Real Estate Agent Rant.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by MichelleB, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. MichelleB

    MichelleB Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    116
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon
    My turn to blow off steam.

    Do some real estate agents really care if their listings are sold? There are two adjacent parcels in one region I plan to check out Saturday, and they're still listed. However, since Monday I've left two messages and sent an e-mail to the agent confirming their availability. I expressed my genuine interest, and mentioned that I'd like permission to visit the property this weekend, and gave clear instructions for return contact. I also mentioned I had a few questions. I should also add that I was professional, polite and friendly. However, Mister Agent has not returned my messages.

    If he's on vacation or dead, I'd assume he'd have somebody else at the office review his messages--it's not a small firm. If the place was under contract, I'd guess a courtesy call would be appropriate, especially in the interest of keeping my business. But nuthin'. The property has been listed for a while in an otherwise toasty market, and I'm beginning to understand why.

    This is just one in a series of several bad impressions I've been given in a short time from listing agents while seeking rural property. Some of these agents are from "town", so I'm not making jabs at rural agents in particular. What gives? Do I have to say right off the bat that I have an agent representing me, or that I've got money in my pocket ready to burn?

    On the other hand, I've also encountered a few really attentive and friendly agents, and look forward to dealing with them this weekend while mucking about looking for our future homestead...

    Thanks for letting me vent. :no:
     
  2. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,622
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    Maine
    Don't tell them that you have a buyer's agent. There's less of an incentive for them to sell to you if they know up front that they have to split their commission with your rep, especially if there are other interested parties who don't have one. The money to burn comment might not be a bad thing to tell them, though.

    Go see it alone first, then again with your agent.
     

  3. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

    Messages:
    1,658
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Location:
    Central NY
    Tell them if you don't hear back you will assume it's ok to contact the property owner directly...
    :haha: That might wake em up.
     
  4. D

    D Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    48
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    NW AR Ozark foothills
    The bigger the sale, the bigger the commission, the bigger the incentive: they'd rather sell oversized houses/estates than lots or parcels anyday. Plus, around here, alot of the real estate agents don't want to tromp around in the weeds looking for property lines either. An agent in town just lost my ex's business by not returning his calls, and they went to school together! As in any profession, there's the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you find a good one, reward her/him by sendin' all your friends over the years.
    Also, if you ever want a builder, skip the agent. Using an agent for contracting just puts one more white collar middleman in between you and your house. Find a builder who still likes the smell of sawdust unless you really want to help pay for his wife's Cadillac.
     
  5. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,205
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Location:
    Florida
    I just returned from a trip to to view 8 properties out of state. Turns out 5 of them had been sold who knows when and he hadn't taken them off the net. They were on his "old" website :rolleyes: He misrepresented the primary piece of property I went to see and needless to say I was very dissapointed. He'd been rushing me to sign sight unseen so he could "legally hold it," and he had worded the contract very obviously in his favor. Those two warning signs were easy enough to see unfortunately I thought with 8 properties in a nice area and all within my price range, that sending a deposit as he requested would be secure enough. So I'm out a deposit as well. :no:
    Not to say all R.E. agents are opportunists. I met another one in AL on the way down that was a terrific person and is the one I'm choosing to work with on finding land. Deal with whom you are comfortable dealing with and the rest will follow. Good lluck on finding your bit of Earth.
     
  6. mellba

    mellba Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    938
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    GA
    We had agents who wouldn't call us back when we were looking for property but the thing that bothered me most was the misrepresentation as Tango mentioned. My husband insisted on having a creek and we'd read ads that described a rushing creek--talk to the agent who'd make it sound almost like a river--drive 100 miles to get there and find a small ditch with a little water trickling through. Or they'd describe a great sounding house and you'd find a falling down shack. I never could understand it. Looks like it would be better to let any surprises be pleasant ones if you're really trying to sell something unless you think people are stupid. Our state agriculture department has a weekly market bulletin and twice a year they do a farmland issue. We found our place in it and didn't deal with an agent. One of the things that sold us was that the place was better than the ad made it sound.
     
  7. havellostmywings

    havellostmywings Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    592
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    I am working in a Real Estate Office now as an Admin Asst...

    If you have an agent you are working with... you need to sit down with them and tell them what you want... and let them find it for you... or if you see something in an ad or on a website.. call YOUR agent... they have access to the Multiple Listing Service, which as a non agent, you cannot get on.. that listing tells the agent much more about the property.

