Lana - that agent broke the chain of events when she refused to write an offer. I doubt any arbitration would give her procuring cause at this point. Just showing the house first doesn't guarantee you get paid. You have to be the reason the buyer bought the house. If you refuse to write an offer for that buyer - you're definitely not contributing to a successful sale!
Mr. Bad Time to Buy - I guess you live in Anita's neighborhood, so know her market well enough to give your advice?
First off - nice name-calling. Really makes you sound credible.
Secondly - real estate is local. There is no national real estate market that anyone can be an expert on. In my town, last year 115 homes sold at an average price of $375,000, median $311,000. This year, only 77 homes sold, but the average sale was $460,000, median $335,000. So prices are going UP in my area. So much for your generalizations.
Third - your advice is fine if you're buying stocks or scarves - but this is the housing market. One size does not fit all. People don't buy houses just as an investment. They buy for quality of life, amenities, floor plan, condition and location. The perfect house doesn't just mean getting it cheaper.
I'm in the market right now, personally, to buy. I'm not buying because "it's a great time to buy." I'm buying because my husband got a new job 1/2 hours west and we want to move closer to his work. We are temporarily renting. (On a side note - unlike your articles on your blog, I don't believe renting is ultimately "cheaper." I'm gaining no equity and feel like I'm throwing away my money every month. Plus, I have no control over updating and changes and I have no sense of security - my investor landlord could up and sell under me at any time. My monthly payment will be larger when I buy, but I will get more for my money, IMO!)
Anyhow, waiting for prices to drop, in general, is pointless for the average home buyer. If you are house hunting in your price range, you'll get something you can afford that fits your needs. If nothing fits your price range, then you are correct - wait and prices may go down enough to get your dream home down to what you can afford. But certainly don't skip over a great house in your price range just because you are waiting for the price to drop!
A really great house came on the market that would have been perfect for us. Unfortunately, it was too soon in our house search and we weren't able to write an offer. It was in a perfect location, was more house than we have now, had great potential and all of the amenities on our wish list. The price was in our price range - which I chose to keep low to keep our payment only slightly more than what we pay in rent. If I could have, I would have made a full-price offer. As it was, it sold right away - just a few days on the market. If I had waited for prices to drop more, as you suggest, someone would have bought it from under me.
As it is, I don't know that there will be another property this perfect for us to come available any time soon - I may be waiting for quite a while. This property was an estate and the heirs had dropped the price $25k to get rid of it. Homes sell for about 20% more in the area.
There is never a perfect time to buy. It's always a matter of opportunity and timing. Prices may well drop in her area in the coming years, but will the choices include a home that fits her needs/wants?
The best advice is to stay in your price range, don't let your house payment be more than you can afford and buy what fits your needs and wants.
Personally, if I had been able to buy that house and a year from now other homes came on the market in the area for 20% less, I wouldn't care. First off, chances are slim that those houses would fit all the criteria I was looking for. Secondly, I got to live in the house for that year and enjoy it. I'm settled in and can wait it out - inflation will eventually even things out again.
Finally, your buyer's agent comment is really ignorant of how real estate works. "Offer" the seller's agent 3%? How is she going to do that? In most cases, the listing agent already keeps the full commission if the buyer doesn't have their own agent. Meaning, if the agent is getting X from the seller and offering to split a % of X to a buyers agent, if there is no buyer agent, she just keeps all of X. How do you offer something to someone that is not your's to give?
And if your "convince/trick" is to get the seller to take a lot less in the offer and the buyer is going to somehow pay that 3% back to the listing agent - I know that kind of stuff is common in the UK , but that is ILLEGAL in the US!
And I am a Buyer's Agent about 65% of my transactions. If you think I even consider the difference I would get between the buyer paying $300k and $315k than you are the "tard." That translates to $180. Like I would risk the buyer's ill will and her future business over something like that. Give me a break.