agent that has at least 5 years of experience and has not held any other job during this time. You should look for a FULL TIME agent. Also ask to speak with their recent clients that just closed escrow! At least three clients with in the last 30 - 60 days. Verify these were their clients with proof of the sold MLS listing.

Everyone says they are an expert in short sales and REO's - the truth is far from that for most agents.
Have the agent send you their own work and not what their office closed. You can obtain this information directly from the board of realtors as well.

Experience is crucial in this business right now. If you call the listing agent they could be listing this house for their relative. They may have zero experience. I had a broker recently tell me how long he had been in the business and how experienced he was. Then he opened his mouth and I could see he know absolutely nothing about what he was doing. inmho.

I would work with an agent that has been in the business -full time- for no less than 5 years. Also, I would be careful to work with a company or agent that has fewer listings and not a ton of listings. Sometime when an agent has too many listings you don't get as much one to one time as you might require.

We represent more buyers than sellers. We have been in the business in the Valley for over 20 years.

Based on your question I would say you are at the beginning stages of buying? Am I right? You haven't yet experienced the crazy and frustrating problems that arise in this kind of market. It is not as easy as you think it is...you will find out that being a buyer is not the wonderful blessing to the market you might think it is. There are soooo many buyers out there right now!!! Many of them big business with all cash offers. Do you know how to stand out and get your offer accepted against that all cash offer??
Do you know what it takes to get an offer accepted when you need financing and not paying cash?
You have a lot of competition in the Temecula Valley right now. Then do you know what you should watch out for.... or ....what needs to be done to protect you? That's right you don't ---- so you need someone that does. And most importantly an agent you trust to do everything possible to take care of your best interest...NOT the sellers!

This is a big decision - you need an expert in this market- you must have representation on your side -the buyers side! When you call the listing agent your calling the person that has a relationship with the seller already. The person that pays them. I prefer on my listings that the buyer has their own representation.

Short sales are not the deal they appear. The banks will obtain an appraisal - the appraisal dictates the sales price --- not what you see on the listing price! Same with and REO.

Some agents will list short sales well under market to attrack buyers that don't know any better.
Then you sit for months until the bank counters the under market price. If you are not prepared for this you just wasted months of your time. We're not saying to ignore short sales - you should look at everything on the market. You need an agent that will be honest with you and tell you the truth not what you want to hear.

There is so much to learn in this market. This is the third down market we've worked thru - we are amazed at what we see out there. I would recommend you find a good agent that knows what they're doing. That agent will get you the lowest price plus protect you!

Please feel free to view our profile, website and contact us.

Kind regards,
Scott and Shelley Weier
Cal State Realty
C2 Financial Corporation
Website: http://www.CalStateRealty.us
Office: 951-587-2100
NMLS License # 258707
0 votes
, ,
Wed Jan 9, 2013
Why limit yourself to short sales? Would you pass on a home that was priced better than a SS?

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
Web Reference:  http://jamessimms.com/
0 votes
opondomusa, , 10020
Wed Jan 9, 2013
The first thing to remember is that all Realtors can work as either a seller's agent or a buyer's agent. That means they can sell houses or help you buy one.

When they work for buyers, Realtors are responsible for helping you find the right home, acting on your behalf during price negotiations, and helping you with all of the necessary paperwork.

Best of all, working a buyer's agent won't cost you anything! That's right -- their services are usually free to you because the seller will pay the commission for your agent.

The biggest thing your Realtor will do for you is to help you negotiate. Remember, the seller's agent is going to help out their client as much as possible, and therefore, will try to get you to pay top dollar for the home. Your Realtor, on the other hand, wants you to get the best deal.

At realtypin we've got a modern homes for sale database where you can search for the perfect home, get in touch with and find a reliable Realtor, or simply get your questions answered by a team of real estate experts.
0 votes
Ray Wright, Agent, Riverside, CA
Sat Jan 5, 2013
You've gotten some great answers already so I won't drone on and on. I will say that it actually goes without saying that you DO want a RE agent looking out for you and your best interests. Because this is such a competitive "seller's market" you need a professional Realtor with the knowledge, experience & expertise to lead you thru the myriad of steps involved in this ultra important financial decision.

And when it comes to going directly to the listing agent, I always dissuade buyers from doing so. That's like being in a criminal trial and allowing the District Attorney to prosecute you AND defend you. Even on my own Short Sale listings, I always refer buyers to another agent so they are fully represented and I can direct my efforts to handling the seller's needs.

Good luck!

Ray Wright
Keller Williams Realty
Direct: 951-354-1303
Email: RayWright@kw.com
0 votes
tania garcia, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Fri Jan 4, 2013
In short sale transactions most lenders are strict with the listing agent representing both parties.
0 votes
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Fri Jan 4, 2013

Avoid Dual Agency!

There are specific duties an Agent must provide. When one individual represents both Buyer and Seller conflict between two of the MOST IMPORTANT duties occur.