    One of the things I do for the Broker who owns the office where I work, is I call about properties she pulls from the MLS to see if they are still available, or if there are offers on them or if they are in escrow... thus saving alot of headaches for her clients.

    The agent in question, that you had such a problem with.. I would call his office and ask to speak to the broker... saying you would like to file a complaint... I am sure you will get prompt action. The broker makes their money from producing agents... and a producing agent is someone who is NOT driving away clients.

    I hope that helpsyou

    Hugs
    Lynn in Reno
     
  8. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    Messages:
    6,844
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    You might call the owner of the agency and ask to be assigned another agent. Just say you are not happy with the one you have and would like one who is more aggressive.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  9. Mastiff

    Mastiff Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    143
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Location:
    Northern California Mountains
    It took us 6 years and three Real Estate agents to find this place.
    The first one we went out with once. The next one for ~ 3 years until he unfortionatley died of a heart attack... Then the one that helped us get this place. The local paper only comes out once a week. I would call our agent almost every week with questions on something new. I would also look at the mulitples on line and call with questions on those.
    I would drive by and check them out first when I could to let him know if we had further interest. You need an agent that knows you are serious, is not pushy, is honest, is willing to do some leg work, you get along with well, and has a spirit of adventure. Ask people you know and meet who are the good agents. Find one and stick with them.
     
  10. Little Bit Farm

    Little Bit Farm Active Member

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Here is my advice, and as a former agent I can speak with authority: 1) Find an agent you trust, and stick with him or her until they find or you find the piece of property you are looking for. 2) Let your agent approach all listing agents themselves because, a: It's their job, b: Other agents respect them c: Your loyalty will make your agent work hard for you. I was an agent, and I have a VERY good agent I deal with. 3) Ignore the advice above about not makiing them split their commission. It isn't true. When an agent lists a piece of property, his loyalty is to the seller. Whether or not you pay your agent as a buyer's agent, his loyalty will be to you. No matter what the law says in your state. He is getting paid only if you buy. He wants to sell you property. If you still want to do your own footwork, take the listings to your agent, and he will get all the info for you with less trouble than it will take you. 4) Explain to your agent that you are going to buy but, not until you find exactly what you want. He is always going to be trying to sell to you. Ignore that until you are satisfied. Make him work for his 3%. 5) All agents have access to everyone else's listings on the MLS, so your agent can sell any listing to you. 6) Find out if your MLS is online, and search it every day, then call your agent. 7) For this property, go to the brokerage that is this company's primary competitor. Talk to an agent. explain what you are looking for. Be sure and pay attention to the agent's attitude. You want someone who seems interested in helping you for the long haul. Have him call about the proerty in question, and interview him similar to a job interview. The one you want is the guy who will sit through this without fidgeting, looking bored or disinterested, no matter what you say. Explain to him that you expect this process to take awhile, and that you may need to look at property every day until you find it. Ask him how quickly he can clear his schedule if you find something you want to see. Remember, YOU ARE THE BOSS! If you don't like him, politely tell him you will get back to him, and head to the next competitive office. When you find a person who can handle your grueling interview, and still looks eager, and ready to go. Ask to see five properties(make sure you clear time in your schedule for this). Tell him your requirements, and make him find what fits. Go look. Gauge his reaction if you end up telling him no five properties later. If you don't find something you like, make another appointment. Take a notebook with you, and write down those things that particularly made you NOT want the properties he shows you. Be specific, so that he knows how to help you. In the end you WILL find something that suits you. Hope this helps.


    Little Bit Farm
     
  11. mama2littleman

    mama2littleman El Paso

    Messages:
    1,969
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Location:
    Alaska
    Little Bit Farm,

    Thanks for the realtor hunt advice. we are currently looking for a realtor, and the info you provided is invaluable.

    Nikki
     
  12. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    I have some RAs that I consider quite good friends but I must say with only a few exceptions they are all as crooked as a barrel of snakes when it comes to their jobs. Sorta like used car dealers.
     
  13. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

    Messages:
    847
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    River Valley, Arkansas
    I strongly suggest that you contact the Real estate commission in the state that the man you were dealing with operates and file a complaint with them or at least make contact so you can inform the agent that you have made contact and if he is licensed in that state he will most likely return your deposit.

