2 agents or 1 agent for sell and buy in different area

Asked by Mkv, San Jose, CA Sat Feb 11, 2012

I'll sell house in San Jose and buy house in Sam Ramon.
What is the better choice?
1 agents in either area for both buy and sell?
Or 2 agents for each buy and sell?

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Suzanne Look…, Agent, Lafayette, CA
Mon Apr 16, 2012
Hi Mkv,
As a consultant for my clients, I would decline to work with a client looking to purchase in San Jose. I would rather refer them to a great, local San Jose agent. I am a specialist in Contra Costa Nd parts of Alamdea countries.
Suzanne Looker
Web Reference:  http://Www.suzannelooker.com
0 votes
Steve Mohseni, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Mon Apr 16, 2012

I am not sure if you have since made your move but I do have a different prospective to the situation and I wanted to make sure to share it with you if you have not made your decision yet.

Transitioning from one place to another is not easy and rather complicated. On top of it, if you are going to sell your house and buy another at the same time. There are lots of moving parts;
First question to ask is whether you are going to sell first? That seems to be a more conservative approach but you will be end up in a time crunch to find your future home. Maybe, you will move to a temporary housing in the interim, but let me tell you that it gets old real quickly as my family and I went through it couple of years ago.

Maybe you should find and buy your future home first?! Ideally, this is my best recommendation because you need to take your time in finding an ideal future home without any undue pressure from the process. Of course, this does not come without its own issues, you may not qualify to buy another home since you will have to qualify for the new mortgage amount in addition to your current existing one (that is if you have one); you will end up with some sort of overlap and two housing expenses (that is not all that bad, as you may need a bit of time after gaining access to your new home to do some painting, carpet replacement of remodel prior to your moving in; and of course the whole inconvenience of preparing your house and placing it on the market and showing it while still living there; what lot of my past clients preferred not to go through and decided to move-out prior to putting their homes on the market).

This all of course can be managed more efficiently by a single agent handling your complete move and more accurately time all aspects to reduce your overlap timeframe to minimum. Couple of other options I did not mention above are buying contingent on sale of the existing home (an option that is not practical in our active market as sellers have plenty other buyers they can choose without any strings attached) and/or consider a bridge loan if loan qualification for both house is an issue. There are programs out there but can only be obtained in certain limited situations and are generally more costly than conventional financing, however should be considered.

As you see above, process is not like walk in the park and can get quite overwhelming. A seasoned agent can better take you through it and proactively plan each phase of your journey. My recommendation is to make the best effort to go with one Realtor if possible. This would not be so practical if two areas are very far away from each other however in case of San Jose and San Ramon, I think a single Realtor can do a better job for you. My other more important recommendation is to go with an agent in your destination location. It is more critical to work with a local agent on the buying side as to how to better guide you through marketplace, neighborhoods (as you may not be fully aware of) and market condition (currently very competitive with lack of available homes for sale and whole of lot of demand). You would definitely want to engage with a Realtor you feel comfortable and can trust in tri-valley area and have him/her put a blueprint of how they see you go through the transition; perhaps you wish to interview 2-3 agents before you decide. If they are not familiar with San Jose area, let them refer you to couple of selected Realtors and make recommendation on who to go with so you can hold them accountable on that end as well.

I used to live in San Jose and currently live and work in Tri-Valley. I have taken lot of my past clients through this process, welcome the opportunity and would be happy to do the same for you….

Best of luck,

Steve Mohseni (DRE# 01267039)
0 votes
Michael McEl…, Agent, Iowa City, IA
Wed Feb 15, 2012
Yep-Local knowledge is the route to travel with this question. A solid agent will be up front with you and disclose what markets they do their business in & if he/she is well-versed enough to help you make well-informed decisions.

Just be up front with both agents that you decide to use on each side of the transaction and remind them that your trusting each to perform in their niche market(s). Ask the right questions and you will get the right answers.

Kind Regards,

0 votes
Bob Georgiou, Agent, Danville, CA
Wed Feb 15, 2012

GENERALLY, the two areas are dissimilar enough that one agent will not have expert knowledge in BOTH areas. If this is not a service you care about then I would say that is the largest "risk". One agent with working knowledge of Contra Costa conventions and San Jose conventions are not easy to find but they do exist. It then becomes incumbent upon you to do your homework and ask questions that are important to you when selecting someone to represent your interests. In most cases people work with people they trust and a detail oriented agent will adequately serve your needs on both properties. The worst thing it will cost you is some money... but money is like potato chips... you an always make more.
Web Reference:  http://bob2sell.com
0 votes
Andrea Wince…, Agent, Milpitas, CA
Tue Feb 14, 2012
When I represent a seller who is also going to buy, I give them a discount on the listing side. This is advantageous in a dual agency situation. San Ramon is not that far from San Jose. I have gone further to help clients buy property. What matters most is that when you make a purchase, you want to make sure you do not over-pay for the home. It is important that your Buyers agent has access to MLS sold comparables in the area where you intend to purchase. The MLS that I subscribe, for instance, covers Contra Costa County as well as Santa Clara County. My electronic key for access inside properties to view also works in Contra Costa County. As long as the "dual" agent can provide you the service you deserve, I don't see a problem with having your agent based in San Jose where you list, but also utilize their services to make a purchase in San Ramon.
0 votes
Meena Gujral, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Mon Feb 13, 2012
Hi Mkv,

I believe local knowledge is bliss.