0 votes
Sinead McAll…, Agent, Oceanside, CA
Fri Jan 4, 2013
Good Morning,
I agree with some of the comments below. I don't think it "goes without saying" why you don't want representation in one of the most significant purchases you can make? Maybe you can clarify a bit. There is no out of pocket cost to you to have representation, so I would definitely have my own agent! Maybe you are thinking the listing agent will give you preference because they stand to make a double commission? If they have that kind of ethics, you probably don't want to work with them anyway! I would be happy to assist you if you decide that you do want a real estate agent/broker/realtor.

Good Luck!
Sinead McAllister
McAllister Homes Real Estate
0 votes
tania garcia, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Fri Jan 4, 2013
Hello congratulations I your decision to purchase a home in our beautiful city of Temecula. Great choice! :) you have a point to try to contact the listing agent directly and seem like you are very educated on the current market however, looking for an agent to represent you and look after your best interest would be a much wiser decision. At First Team Real Estate, we have a large pool of listings but not only that, I personally apply special tactics to get my buyers offers accepted. Give me a chance to personally discuss with you what I am able to do for you to help you find that perfect home. Ultimately my professional and personal advice would be to find an agent you can trust to help you. Bottom line the person that can offer you what you need and provide you the best service will be the best road you can take.
0 votes
, ,
Fri Jan 4, 2013
If you were getting a divorce, would you ask your wife's attorney to represent you and expect her attorney to look out for your best interest?

I'm a neutral third party here....no skin in the game:-)

I have financed loans for buyers who went directly to the listing agent....most thinking they were going to get some sort of 'deal', which never happens. I don't like financing a buyer who has no agent representing them......and I have my real estate sales license!

During the course of the transaction, you will always be questioning the agents motive and ethics.....and wondering how much info they are telling the seller about you.

What happens when the home inspection comes back? Who will work out those repairs? What if the appraisal comes in low? What if you aren't meeting your contingency deadlines?

The listing agent will chew their left arm off to convince you otherwise.......dollar signs light up their eyes (like a slot machine) when they hear a buyer, especially in that price range, walking into a complex transaction with no agent representation.

If you would like an impartial opinion on 1-2 agents I think you should consider working with and who know that south part of Temecula well, call me 951- 215-6119.

DISCLOSURE: I cannot get paid one dime for referring a buyer to an agent....so I'll be referring someone I have worked with before and I know how good they are.

PS. --> Are you familiar with how much better a Preferred Buyer Advantage Pre-Approval is when negotiating with a seller and competing with multiple buyers? Read the link below for details.
0 votes
Devona Garri…, , Beaumont, CA
Fri Jan 4, 2013
What you need to do is search for your home independently and call listing agents directly when you find a home in your criteria. Ask the listing agents if they have other properties available when you call.

There is nothing wrong with working in this capacity, just as long as you understand you will do the leg work when searching for homes.

To independently seach for homes online you can go to our website and click on the Search Homes button on the main menu: http://GarrigusRealEstate.net
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Fri Jan 4, 2013
Your choice to go directly to a short sale agent makes no sense to me. Even if you do so, there is still no guarantee you will get the property. With short sales, the seller's lender is the one who makes all the decisions about the price the home will sell for, timing, and the terms.

The listing agent has a contract with the seller - so you are not likely to get the kind of service and counsel that your own buyer's agent would provide.

You have a right to do as you wish...this just doesn't seem wise to me.
0 votes
Gary Geer, Agent, Antioch, IL
Fri Jan 4, 2013
I would rethik your position. it's usually always best to have professional advice from someone in the business to represent your interests. Some buyer agents get paid from the listing agency and do not cost you anything. You need representation and by using the listing agent that agent becomes a dual agent. I would talk to some agents and try to find one with experience in short sales. Addtionaly you should at least contact your real estate attorney to find out further information before proceeding.
0 votes
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Fri Jan 4, 2013
Using terms like "I have plenty of time" is good when buying a short sale since they can take from months to never. There is no guarantee it will ever sell and it will be frustrating. You can use the listing agent, they will be a dual agent meaning they don't really work for either side but will do their best to be fair. As long as you do not sign a buyers agreement you can use any agent your wish. At the time an offer is made you might have to sign a buyers agreement, some states require this at that time - NC does and VA might too.
0 votes
Shanna Rogers, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Fri Jan 4, 2013
Hi youngvb2,

Question 1: You could have a Dual Agent (represents both the seller and the buyer). Some people are ok with this, some aren't. I personally don't do Dual Agencies. When an agent does a Dual Agency, they are supposed to represent both seller and buyer equally. I don't do Dual Agencies because I want to make sure I am representing my client and only my client (not myself or 2 clients at the same time).

Question 2: In this competitive market you should want an RE agent. That way, you have someone working for you and you only.

Good luck.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
0 votes
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