    We had a problem with this property and I called with out any names and asked the questions I had and when I told the agent I had done this the Broker Called me right up and asked what do they need to do to make me happy about the problem.
     
  14. HankSnow

    HankSnow Hobby Farmer/Rat Racer

    Messages:
    51
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Columbia Co., NY
    Maybe it's just this area where I live (lots of second homes, weekend homes), but I had a buyer's agent that must have had me pegged as a rube because: (1) I wasn't from the area and (2) I worked in NYC. I told her exactly what I wanted, but she kept showing me things outside my price range (too expensive); in town (didn't want that). I finally asked her if she had read my "want" list and just ignored it, or simply hadn't read it.

    Fortunately, my wife grew up in the area and seems she knows everyone. Through the grapevine, we found a small house (built around 1790) on a little over an acre, about a mile outside of a small town. The place was a dump and needed a lot of work, but it wasn't selling because it required owner financing (no furnace). Paid the woman $18500 cash, took 4 weeks vacation from work, and went to work on it. We didn't have kids at the time, so we just kept stoking the woodstove and making improvements. I probably spent $20k and a lot of sweat equity on it, but sold it 8 years later for $125k.

    Bought our current place by working with a realtor who my wife was friends with in high school. He primarily sells to local residents, not the second home market, and he was one of the good ones. It took a couple years of searching, but I found what I wanted: open tillable land and I didn't care about the condition of the house. Well, he found us a 60 acre place with an eyebrow colonial and a salvageable barn.

    It helps to know people.
     
  15. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    381
    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan
    We're trying to sell our home. The REA (co-worker's brother) came over and discussed everything. He planned to take pictures, put up signs, post all over the web and local papers, have a virtual tour set up...blah blah blah...He put up one sign in the yard and then another sign (from the dollar store) on the corner. He has only called us twice when someone wanted to look at the house. That has been about five months ago. I sent him an email telling him to come and get his signs and lock box off my door. He said he would be by to pick them up in a few days....that was a week and a half ago.

    Some people just can't be motivated :no:
     
  16. MichelleB

    MichelleB Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    116
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon
    Thanks for all the fantastic replies. We saw a wonderful property today--perhaps not quite what we're looking for, but SOOOOOO close--the heavenly sound of steelhead water from two different creeks, mist in the surrounding hills, nice neighbors.

    Listing agent was very nice and helpful--the sellers are lucky to have her. We're even thinking of her as a candidate to represent us if we decline this property, though I'm pretty much locked on an agent already.

    Looking at more tomorrow in another area, with more confidence thanks to everyone's advisement!
     
  17. MikeJoel

    MikeJoel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    132
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    From all impressions our agent (selling our house) doesn't care.
    The only advice he has ever given was "well they may walk"... Actually he has done a much better job for the buyers than for us. It was us that got the buyer to take half what he wanted for credit on closing.

    If this deal goes through we plan on asking the buyer's agent to sell our house, he really seems to be working.

    Mike
     
  18. terriv

    terriv Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    All good advice. Stick with one agent who IS interested in finding land. Some agents just aren't interested in anything but houses. As an agent, I find that some other agents just do not return phone calls, even to other agents. Sometimes real estate is just a hobby.

    Also find your online MLS site. Call the real estate commission and ask for a link to the public address. Search it weekly rather than just browsing the paper. The MLS listing will say "power line crosses property" where as the newspaper will say "8 rolling cleared acres". That's intentional. It generates calls so they can sell you something else.

    I LOVE selling land. I go find it (listed, owner, not even for sale). I go see it, walk it. I find out what YOU WANT. Too bad you aren't in Mississippi.

    terriv@netdoor.com
     
  19. havellostmywings

    havellostmywings Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    592
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    another hint... about buying land...

    check the tax rolls on a piece you like, even if it isnt for sale.

    We have a brand new realtor in our office.. young, only 24yrs old... but she owns land and she bought it by checking the tax rolls and looking for people with older sounding names.. and she would write them letters seeing if they were interested in selling, especially if they lived out of state..

    its just a thought


    Lynn in Reno
     
  20. terriv

    terriv Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Great idea Lynn. :)

    As morbid as this sounds, read the obits, look up names in tax roll, send a letter to the deceased home address in tax roll addressed "family of". Likely the mail will be forwarded. (Better to wait a little while...till the funeral food is all gone anyway. :( )