What would you consider a good agent? When is the client being to picky to demanding. This is my first time looking for a home I am one of those

Asked by Tina, Corpus Christi, TX Fri May 7, 2010

people that like to ask question. I also like to receive a lot of feedback. If I call I like a return call or a text message back. Am I being to demanding? If a agent is always to busy is that a good thing? I also like to be very involved. How long does it normally take a person to find a home?

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Bruce Ericks…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Fri May 7, 2010

If you already have an agent and you feel that you are not getting the feedback you want .. talk to them. Maybe the agent just does not know what you need. Every individual has different expectations and it is sometimes hard to know.

Please take the time to discuss with your current or future real estate agents you work with what type and how often you want communication from them.

Best of luck! Bruce
1 vote
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri May 7, 2010
Interesting question.

My wife and I have contrasting styles. She sound just like you. She's very detail oriented. She'll make lists, and ask lots of questions. And, honestly, it drives lots of people crazy. They misunderstand her "pickiness" and never-ending questions as lack of trust, or a continuing cross-examination. But that's just the way she reaches her comfort level. I tend to be a bit more laid back.

On the other hand, if you call you do deserve a return call or text message. That's just a minimum level of responsiveness. No, you're certainly not being too demanding or unreasonable to expect a prompt response to a call, e-mail, or text.

You ask "If an agent is always too busy is that a good thing?" Depends on what "too busy" means. For some people, "too busy" might mean that she's never available when you call, even though she responds within 10 minutes or so. Other people might define it as not responding at all, or taking a day or two to get back to you. There's no one right answer, though I'd say that if you get a response in 5-10 minutes, that's very responsive. A couple of days is not responsive. I'm guessing--from your question--that you'd really like to be able to get right through to her. Recognize that that's not always going to happen.

As for liking to be very involved, that's fine. Again, though, some agents may misunderstand that or even--sometimes--not be comfortable with that. And partly that depends on how involved you want to be. But many agents (most, I'd guess) welcome client involvement. That's especially true when you're buying a home. For an agent to do a good job, he/she really has to understand you and your interests as much as possible. My only caution is to do it in a neutral manner, so your actions aren't misinterpreted as meddling or as reflecting a distrust of your agent's abilities.

How long does it take a person to find a home? It depends, ummm, on how picky they are. As well as, of course, the number of homes available in a market that meet your needs. Some buyers find a home and make an offer on it the first day they're looking. For others, it might take 6-8 months of steady looking. Just a wild guess (and I'm sure there are plenty of studies on this), something in the range of a month might be reasonable. Understand that when you first go out looking, it's an educational process for both you and your agent. You're seeing what's out there in specific price ranges. And your agent needs your feedback on what you liked and didn't like about each house you looked at. After 2-3 such sessions, you should have a good understanding of what's out there and your agent should have a good understanding of what you like and what you don't like.

I'm guessing, maybe, that it'll take you longer than average to find a property. That's OK. Just keep giving your agent feedback on what you like and what you don't like. Meanwhile, listen to your agent's response.

Finally, if you sense a disconnect between yourself and your agent, have a talk with him/her. And say very honestly, as you did in your question: "Look. I tend to ask lots of questions. On top of that, I'm a first time home buyer. And I like to be involved stuff like this. I know that those traits can drive some folks crazy. I just want you to know that I'm serious about buying, and all my questions and phone calls aren't because I'm questioning your ability or your professionalism. It's just the way I function best."

Hope that helps.
3 votes
Joan Braunsc…, , Morris County, NJ
Fri May 7, 2010
You are buying a home and you are buying your first home. You SHOULD be asking questions and there is no such thing as too many questions, especially considering the fact that you are making the biggest investment of your life.
A good agent is someone is a willing, enthusiastic teacher. Someone who is patient. Someone who if they don't know the answer to a question, says so and then gets back to you in a timely manner. Someone who points out all obvious potential issues with a home. Someone who is an excellent listener, someone who only shows you houses that are comfortably affordable to you.
A good agent is someone who can take the time to explain every bit of the home buying process until you feel comfortable and knowledgable about what can be an overwhelming thing.
A good agent is someone who can sense when a client is floundering a bit in trying to figure out what is the right home for them and can help a buyer pinpoint what is important and what is not.

