What are my home-buying options in this scenario as a first-time home buyer?

Asked by Ventrise, Napa, CA Mon Jul 19, 2010

What do I do if I am not satisfied w/ the service of my current agent, even in providing me info on this 1 property in short-sale w/c I am interested in buying? Can I go directly to the selling agent? What are the pros & cons in this situation? Help me please.

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Kamal Randhawa’s answer
Kamal Randha…, Agent, El Sobrante, CA
Sat Jul 24, 2010
Hello Ventrise,

You may contact the listing agent directly if you are not satisfied with your agent. However, your best option would be to find a nother buyers agent as the sellers agent will be looking out for the sellers best interest. Good luck

Kamal Randhawa
0 votes
Colleen Chat…, Agent, Napa, CA
Thu Jan 9, 2014
Hi, buying a home for the first time can be a tough experience.
I would like to invite you to a first time home buyer event on Feb 12th, 2014 at
Venoce, 20 Rows winery in Napa. 880 Vallejo Street, Napa CA 94559
We will start at 6:00 pm and hopefully be finished around 8:00 pm
We will have finger foods and a free wine tasting.
We will have a panel of experts and hopefully we can answer most of your questions and point you in the right direction, so that your first experience becomes a successful one!
Call me for more details 707-349-0763
BTW, if you go to the listing agent after you have worked with another agent, that listing agent will owe the other agent a referral because the other agent introduced you to the property.
Best way to handle it is to tell your agent you are not satisfied with their response times and would like to work with someone else.
We would be happy to represent you.
0 votes
Spirit Messi…, Agent, Tucson, AZ
Mon Jul 19, 2010
Did you sign a buyer broker agreement? If not, you are free to find a new agent at any time. If this agent showed you the one short sale you are asking about, even if you didn't sign a buyer broker agreement, it could be potential problems for you. If you move forward on the short sale, I would use him. It costs you nothing, the seller pays for it. If not, and you are moving on to look at others, get a referral from a friend that was happy with their Realtor and try the next one. I have had several first time home buyers that were referred to me, after for varying reasons didn't like their first agent(s).
0 votes
Sue Wylie, , Los Angeles County, CA
Mon Jul 19, 2010
Hi Ventrise:
Thanks for your response. Without second guessing, its hard to determine what your agent was thinking. Or why your agent did not respons immediately to your inquiries. Could be they had other buyers that day or other tasks and just let it slip. We are all human.

if I were in your shoes right now, or oyu were my brother, I would advise this:

Get a face to face appointment with your agent.
Their office or your home,whichever is convenient. Do it immediately.
Tell your agent face to face- in person - that you want to put an offer in on this house, NOW - you can always make an offer contingent on seeing it. Ask them if they are willing to represent you adequately and professionally and ask them if they have the experience to work with short sales.
Depending on their answer with regard to their experience and willingness to work with short sale, and how much hustle they are willing to put out, you can decide.
If they are hemming and hawing over representing you in a short sale (they can take a long time) tell them you are going to go to the listing agent directly
Tell them plainly that you do not have time to waste and that you expected more from them in the way of service. Say thank you and leave.

Are you more likely to get the house if you work directly with the listing agent? Its a crap shoot. some list agents are double motivated as they get better commissions. Some lenders will not pay a list agent very much more if they bring the buyer. YOu can ask. It wont hurt to find out.

If the list agent is soliciting you to work directly with him/her, ask what the chances are of your getting the property and if they can get your closing costs paid - or what other incentives....When i have handled both listing and sale sides of a transaction, I give the buyer client an appliance or some other gift for their home, depending on what they need or want, as a way of saying thank you.

Remember good agents work hard for their money. And sometimes bad agents get the money without working for it... it is important to find the ones who work and are willing to get you what you want.

