Should we look for a new Realtor?

Asked by mteruci, Glendale, CA Sat Aug 3, 2013

We have been using the same Realtor for 1 year, and are questioning whether we should try someone new. We have made 10 offers, with the last 5 over asking price. We are writing clean deals. 1 of these 10 were her own listing, and she told us that someone else paid cash and waived all contigencies. We realize this is a crazy market, but we run into scenarios where she will say "i know this agent" or state she knows the seller, etc. But yet he can never close the deal. We find 95% of the listings on Redfin, all she is doing is opening the door and writing the offers. There has never been a good faith offer made to us, like a credit towards the deal, only the notoriously worthless Home Warranty. We are smart honest people and almost feel bad dropping her at this point. We get emails sayig "we'll get em next time", and thats about it. Please provide honest input and not just a solicitation of your own service. Thank you kindly.

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19
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sun Aug 4, 2013
The source of your problem may not be your agent and is likely very closly tied to the properties you are targeting. Your target seems to be "foreclosures." This is a very competitve mrket segment that requires buyers to be on the top of their game, having a working appreciation for their local market, and the nuances of dealing with foreclosures. The fact that your agent has prepared and presented 10 offers for you demonstrates her commitment to you as buyers.

Success when focusing on this market segment can involve a degree of luck as well. If your offers are coming in below the current market activity for similar homes, you can likely expect more of the same, regardless of who your agent is.

In most cases, it's not the agent that causes these deals to be unsuccessful, but the customer that is creating the details of the offers being presented. It may be time to adjust your expectations.

Good luck,

Bill
1 vote
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat Aug 3, 2013
Yeah, it's a bad situation, mteruci.

So, here's the deal. It's no great accomplishment to "find your own listings," listing agents go to great lengths - we pay hundreds, maybe thousands, each year so that our listings can make it to your browser. And don't fall for the false mythology that we used to "hide" our listings - we couldn't get them out to the public; we'd pay $150 for a newspaper ad just to advertise an open house! So, really, it's no big deal that you can find our listings! WE WANT YOU TO!

I have a client with whom I've written ten offers over three months! Some over, some under. Last deal, we put a great offer together, and got it for a couple of points below asking.

Enough about me. You are not happy with your agent, and you need to talk to them directly about it. I would be totally frosted at you, but - so what, right? After ten offers, I wouldn't be thinking about giving you a credit towards the deal, I'd be thinking about asking you for a buyer brokerage fee! But, that's just me!

We don't know if your agent really hasn't done anything for you besides open the door and write the offer. We like to think that we provide a valuable education to our clients, but, maybe this agent hasn't. We don't know.

Talk to them. Communication is key. But be honest - if you want to break up with them, then go break up with them. If you want to make it work with them, then figure out how you're going to make it work with each other.

All the best,
1 vote
James Sanchez, Agent, Burbank, CA
Sat Aug 3, 2013
I would say it wouldn't hurt.... think about it, you have been writing offers for a year. .. do you know how much home prices have risen this past year? And now you have interest rates rising too. Also what do you consider a clean offer?? Is it just 20% down paying your own closing costs? That is not a clean offer. If you are having concerns about your agent, then look into switching. This has to work for you to get the best out of it. Think about it... if you had a doctor that has been working on you for a year but still did not solve your problem, wouldn't you switch doctors or at least get a 2nd opinion? I know I would.

Good luck,

James
1 vote
Atticus, Both Buyer And Seller, Florida
Sat Aug 3, 2013
I hope this question comes up more often. Good Buyers are often Too loyal, waiting too long and missing out on houses. You had more chances at lower prices a year ago, better prices the further you go back, so can you imagine what you missed out on? I was also finding all the houses, they opened the door and wrote up offers (trying to charge $250 for the paper, just Say NO. You should also say No to Buyer-Broker Agreements, who knows if they will actually treat you better if you sign it, and there are plenty of agents out there.). That is, when they got me to the door, too late in a number of cases because they didn't even send me new searches. Loyalty got me Nowhere. The gem houses go fast, in a day, in a week. The agents also ignored my criteria and steered me toward overpriced houses that weren't selling. Hey, I can open a door and write up papers too, I have so many contracts. And if I, emphasize I, find the house, (and don't need a loan on top of that), I should be able to go to any agent I want.