Of course you should be involved. Its YOUR potential home, YOUR money, not the agent's. You should take as long as you need to find a home. You should never feel rushed or in a hurry. You should not make an offer until you KNOW that this is the home for you.

You need to be respectful of an agent's time because agents can be very busy, but my feeling is that if an agent wants to be your agent, then that agent needs to be respectful of YOUR time and YOUR desire to become educated and find a home in a timely manner.

I wish you the best of luck and I hope you have found or will find that good agent. They can make all the difference in your home buying experience.
2 votes
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Fri May 7, 2010
Good question and tough to balance. I've been in both places.
Just a couple of things that might help you.
1. Go look at the neighborhoods on your own. Pick out the good homes from the bad from the outside.
That way you don't waste the agent's time. That way you can just pick the handful you want to see inside
when you see your agent.
2. Take your car when you go look. That shows your serious, and not just wasting the agent's gas.
3. Maybe don't ask all the questions until you are set on one house, then ask.
4. Look at all the pictures online before you go look. Again try to pick the good from the bad so
you don't waste the agents time or your own.
5. Make a lists of must have and nice to have, That may help you narrow down choices.
This will also help you, if you are search for something that doesn't exist in your price range.

I've sold houses to people who never looked at them in person....I've had a couple of clients over the years look at 100 and never buy, so each person is different. For most of my clients if they look at more than 20, there is something wrong. Likely price range/desires/compromises.

I would like to know what kinds of questions you are asking, and what kind of phone calls you are making to the agent. I rarely have clients call and ask me too many questions. Usually when they call it is to arrange an appointment to go look.

Good luck....keep after it...you'll find the right house soon.
Web Reference:  http://www.teamlynn.com
2 votes
Charles Mader, Agent, Corpus Christi, TX
Fri May 7, 2010
A good agent will look out for your interests in buying a property. Given the current economy, all agents are working much harder to make a living. We don't get paid until a transaction is closed and funded. So we are out beating the bushes to get more business. However, an agent should be in constant contact with their buyer. We get a lot of people just "looking". So if you are really ready to purchase and have done your pre-purchase diligence, like getting a loan approved, it shouldn't take over a week to pick out the home you feel comfortabe with. The agent will show you the homes with your criteria and needs. Since we are in it everyday, we know the market and the homes for sale.
If I can be of service, contact me at 361-947-3947. Thanks.
1 vote
Lisa Bolanos…, Agent, Lake Arrowhead, CA
Sat Jun 12, 2010
Interview some agents. Explain up front that you require feedback and that they will be responsive. I have a 24 hour call back rule. Any call should be returned within 24 hours but preferably as soon as possible.

There is no set time for finding a home. It depends on what you are looking for, whether you are willing to make some compromises and what the market conditions are in your area.

Some people are lucky and find a home immediately. In my area, unfortunately, this is not the case. It can take awhile. We are dealing with a lack of inventory and multiple offer situations.

A good agent is someone who gets the job done and communicates well with you.
Web Reference:  http://www.calsucasa.com
0 votes
Jamie Mueller, , Clarence, NY
Tue May 18, 2010
Its good that youre picky. Its most likely the biggest purchase youll ever make. And your agent should get back to you every time you contact them and in a timely matter. I always respond to my clients within an hour, at least with some sort of response.
0 votes
Doc & Ellen…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Tue May 18, 2010
Hi, Tina,

Good question. Buyers as a rule are not organized when they begin to hunt for a home. It is your agent's job to help you to clarify what's important, what are the "must haves", find out why those are important to you, and then organize the search so that it does not become exhausting and frustrating. Buyers who want to look at every house on the market waste their own time and also the agent's time. House hunting can be fun, IF you take the time to build a real relationship with your agent, discuss candidly what you want and why you want it. Agents are not tour guides or taxi drivers. Many of our skilled are skilled at finding our clients a great home in a short time. That doesn't mean we didn't work hard...to the contrary. It means we actually did our job well.