I will give you a senario that I just went through. I represented a buyer on a property in Casto Valley. There were 5 offers and some of them were over asking price. My buyer was able to get the property at asking pice because I know the area very well and was able to compare apples to apples to justify the price. The other agents were from out of the area (San Jose and the peninsula) who knew nothing about Castro Valley.

The sellers agent was very comfortable with my offer since she knew that my buyer would get all answers and their concerns would be handled knowledgably whereas the ones from out of the area would no know too much about the local area and the buyers might eventually back out during the transaction. That is the reason she gave me for accepting my offer.

I hope this example tells you what I think one should do in your situation. San Ramon is getting multiple offers. I was there yesterday and I showed 7 homes in The Bridges, Gale Ranch and Windermere to one client. Two of them were already getting offers today. We have submiited an offer on one of the homes and I hope to hear the good news by tomorrow.

Meena Gujral
0 votes
Sally Blaze, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Sun Feb 12, 2012
If you decide to use a local San Ramon realtor, but feel badly you aren't giving the business to your San Jose realtor who has done a great job, ask your San Jose agent for a referral in the San Ramon area. That way, your San Jose agent may receive a referral fee, and you won't be finding an agent "blind". Of course, you aren't obligated to work with this referred agent.

Just a thought...

Sally Blaze
Alain Pinel
0 votes
Laura Coffey, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Sun Feb 12, 2012
So matter factors to take in when considering an agent. If you do decide to pick one I would pick the agent that know the area where you are buying. Local knowledge is much more key when buying verses selling. Make sure the agent you choose does lots of marketing for the home and its priced right and it will sell.
Knowledge of area when buying is a must.
Web Reference:  http://www.laura4homes.com
0 votes
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Sat Feb 11, 2012

I agree with Lance, it really depends on the Realtor's® skill set and capabilities. I have a similar story to Lance's:

I was in Capitola for training and met a local couple during dinner. We got to talking and when they asked what I did for a living the conversation quickly turned to questions regarding their plans to sell their home and move. I just provided my recommendations and answered questions. Long story short, they asked me to sell their home in Capitola (loved driving out there for the open houses) and buy in a Rio Vista gated community; which I did.

The mechanics and skills of listing and selling property are transferrable to any area in CA; if this was not true I suspect the Department of Real Estate would only issue territorial licenses as opposed to one covering the entire State.

This said, I DO NOT discount the value of local knowledge about individual properties and areas; however, the fact of the matter is that you can only sell a property if it's priced correctly (using local past sales) and there are only a set number of homes for sale at any one time to choose from. However, with sites like http://www.WalkScore.com , http://www.Yelp.com , http://www.crimereports.com, http://www.schoolandhousing.com ; and yes, Facebook/Google+ and others the gap between local knowledge and virtual knowledge is narrowing.

So, my $0.02 is to go with your gut based on the working experience you have with your listing agent!

0 votes
Linda Urbick, Agent, Blackhawk, SD
Sat Feb 11, 2012
It is best to work with agents that know their areas. While one agent can get the job done, you would be better served by using two agents.
0 votes
Lance King, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Sat Feb 11, 2012

It depends on your agent and if you are trying to get into contract on a purchase contingent upon the sale of your home. One agent handling a scenario like that will be better perceived because that agent has a firm handle on the saleability of your home and how the process is going.

Additionally, an exceptional agent/broker can figure out very quickly what values are. An example: We had some clients who purchased a home in San Francisco, and then asked us to sell their home in Newark. I tried to get them to let us find them a great local broker but they wanted us to do it because they respected our skills and trusted us. I went down there personally on a lengthy tour, looked at stats and came up with a listing price that got the property sold in 10 days while similar properties languished on the market. One of the pluses was that our marketing program was a lot more sophisticated than what we saw from other agencies down there, and this turned out to be a win for our clients.

And you should always have your own representative on a buy - using the listing agent makes no sense for a lot of reasons.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
0 votes
Suzanne Look…, Agent, Lafayette, CA
Sat Feb 11, 2012
I completely agree that you need specialists in both markets, so two realtors should do the best job for you. I generally refer my out of area clients to other great agents knowing that I can't do as good a job as they need for an area outside my comfort zone. It's wonderful that you asked for our imput, most people make those kind of decisions without checking with other professionals.
Best of luck to you!
Web Reference:  http://www.suzannelooker.com
0 votes
Kamal Randha…, Agent, El Sobrante, CA
Sat Feb 11, 2012
I would say two...you need each to pay full focus to the task at hand.

Feel free to call or email me if you need further assitance in selling or buying :)
0 votes
Steve Dawson, , Walnut Creek, CA
Sat Feb 11, 2012
The agent who sells your home in San Jose most likely will not know the San Ramon market and hence will not be able to service you in the way that is best for you. If it were me, I would use the agent who sells know San Jose and use another agent who knows the San Ramon market and sells a lot in the area to help you purchase your home.
Web Reference:  http://www.brokerdawson.com
0 votes
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