United COuntry R.E. Agents: Your Experience

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Tango, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I recently returned from a three- day land hunting trip which was very dissapointing. The agent was not up front with me and knew I was travelling 840 miles to see the properties. Needless to say I returned home empty-handed and I do need to buy something as soon as my place sells. I can't afford another trip like that and would like to leave the transaction online and through the mail. On my way back I made an unplanned stop at another United Country office and my experience with that agent was very pleasant but she hasn't gotten back with me on other properties I requested information on. I was a realtor in Texas and am aware of the lure of high dollar ready-to buy- buyers but really need help and am a serious buyer. I know United Country sells quite a bit to homesteaders like us. What was your experience with which offices (if you don't mind saying). I'm looking for land in Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, and Alabama right now. Thanks.
     
  2. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We bought our first place in western Wisconsin in the 1970s through a United Farm agent, and were very pleased. We had also talked to others in the general wider area, and they were good, also. Of course that is 30 years ago and many states away from where you are looking.

    Jim
     

  3. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    My hubby just drove 12 hours to virginia 2 weeks ago with the same results.
    I fired that realtor and found another one. I went on line and then called
    and asked what information he had on the property and received it within 25
    minutes, - everything.

    I asked about another property and had the info the next morning including
    e-mail of plot plan.

    We are looking in virginia. The guy we ended up with thus far is from united country.

    First we have him e-mail file info and pics on file about a property and mls. Now before hubby goes again, we will have realtor take pics of entire properties that might interest us and what's around them (i.e. across street, etc.)


    The most important thing i found was finding someone in the town you want to move because when it comes to them taking a peek at land to see if it's "for you", they are already right there.

    We are still "in the process" so i'll let you know how it turns out for us.

    Good luck,

    brural
     
  4. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    I can't say anything about United Country. But looking for rural property is a challange due to the lower cost and "remote locations". I've driven all over NY state trying to look at properties. I mostly had to go myself. Only one agent walked the land with me and that was the second time to that property. Also, I tried to put a property under contract and the agent for the property totally botched the deal. I asked him due to the distance and time required to do the paperwork. I suggested that we do a verbal deal and work out the figures before driving to the property (4 hours away). He stated after several phone calls that all was ready and to come up and finalize the contracts. I drove up on that Sun. and the following Mon. He called that the seller wanted the full asking price. I told him to go pound salt. He called me back the next day and tried to get me to come up 4,000.00. I told him then that I thought the price was set prior to my comming and doing the paperwork and that the offer was now withdrawn. He called several more times but I would not even take his calls. Agents that lie are a real pain. This property is still listed and this was last summer.

    I did finally find a property in PA. It's 18 acre's with an old farm house. We are closing this thursday :).

    So just keep looking. I would however not buy sight unseen . Pictures can and do hide the most important things and remember in most cases the agent only works for the seller. Yes they seem nice but so is the guy selling the lemon at the used car lot.
     
  5. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the posts. I appreciate them. They help to put things in perspective. Another thing I am finding is that a lot of the properties are sold and remain listed. I tested this by calling on a property that I had called on a few months ago. It was "just sold," back then. It was still listed today and when I called it was agian "just sold." Maybe bait and switch tactics?
    Also my mother offered to pay for a second land-hunting trip so I have the otion of going again. I hope it is not another waste of time and money :(
     
  6. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    We spent our 'vacation one year looking i mid TN...drove all over creation and came away with nothing.

    We would regularly drive up to East TN to look at property and had little luck.

    We went to KY and found a VERY good Realtor who seemed to grasp what we wanted but we ended up elsewhere.

    We ended up doing most of it by email or phone calls and it saved on these VERY tiring and frustrating trips.

    If interested can give you some info on land in Western NC.

    It is pretty and the region is an 'Isothermal' zone so the Winter temps are moderate.

    Real Estate Agents don't seem to grasp that what you want is WHAT YOU WANT!!!! :D
     
  7. Terri in WV

    Terri in WV Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I had this with 2 united counrty offices in WV. The one described the house as unique but I could not get him to tell me why. He was supposed to send me more photos of the property before I went and looked at it-never did see them. The other office told me the house needed a little work and sat on a level acre(ridge top house with 10 acres total)-HA! There was so much that needed done it would have been easier to start from scratch. Then there was a different outfit that decribed this one house we were interested in seeing as having a den-yea right-it was a hallway!