The search is complicated a little by listing agents who don't take the time to list all the features of their home. They don't understand that each little item is a search criteria, and if my client is looking for "mature trees" and they didn't bother to list that feature, their listing never shows up in the search. Agents learn to be creative to overcome that. My pet peeve is agents who say "Call District" instead of listing the schools. So, if my client wants to stay in Boone elementary (or some other), unless the listing agent took the time to look up and verify the schools, their listing doesn't get sold unless the Buyer's agent takes the extra time to look at all the "Call District" selections and weed out the non-compliant ones..

A great agent will take the time to get to know you, to question your needs and wants, to find out why those things matter to you, and then do a search that uncovers only the ones that will work for you. Some Buyers worry that they didn't see a home that would have been just perfect, but if you have done your work up front, all the ones that will delight you will be in that search.

By the way, it depends on how many phone and text messages you left for your agent....if you call every ten minutes, you might expect that the agent will group your answers and respond in a reasonable time, rather than dropping everything else and grabbing your every call. Courtesy is a two way street.

Good luck.

Doc Stephens, REALTOR®
Web Reference:  http://TellEllen.com
0 votes
Tina, Home Buyer, Corpus Christi, TX
Sun May 16, 2010
I thought I had found my dream home, but the search continues. My lender informed us that our middle credit score had dropped below 620. My husband had applied for a $1500.00 loan from our bank. I believe that all things happens for a reason. The loan is now paid off, and we have also paid all credit cards down by 50%. We are moving ahead but now with a lot less debt. Thank you for taking time to reply,
0 votes
Linda Lorenzo, Agent, McKinney, TX
Sun May 16, 2010
You have gotten some excellent responses here. You are the boss not the agent, if they are too busy for you then find another one. There is no normal time in which to find a home, I have actually worked with buyers for up to two years!!!! And we were still friends when they did find their perfect home. Obviously not everyone will take that long to find a home, my point is you need to find an agent who is patient and does not have a timeline for you to buy, So many agents today want to show you 10 to 20 homes and then have you purchase - this does not have to be the case. Hope you find someone you click with.
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Fri May 7, 2010
Tina, this is a great question.

First off, regardless of your personality traits, you should be able to find a capable agent that you relate well with.

Agents are human, trained to have pretty good "people" skills, but we just don't "get on" with everybody.

So often, agents and clients grow to hate each other because, really, they just have different communication styles and needs.

Tina, people with strong personality types, like yourself, do run the risk of getting less than the best from their professionals. Out of the many different personality types are the few where they are the sort of person that hears criticism and interference where you're merely "being involved." Good agents, but not for everybody.

Actually, at the end of the story - very very few good agents are good for everybody. Who knew?
0 votes
Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Fri May 7, 2010
Tina, You got good replies below. I wrote a few blogs that may be of help. Just things to consider when buying a house.

Why considering the cost of gasoline can make sense when buying a house.
Financially which makes more sense, renting or buying? Using your numbers you can see below.

This sounds like something you would really appreciate. Questions I would ask when buying any property. It has a lot of things many people never consider before buying. You will have to find out a lot of it yourself. However, it looks at many potential problems that could affect any property. I broke it down into 2 categories. 1 land 2 house (buildings)

I am not sure if this was of help or not. Just in case it could be I offered these insights.
0 votes
Tina, Home Buyer, Corpus Christi, TX
Fri May 7, 2010
Well just got back from home looking, thanks everyone for your feedback. I must say I believe I have found my house. Kings Point is a very nice community. All we have to do its wait now!!!!!!
0 votes
Steve Trubat…, , Corpus Christi, TX
Fri May 7, 2010
Hi Tina,

I wish I had a dozen Home buyers like you. The best thing you can do is ask lots of questions. One of my mottos is "questions you don't ask will usually cost you money" Being a first time home buyer is no reason to receive poor service. One thing I ask my buyers to do is keep a note pad with them, so when they think of a question they can write it down. That way when we talk we can cover all the questions and develp a routine for moving forward.

