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Paul & Ann, Home Buyer in Dobias Acres, Pfluge...

What am I the buyer looking for in a Realtor?

Asked by Paul & Ann, Dobias Acres, Pflugerville, TX Fri May 30, 2008

Question about Realtor exclusivity practice. This is if any Realtor cares to comment on my response (the first answer) to Tom Getz' question about Buyers looking for what qualities in Realtors.

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In my opinion, whom you use as your agent is 50% about how well they work and 50% how well you get along with them. The value of a buyer's agent is no longer them finding a house for you ....online consumer search tools are just about as good as our internal agent search tools. You as the buyer know what you want far better than I could figure out (unless we've seen a bunch of homes together already) and you know what to look for when what you want changes. The buyer's agent really needs to redefine their role ... I see our role as more of an adviser ... figuring out what the right price is for a house, what the outlook of the area is, helping the buyer separate out wants from needs, being the emotional check so you don't buy more than you can afford, be the person to basically look out for your best interest. Sure...we can still help find the house, ....I just don't see that being a prominent role anymore. ...that task has been essentially commoditized (is that a word?).

Regarding agents being touchy, possessive and territorial ... you have to look at the big picture. (this is probably gonna generate a lot of hate on me). As with almost any facet in life, there is an 80/20 rule. The same appears to exist in real estate. 20% of the agents do 80% of the business. If you happen to work with an agent who has, ...unfortunately....no other clients they are working with at the time ..and you are their one and only paycheck, ...it should be no surprise that they become very touchy, possessive and territorial. Not just real estate, but even in the lending industry. I had a client who had done some preliminary work with a lender and that lender just wasn't getting the job done, ..took days to get answers, rates were uncompetitive and I had no faith they could get the deal closed on time. The buyer went to another lender and when the original lender found out... the buyer and I got nasty, nasty emails and voicemails. Come to find, ...this buyer was their only client at the time. Vice versa, ..another lender I work with that is quite successful, ...I had to turn a buyer away (new construction preferred lender discount garbage) ... his reaction was ...I understand ..thanks for giving me the opportunity.

The agents that know their value and know what they can bring to the table should be able to let their work stand on their own. If the personalities don't mesh with the client, then .....thanks for the opportunity. The key is determining that connection early on in the game ....so you avoid the situation where the agent has shown you a dozen homes and then realize it's not working.

I think the more "salesy" an agent is these days, ..the more turned off the buyer will be. What buyers need is information they cannot get or generate themselves. If for a particular client that means looking up listings, ..then that's what the agent needs to do, but that's not what the entire value of the agent should be.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 30, 2008
Same thing happened to us in buying a home, Agent had a certain business partner he said we should use...so we tried it....even though we both have high 700+ credit scores.....he still could not get the job done, well thanks, but no thanks, agent was ok, but will not go that route again.....
Flag Thu Jun 23, 2016
I am a ready to buy, qualified buyer, lender approved... but.... I'm finding agents to be lazy in returning calls, listening to what I want, and pretty much don't have to work due to the market... sold our home myself, the money is in the bank!
Flag Thu Jun 16, 2016
Since you do not make any money until a deal is done sometimes Realtor's get a little touchy about clients they feel they have "worked with". I have so much fun with my clients and get to know what is going on in their lives that the loyalty factor just becomes a natural part of the process.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 30, 2008

Hmm...well, I have an intitial meeting, at my office, with Buyer's either before the first showing or before the second showing. I explain what my legal duties and obligations to a Buyer are, and I also explain how I work with Buyers. I give an overview of the Purchase & Sale process.

At that time, I also explain that I have to give my time and energy only to a Buyer who has committed to working with me. That is how I get paid, and the only way I get paid, is by finding the home, crafting an offer, negotiating, representing, and executing a contract through the sale and possession of a home.

If the Buyer doesn't feel comfortable committing to me, fine. There are plenty of Buyers who can use my service! If the Buyer does commit to me, in a Buyer's agency agreement, I also let them know that at any time, if they decide we don't communicate well, or I'm just not the agent for them, that they can call me, or my broker, and cancel the agreement for any reason or no reason.

BUT if they just go out and write an offer, with another agent, on a house that I brought to their attention or showed them, without cancelling that agreement, they do owe me a commission. It's never happened to me yet--my clients seem to be delighted with my service!

If I work with a Buyer who is not committed to me, then I am not only doing disservice to myself, but also to my other clients who depend upon my time and energy.

About the agents and Realtors(r) who seemed to expect you to work with them because they live next door, or they sold you the house before...

there are so many agents and Realtors(r)! It is just statistics that every Seller and every Buyer knows several, and we're all trying to capture good clients!