    In the 3 years we were looking the only honest realtor I came across that didn't fluff up the property and told us exactly what it was like was Century 21. We closed on it last june. If or when I might decide to do this again it will be with Century.
     
  8. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    OK, Real Estate Agent here with a news flash and a few tips. First off, I can tell you that way too many times, what someone "wants" isn't at all what they REALLY want. One woman wanted a condo. She wound up making an offer on a 2300 square foot split level in a subdivision. Who could have guessed? Other people are very reluctant to tell what's important. You can drive around for months hearing things like "not enough light" or "don't know about the water" or "looks like a high water table," etc. Finally, you get the person to tell you what it is that's really important to them, and you get "level, southern exposure, dry ground, reliable water, no traffic noise." So my recommendation here is to put together a list of things that are really important to you, so important that if those requirements aren't met, you will not be interested in the property.

    Then I'd suggest hooking up with a responsive realtor and giving them some VERY SPECIFIC requirements. And for goodness sake, let your realtor know both what you'd like to spend, and what you really would spend if the ideal place came up. In fact, go to the bank and get a pre-approval letter.

    Then let your realtor set up searches so you get the listings as soon as they are published. Be in a position to jump on a piece of property immediately if the ideal one comes up. And if you want your realtor in a distant location to invest the time and money to check out a bunch of remote properties to see whether they meet your criteria, be prepared to sign a buyer's agreement that says if the realtor tells you about a piece of property and you buy that property, the realtor gets paid the amount of the commission no matter who writes up the offer.

    Doing things this way will save you and your realtor both a lot of time, trouble and frustration, and you're both much more likely to come out winners.
     
  9. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the tips :) I'm not generalizing R.E. agents, Laura, I know there are good ones and lousy customers. I was a realtor in Texas for a couple of years and met my share of lousy customers and lost my gas and time to them. I have to say however that I told this agent in Tennessee what I wanted and he wasn't up front with what he had. 5 level acres at the top of a hill turned out to be one acre- if that- everything else was steep slope on three hilltops. New floor was actually new plywood nailed on top of rotting floor in one section of living room. The rest was rotting floor. Cleared land meant timber company had been hired to storm through and take best timber and leave a trash trail. I was promised a survey in the mail- never got it. I asked for dimensions twice before I went - never got it. Didn't even get them there. But all he wanted was for me to sign the contract by e-mail with very suspicious clauses- naturlly I dind't sign but I lost my deposit. He even had properties which had been sold a considerable amount of time previous to my visit still advertised on line. I'd love a buyer's agent but right now my search is too wide
     
  10. terriv

    terriv Well-Known Member

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    If you decide to add Mississippi to your list, I'd be happy to try to help you.

    terriv@netdoor.com
    601-826-0821
    Meg Head Realty Inc.
     
  11. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Consider it added. Just added Texas to my list this morning . I moved from there 4 years ago.
     
  12. nappy

    nappy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Marcia, we are in the same position as you. What if you sell your present place and don't have anywhere to go? Are you keeping your livestock? We have not put our property up for sale yet but, if and when it does sell, we need to give up our livestock (goats and chickens will not travel well), and possibly buy a 5th wheel so we can travel around looking for that "perfect" spot. I don't know how we can buy in an unknown area without selling here first and then checking out other areas. It's like being in limbo until the property sells. My problem with the United Country listings is that many of them have been on there for over a year (I've been watching one particular listing that hasn't been sold for at least a year). Makes one wonder how legitimate/accurate United Country really is. Much success to you on your venture and please keep us up-to-date.

    Nappy
     
  13. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Hi Nappy, Thank you for your post and well wishes :) I can't part with my horse and goats. I also have three dogs and two cats. I've already sold the rest of my livestock so this is "light" for me :) (a mare, two does and three kids) I'm actively looking now and want to buy on a contingency basis- meaning the sellers agree to hold that property for a specified time period while my property sells. If my property doesn't sell in the time period specified they can either grant an extension or cancel the contract and I'll have to keep on looking. It isn't as ideal as some sellers want but if the contract gives them other things which are important to them, they are more willing to work with a contingency contract. Your idea sounds very nice though. If I didn't have all of my animals I might consider that with my Travel trailer but as it is I'm selling that also. I don't know what area you're looking at but I've found that some realty companies do not remove sold listings. You might be looking at property that sold a year ago and they keep it online to get phone calls. If a property has been listed for a year and hasn't sold I'd say the chance is good that there is something very wrong with it.
     