To answer your other questions, I would want an agent who is available to show homes on the day I call or the next day at the latest. I would want an agent with at least 10 years experience in the industry. I know a lot of good agents with less then 10 years under their belt, but at the 10 year point agents have a good track record of providing consistant service and are well seasoned with the different styles of buyers and sellers.

The normal time required to locate and purchase a home, depends on few factors.
1. How much time you have to go and look at homes.
2. What type of loan your using.
3. How far along you are in the loan process.
4. What your schedule is for getting moved into a home( ie. if you need to finish out a lease).
5. Depending on the home you select. The close date may be longer if the seller needs the time to set up their move out.

I would plan on 4 to 6 weeks after you find a home and finish your contract neg. with the seller. One big point to remember. The closing date can be just about as important as the price. Keep that in mind when your putting an offer together for a home you want to purchase.

If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact me. Cell 361-904-4353 or email PadreHomes@yahoo.com.
0 votes
Voices Member, , Benton County, OR
Fri May 7, 2010

You are the potential client, the one shopping and comparing Services for what will be a large Finacial Transaction...

YOU CAN'T BE TO PICKY...Shop, look around, consider all options, ask questions, ask questions again and protect your interests

Dunes the $20 TruliaPro
(Shows ya what high standards Trulia has lol)
0 votes
Ronda Allen, Agent, Plano, TX
Fri May 7, 2010
As a first-timer, you may find the website below VERY helpful. I recommend it to everyone I work with - not just the first-time buyers.
Have a blessed day!
0 votes
Margie M. My…, Agent, Corpus Christi, TX
Fri May 7, 2010
Excellent response from Don and my point of view is that I'm working for you the buyer. I've seen buyers come in with "Home Buying for Dummies" or some such titled book and had a blast with the questions read from the book. We had our initial conversation (typically it takes up to 1.5 hours for the initial "getting acquainted"), but after 3 hours, the buyer was much more settled and the fear of buying was basically eliminated because of the time we took to Q&A. It is your $$$s, your education in home buying, & your ultimate happiness. I must add that even if you custom build a home, there will still be something that you wish you had done that is too costly to do later. That's the nature of the beast in anything manmade so you need to be able to compromise on some of the little things that might come up after the fact. The answer to no/lapse of return calls is in the eye of the beholder. A good responsive agent will have picked up on the fact that you are expecting a return call sooner than the average buyer, but that is the way you function best. This should be a part of the getting acquainted session. My website says: INTERVIEW..........THEN DECIDE! Don't hesitate to make a change if your agent is not responding, but make sure you cancel any signed agreement you may have with that agent. Let the agent know why you are cancelling as it just may be a misunderstanding on the part of the agent. Maybe you two just don't click!

Good luck with your search and I will be glad to sit down in an interview time frame with you should that need be out there!
0 votes
Tina, Home Buyer, Corpus Christi, TX
Fri May 7, 2010
Bruce Wow 20!!! I'm surprise to read that. I'm already at 10 and nothing have popped out as of yet. I keep hearing that I will know when!!!
0 votes
Tina, Home Buyer, Corpus Christi, TX
Fri May 7, 2010
I just want to make sure I am not being to demanding. If I call or text a agent I would like for that person to call and text me back. If I email you some listing I expect you to call and email be back concerning those listing. I just want to make sure I am not being to needy. How often can I expect a agent to go and look at homes with me 1 2 3 4 days a week?
0 votes
Marlene Bien…, Agent, Tallahassee, FL
Fri May 7, 2010
Dear Tina,

This is a good question, a could agent is a person that you can trust and that will provide you with the service and the exposure to your property. A person you feel comfortable with to perform this task to your best interest. This is a person that will provide you with the same care as they would if the property would be thiers. Also just because an agent has many listings does not say that they are a good agent. The question is will they provide you with the service you expect and the exposure your property needs. Anybody can list properties and let other agent sell thier listing for them. It's the marketing the listing agent provides because just listing it on the Multiple Listing service and putting a yard sign on your yard and maybe advertising your property occasionally on the local paper does not really cut it anymore.

I suggest to interview a few agents and see what each bring to the table and the one you feel can provide you with the service you expect from a real estate professional.

Best of luck on your search.
0 votes
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