I see it as part of my job to keep my past clients informed on the market, and on my great service, so that I am the agent of choice when they are ready to make a move. There is so much pressure on an agent to be perfect in all respects, even beyond the transaction, that it can be a letdown when a former client uses another agent. But it happens, and its not personal, and if they still say great things about me and refer business to me then I'm happy. And on to the next client!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 30, 2008
We all like to work with people we like. This is true of the relationship you have with your realtor. But just like other working environments, just liking someone won’t make up for their incompetence. I had a good friend in the business tell me if you need someone’s expertise in an area you are not qualified in yourself, look for the most successful person in the field. This has proven to be the best advice on several occasions. When it comes to realtors I would choose someone who continues to produce even in today’s more difficult market. Also I would select someone well acquainted with the geographic area I was interested in. Know what matters most to you. Is it Schools for your children? Maybe it is access to entertainment? The old adage of it is Location, Location, Location holds true today. What does this have to do with who I choose for my realtor ? Simple, when you interview them explain what things are important to you and see how they react. They will either get it or they won’t. And yes, it is ok to ask how many transactions they closed this year.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
Thanks everyone for your input/feedback. I especially appreciated Jame's points. Yes, you are right, we the buyers are doing much of the searching ourselves online. James you aren't related to a good friend of mine Benny Hsu in Houston (formerly Taipei) are you? Just checking. :-)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
I find that many people think that real estate agents are like used car salespeople and lawyers. Not many people love us, and a lot of people dislike us! That is unfortunate, because there are some really great agents out there.

I agree with James, in that a few of the agents are doing the majority the work. The rest are struggling to get a paycheck. Those people are obviously going to be a lot more posessive and pushy. In regards to exclusivity, I myself have never asked someone to sign a buyer agency agreement. I have never felt the need to do so, but don't fault anyone that does. I know that many agents won't work with a client unless they sign one. Personally, I feel that if someone likes me, they will work with me. If they don't feel comfortable with me, I would rather have them find someone else that they feel is a better fit for them. Everyone has their own way of doing business. I like to create lasting relationships with the people that I help, and that is more important to me than having them pledge their commitment to me via an agreement that they sign prior to me working with them. This does mean that I run the risk of a client that I have spent a lot of time with writing an offer with someone else, but so far that has not happened.
Web Reference: http://www.LisaDusapin.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 1, 2008
It’s my intention that my commitment to world-class service will make your job and your life easier, and you will, in turn, be comfortable referring your clients to me for their real estate needs. I depend on referrals from satisfied clients such as yourself; therefore, I work even harder to make sure that your trust in me is rewarded!This means that we spend 100% of our time providing world-class service for our clients. As a result, our valued clients, strategic partners and other advocates refer their friends, family and coworkers to us for assistance in getting a home. We are committed to building strong, lifelong relationships one person at a time. Who’s the next person you know who is considering purchasing or selling real estate? We would appreciate and welcome the opportunity to assist them.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 30, 2008
Let me understand this

You have one or 2 agents who get paid a percentage of how much the sales price is.

So they both have a vested interest in you paying the most money so the make the most money.

If you have one agent who has to legally share any relevant information to the seller and you tell them your top dollar are they not required to share this with the seller.

So as I see it they both are working for the seller who pays them.

I have seen posting by agents that state unless the commission is 6% they will not show a buyer the listing.

I once was trying to buy a property and the listing agent consistently was unavailable even after I drove 350 miles to view the property with an appointment. Who ended up buying the property after it fell out of escrow due to a financing issue on my end.

Another agent, tried to cheat me out of my deposit, which was to be returned according to the contract if financing failed. Had to have her pull the contract out and read it or I would have forfiet my deposit.

Some of my best friends are agents, excellent people.

Yet some agents are as bad or worse then used car salesmen.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 23, 2016
Hi Paul & Ann,
There are a lot of great answers below, but when it comes right down to it, you should decide who will meet your needs best. If you are comfortable with e-mail and text updates, get a Realtor that can do that for you, if you are old school, want face time and personal calls, get one that will do that for you. Get your needs met.
Secondly, I would advise getting a top notch mortgage lender before you even talk to a Realtor. Know what you can afford and the best way to go about it. It is too late to make the proper arrangements when you have already made an offer on a home. Get your ducks in a row for financing first.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 1, 2012
Dear Paul and Ann,
You are looking for a local, knowledgeable and experienced agent who is very familiar with water systems and septic systems and just the Camano Island neccessities. I would be happy to help you.
Jan Mather
Associate Broker
Windermere Real Estate/CIR
Web Reference: http://www.janmather.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 26, 2009
Communication is the most important part of your relationship with a Buyer's agent.

Speak to several, and find one with whom you feel comfortable and confident communicating--someone who will tell the bad news as well as the happy news.

As long as communication is open, you can evaluate whether or not they are serving you well!

Warm wishes, and good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
We do Buyer Agency here in the Harrisburg PA area and that provides for many legal anf fiduciary responsibilities between the Realtor and Buyer(s).
See my website for the 'Consumer Notice' link and it will explain the items YOU need to know BEFORE you hire and Agent/Broker/Realtor...Hope that helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 30, 2008
A Realtor should be honest and trustworthy, and by all means represent your best interest at all times. Have you had a bad experience with a Realtor in the past? I certainly hope not, however, please do not hold it against the rest of us.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 30, 2008
As a buyer you are looking for a Realtor who takes the time to understand what you want and need before you purchase your new home. You want someone who cares enough to go the extra mile and really narrow down the features you require so they don't waste your time showing you homes that do not meet your criteria. A good Realtor should be able to narrow the search down to four or five homes for you to choose from!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 30, 2008
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