An honest and motivated agent is worth every penny they earn and should be your friend for life. Agents work for referral business. Give your agent one last chance to be the best they can be. and to earn the right to your future business and that of all your friends. Good Luck and God Bless You!
0 votes
Doc & Ellen…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Mon Jul 19, 2010
Hi, Ventrise,

If you haven't signed a contract with your agent, you are probably free to move on. If you have signed a representation contract, or if you have made an offer on a home, you may be obligated. As Dp2 correctly pointed out, your first option is to discuss with your agent why you are not happy. If you don't get satisfaction, talk with your agent's Broker.

Dealing with the Listing Agent works against your interest. The Listing agent's job is to get as much money as possible for the home. They represent the interests of the Seller, not you. You agent's job is to get you exactly what you want, and negotiate the best price and terms for you, then manage the details. Your agent should be a trusted advocate on your side.

Most of the time, when a client is not happy, it's because they don't understand how complex a Short Sale can be and the level of detail that is required. The Buyer thinks nothing is happening and can't understand what is taking so long.

You might find this recent blog posting of interest: http://www.trulia.com/blog/ellen_doc_stephens_realtors/2010/…

By the way, when we run into an agent who "hints" that they can help you, you can be sure that the primary interest of that agent is neither that of the Seller or Buyer, but their own commission. It is impossible to represent both sides in a gun fight. Agents who take both sides, unless it is clearly understood by all that the agent is strictly enabling the transaction and will not be providing advice or opinions to either side, run the great risk of conflict of interest with both sides. Suggesting that the Seller might take less is flat ILLEGAL in most states, and a clear breach of ethics. "Hint, hint, wink, wink" are more suited for the used car lot than the Real Estate office.

Good luck,

Web Reference:  http://TellEllen.com
0 votes
Ventrise, , Napa, CA
Mon Jul 19, 2010
Hello Ms Sue Wylie,

I started working w/ this broker/agent last 06/26 who owns her home brokerage company & passed me to her agent/son who showed me 1 property just recently. I sent my loan app & got pre-approved through their lender but I never got to sign any forms with the agent yet.

I am very motivated in finding my first home and had been doing my own research, as a matter of fact, I forwarded the short-sale listing to my agent who gave me confusing/inaccurate info on the property. I decided to call the listing agent myself & was able to get a schedule to view the property.

I'm not sure if the selling agent is hinting on dealing with him directly. But I did mention that I was working with an agent but awaiting their response. Then, the listing agent told me to let him know if I liked the property after viewing it and that he can work out something for me since the listing price is also negotiable.

Now, I am getting emails from both broker/mother & agent/son stating they got me an appointment to view property, but was still waiting for more info from the listing agent.

I need some guidance here since I am a firs-time ever home buyer, and I do not want this transaction to end up in a disaster. I just do not understand why I would be given wrong info by the agent/son, while as an outsider who does not have inside access to the MLS system, I was able to do my homework in finding more info to the point of getting a hold of the listing agent myself.

Enlighten me please & thanks responding to my inquiry.
0 votes
Sue Wylie, , Los Angeles County, CA
Mon Jul 19, 2010
Hi Ventrise:

Your question needs more clarification:

How long have you been working with your agent?
Did you sign a buyer broker agreement with your agent?
Do you feel your agent is competent? Why? Why Not?
Has you agent had any experience in short sales?

Did you locate the property you are interested in or did your agent find it?
What kind of info did your agent NOT provide you with?

Have you already been in direct contact with the listing agent?
Did the listing agent suggest you work directly with him/her?

Giving you a general rule of thumb answer to this question could be damaging to your chances of getting this home.

If oyu could give me the answers to the above, I can give you a straight,honest opinion, specific to you.
0 votes
Dp2, , Virginia
Mon Jul 19, 2010
If you're unhappy with your agent's service, then you should discuss that with your agent. However, if you're not getting anywhere with that, then you should approach his/her broker.

Although you could go direct with the listing agent, you probably don't want to do that, because s/he has the seller's interests in mind. Some agents/brokers will do dual-agency (the relationship you're describing), and others won't. I wouldn't recommend dual-agency relationships for a first-time buyer. For that matter, I probably wouldn't recommend it for many non-first-time buyers too. Yet, I've worked with some agents via dual-agency agreements (as an investor), and I didn't have any problems.
0 votes
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