In the past, you couldn't do a search and find information, and catch them not doing their jobs. Sure they will come up with excuses, too busy usually, but it's not your responsibility that they have too much work. Their other clients are giving them a living, so why should you feel guilty if you leave? If they have too much work they should 1) hire an assistant, 2) partner up with another agent, 3) recommend another agent, 4) tell you they are too busy (they never do this) and 5) any other solution to the problem. I found one absolutely fantastic agent in a number of tries though. Find agents with great recommendations from many clients, not just recommendations from other agents. Don't be manipulated or guilt tripped, you have to look out for yourself, your life, and a year is much, much too long. If you have a question in your mind about them, they already aren't a good fit.
1 vote
Jamie Tian, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sat Aug 3, 2013
Hi,

In this market, the inventory is extremely low, and it can be more difficult to win in multiple bidding wars with a lower down payment.

However, I do strongly believe that it is important to have a good connection with your realtor, someone who understands your needs and has enough time to help you find the home that fits your search criteria, not just write up the offers for you.

Perhaps you can have your realtor call the listing agents for the properties you lost out on and ask what you could have done to get the offer accepted. I would be happy to assist you with this or any other concerns you have.

Best,

Jamie Tian
Rodeo Realty
(310) 717-1321
JamieTian@RodeoRE.com
DRE #01920120
1 vote
"and has enough time" A great point. It almost begs the question, when does the agent tell a client they just can't take on new people, and recommend someone else?
Flag Sun Aug 4, 2013
Phyllis McAr…, Agent, San mateo, CA
Sat Aug 3, 2013
One of my colleagues wrote 12 offers before she got an accepted offer, It's not your agent's fault that there is no inventory and are multiple offers on each property. If your Realtor has stuck by you for this long, it would not be a good idea to let him/her go
1 vote
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Sat Aug 3, 2013
I would urge you to continue being loyal.
You cannot blame her for the state of Market.
Your story is not uncommon; not when it comes to "affordable" properties.
Houses are being LISTED all the time; surely you will succede.
Yes, I know your name is not Shirley.
Imagine all that she has invested in you; look forward to a nice celebratory dinner with her.
1 vote
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Sat Aug 3, 2013
That agent has invested a lot of time into you and you are ready to drop them because they won't share their income with you?

This is a tough market. It helps to know the agent and the seller, but when another buyer comes in with no contingencies and more money, who do you think the seller is going to accept?

An agent does a lot more than just seach the MLS and open doors. If you had a sit down, face to face consultation from the beginning you should understand how your agent works. I finally got a buyer into a condo after 9 months and 11 offers. If she decided to change agents after all the time I put into her I would be very disappointed at the lack of loyalty. I have another buyer with only 5% down, 8 months and still no offer accepted. Then I have closed other buyers on their first offer.

If you agent is preparing you and your offer professionally and in the best possible presentation, then why would you change? You can always call the listing agents on the homes you didn't get and ask if the reason your offer wasn't accepted had anything to do with your agent? Beware of the answer, they may try to take you for their own.

It sounds like you need a face to face with your agent. Maybe they are ready to let you go too.

I'm sorry if I sound blunt. Most clients have no idea how hard agents work.

All the best to you.
Web Reference:  http://www.TerriVellios.com
1 vote
Agents don't usually reply to a reply. Letters are too small. Write above so that there are big, attention getting letters.
Flag Sun Aug 4, 2013
Thank you for your reply. We also just noticed he sold a property as the Listing Agent, and didnt inform us. It was exactly within the parameters of the home we were looking for. Do you find that to be ethical?
Flag Sat Aug 3, 2013
Gary Geer, Agent, Antioch, IL
Sun Aug 4, 2013
mteruci,

Sit down and talk to your current agent. Direct communication is best to head off issues and see both sides of any situation. From the limited information we have here it looks like you may be making offers on bank owned properties. This can be difficult as the banks don't give answers to offfers right away will not communicate with selling agents and have limited infromation even for listing agents. This gives the appearance that the agents are not doing their job or are lacking in helping their clients. No matter what the issues are communication is key to resolution. If after open discussion (on both sides) with your agent things don't get resolved, then by all means seek out another agent.
0 votes
Atticus, Both Buyer And Seller, Florida
Sun Aug 4, 2013
Get a top producer in a top office. One sign of a top producer is that they have an assistant who will also show you houses, help in the search, fill out contracts. Teams are also good, this is usually a husband and wife, but any agent smart enough to team up with another provides you flexibility and attention. Look at that Client recommendation list, for you, concentrate on the Buyers on the list, and look for recent clients. Don't just depend on recommendation lists filled with other agents. Trulia and others is your MLS, but your agent must also search for you, know the territory (not just get that automated MLS search into your email box), know each new house in the territory (if the inventories are so low, why am I pointing out new houses to agents? They should have seen them already given the limited number and telling Me and their other clients about them, not the reverse), and understand what you want. You Are doing a big part of their job for them by searching and picking out what you want, why don't you get a percentage? In the past, agents had to do all the searching for you through MLS (a closed system), and now with computer savvy clients they don't. (Trulia and others get their info from the MLS, its not piecemeal, separately paid for ads by agents.) You just have to tell them what house you want to see, so much easier. And if they try to charge you fees, go to another agent, there are too many out there not to. Just because you sign a Buyer-Broker agreement doesn't mean they will produce or treat you better. Again, So Many agents out there. Don't be timid. Remember the coda of advancing Upper Management. This is the biggest deal (purchase) of your life, and you are entrusting That Person for this job? (Are they really good enough? Is this the service you want? It's your money, and backbone, that's funding all of it.) Everyone has to work hard for their money, look what caused a lot of this in the first place. How fast people forget. This purchase will be with you, good or bad, for decades. That perspective often shakes a Buyer into better awareness.
0 votes
Lance King, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Sat Aug 3, 2013
First, we work in the San Francisco area so you can be sure we are not soliciting your business.