  14. mrs.H

    mrs.H Romans 8:28

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    Hi there,
    I used united country .com to find my 18 acres in western tn. Th land was raw and undeveloped. I had to cleare a place for a tent. Apply for an address so I could get electric ran to my site. Water is still not running to the property but is in the works.

    The critiria a used for the search were "Any type of property, any number of bedrooms, not less than 10 acres not mor than 20. Starting at 0$ not more than $50,000. It ended up costing $900. an acre

    The tax bill for the year on 18 acres with a mobile home on it was (drum roll please) $224.

    I went through http://www.7lakesrealty.com/ .Mike was increadably helpful.
    Walked the property with me. Corrected contracts through the mail. Still knows me on site. Lexington TN. is pretty small.

    If you contact him tell him I sent you. Tell him the lady who moved into the tent with 3 kids, he'll know who your talkin about.

    Good luck!
     
  15. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    LOL :) Congratulations on your property mrs.H! I've already spoken with 7lakes about a property and I agree they were helpful. Unfortunately what I was calling about was sold. If I call them again, I'll ask for Mike :)
     
  16. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

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    Tango,


    What part of Tennessee are you interested in?



    If it is west Tennessee, contact me. I'll do what I can to help.


    P.S. I am NOT in the real estate business. I just live in rural west Tennessee, so I know the area. (And I bought my place WITHOUT use of real estate agents, because they were trying to get the owners to jack up the prices higher than the places were really worth. So my SO and I searched on our own, found what we wanted, and approached the owners the day after their contract expired with their agent. Got the home for about 15% less that way, which was about true value for it in these parts.)
     
  17. Swampfoot

    Swampfoot Active Member

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    I wasn't blown away by United Country, the agent we dealt with acted kind of disinterested in helping us. We finally found a local realtor with her own business that was a lot of help. I have never done a search from a remote location but I think the right agent would make all the difference.

    Here is another resource for you, http://www.iplandsales.com. This is International Paper's real estate group. I did a quick search and saw several nice sounding tracts in north Alabama and central Tennessee. They have maps and photos online.
     
  18. NWSneaky

    NWSneaky Well-Known Member

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    IMO. Call the UF office in Bethany, Missouri and make certain you speak with Theresa Hildbrandt.

    NO I am not associated with her or them. I am a retired recluse. She and her grumpy senior husband moved in around my farm years ago and I have heard nothing but truth and facts from them since. BTW, she did sell one farm for me and both buyer and seller were happy.

    Good luck.
     
  19. Tinker

    Tinker Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My dh was military, so we have moved many times, and dealt with a lot of real estate agents. Twice we worked with UC agents, and were dissatisfied both times. With the 1st one, we had a primary agent we loved, but UC would not let him show their listing. They raved on and on about how wonderful this house was, and how we would just love it--it is so nice, all fixed up, etc. Well, it was a real dump. Very overpriced, and needed tons of work. The next experience was when I drove 2 & 1/2 hours to meet an agent to see 2 of her listings. I made the apointment 3 days in advance, then called the day before to confirm. When we showed up for the appointment, she said she did not have the keys to the 1st place, but could get them in a day or 2, and had another appointment, so couldn't take me to the second one. She did have another agent from the office show me the second property, but again, it was way overpriced. I will never contact their offices again. As from a sellers standpoint, I believe they charge a 10% commission, compared to around 6% for most other agents in this area, and also, since they are not on the MLS service, most realtors don't know about their listings, and that really cuts down on your market.
     
  20. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    Hey Marcia, Sorry if my post sounded testy. It wasn't meant that way at all. And I agree, you can have good and bad on both the realtor and customer side. I'm sorry you hooked up with a bad realtor. Good luck in your search, and if you decide to head to Western Washington :) drop me a line!