As to your question - It's really hard to say what is going on from afar, but it in a competitive market the fact that the listings are hers isn't going to help you if the other offers are higher, and some sellers aren't comfortable with their agent representing the buyers as well - in my view not a good idea, either.

The question I would be asking if I were you is what should we be doing different to get our offers accepted, and if you don't get an intelligent answer then you may consider looking for another agent/broker.
0 votes
Bravo for reading Replies, and answering it! This person is detail oriented. I'm very impressed.
Flag Sun Aug 4, 2013
Levon Leo Ye…, Agent, Glendale, CA
Sat Aug 3, 2013
This is a tough market that we are in... If your Realtor is ding everything right, then I would definitely stay with her. However, just to make sure that she is doing the right job, you can interview couple of agents. Make sure to ask a lot of detailed questions about the process, and compare the answers with what your Realtor does. I think this will help you to make the correct decision.

Good luck!
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Sat Aug 3, 2013
Based on what you are sharing, your Realtor hs done her job. What you are experiencing has been going on throughout California, and even other states.

I've had buyers go through the same exact thing. There have been very low inventory levels this year...making for a return of miultiple offers...just this year, I wrote an offer on one place that got 33 offers!

You may want to move on for other reasons...but it sounds like your Realtor has put a lot of time in ...

Best of luck.
0 votes
I know that this is true in our area as well. We put a house up on the MLS in Encino, and we received over 125 calls in 24 hours, and had over 26 cash offers within 3 days. This was back in June '13 , so it was fairly recent.
Flag Thu Sep 19, 2013
April Hosein, Agent, Glendale, CA
Sat Aug 3, 2013
I would have a honest talk with your agent and voice your concerns as you did here on Trulia. Perhaps there is a communication issue which could be hopefully be resolved.

However, in this current market the inventory is currently extremely low and it is not uncommon for biding wars and all cash offers.
0 votes
I agree, and you cannot blame a seller for taking an all cash offer.
Flag Thu Sep 19, 2013
Mark Doran, Agent, Glendale, CA
Sat Aug 3, 2013
I would doubt any agent would voice an opinion about who you are working with, simply because it would be unethical for us to do so.

But by reading your post it's obvious you have lost faith in your realtor. What you need to do is have an honest-to-goodness talk about your concerns.

Good luck.

M/.
0 votes
Josh Barnett, Agent, Chandler, OK
Sat Aug 3, 2013
Try a new Realtor for a week and if you get a deal put together, then you know your gut was telling you what your heart wouldn't listen to.
0 votes
Funny! Maybe more than a week, though...
Flag Sun Aug 4, 2013
Susan Bo'ur, Agent, Manhattan Beach, CA
Sat Aug 3, 2013
There's no easy answer. You're clearly very discouraged as many buyers in this market are. I don't know how hard your agent is working for you, but, it sounds like you also don't. I would suggest you sit down with your agent and have this conversation. If you don't feel she's doing enough tell her. Then you and your agent can decide how to proceed or terminate the relationship.
0 votes
Emily Knell, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Sat Aug 3, 2013
I have a couple of ideas that you could suggest to your agent to do for you. One of them you could do on your own. I don't want to share this info here on Trulia, gotta have my niche, ya know. I promise I'm not trying to steal you from your current Realtor & honestly, I don't work the Glendale area with buyers, so no worries.


I don't look back on this same Trulia thread for answers posted after mine.

Emily S. Knell
EmilyKnell1@yahoo.com
562-430-3053 c
Realtor Since 1996
Realty ONE Group
0 votes
Vanessa Yan, Agent, Glendale, AZ
Sat Aug 3, 2013
Sounds like you should explore it. If there's no traction after 3-4 months, there's a problem. Sometimes it's the buyers, but most of the time it has to do with the agent.
0 votes
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