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How do I Motivate my Buy-side agent?

I have been approved for a small $350,000 loan with 6% Sellers concession by 3 different lenders. I am looking for a 2 family house in NYC (Bronx) with a basement and a driveway.

Because my money is not too big i know I will have to search very hard to find exactly what I am looking for. I have placed an offer on one but was beaten to it by a cash offer.

My question is, How do I motivate my agent so that he/she does not give up on me. Is there any law that prevent me from giving him a tip on every viewing we go??
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May 03 2011 - Williamsbridge
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Answers (26)

Great question.  I don't know the Bronx market or NY real estate law, so I will reserve comment on the whole tipping question.  I can't see why you would do that.  Tell your agent to shape up or find another agent.

There have been some astute responses here, and probably the most spot on from @pasadenan.  The 6% seller concession is killing you.  While you're looking for a $350,000 property, you're really only able to afford a $329,000 property.  At that point, you're really tugging on heart strings.  I often include an offer letter with my offers that explains who my buyer is and I ask to present in person (rarely accepted)...it couldn't hurt in your case...and it's not likely to help, either.  Most sellers just cannot afford to accept less.  It doesn't mean you should quit looking, just that you should expect to hear more "No's" before you hear a "Yes".
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May 23 2011
If you really feel like they are not motivated as other has said have a talk with them.   They best know the market and can advise you whether the Bronx is a long shot or not.   I can imagine the prices there are very high and maybe very few come on the market there for that price.   While maybe a tip is not legal you could pay them a retainer fee possibily.  This is option on buyer broker agreements yet not sure it they have it on NY documentation.
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May 22 2011

Your agent is a support person for you during your buying process. If you are open with your agent about your needs, you should not have a problem. If you feel as though your Agent is impatient make sure that he understand what you are looking for and make sure that you understand how to get what your looking for.

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May 19 2011

I will recommend you to speak directly with your agent, to make sure your both in the same page.

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May 19 2011
I'm sorry that you feel your agent would "give up" on you... My advice would be to find someone who values your relationship and is willing to work with you and help you find what you are looking for.
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May 19 2011
Talk make sure your agent knows what you expect. That you are both on the same page.
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May 19 2011
You have three options:

Corporal Punishment

A daily supply of twinkies delivered to his office

Fire Him
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May 16 2011
The first thing to do is to have a good talk with your agent.  Make sure what bboth of you are expecting and set a game plan to meet it.
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May 14 2011
To answer your question, yes, it is illegal to personally hand your Realtor a tip.
My advise:
First and foremost, finding your perfect home takes time.  You are in God's hand and you will find it!  Don't get discouraged.  There are many good people trying to move that can't even get approved for a mortgage. Keep trying!

2- We get paid at closing and know that going into any buyer agency relationship.  Your agent won't accept a tip because he/she is performing her duties.

3- Stick with your agent!!  Don't go it alone.  In my market seller's pay the commission, not the buyers.  Why give up the experience and the knowledge your agent has in inspections, appraisals, pricing, power of negotiating, etc.

4- Typically commissions are paid out 1/2 to the listing broker, 1/2 to the buyer's broker. Then each broker pays a portion to their respective agent.  My calculator says that at 6%, a $350k home would bring your agent a minimum paycheck of $5-6,000.  I personally love paychecks and I bet she does, too.

Maybe you should move from New York to Decatur, Illinois where $350,000 would by you a brand new 2-story brick with granite countertops, 3-4 bedrooms, master baths with whirlpool baths, full basement, in a very nice upper middle class neighborhood!  Whew!  I am always in amazement in the cost of living difference between different sectors of our wonderful country.

Seriously, you and your agent will find you a nice home.  
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May 07 2011
We work for commission.  Knowing that there will be a closing, and that your goals are realistic will help to motivate your agent.  It can certainly be frustrating for an agent when the amount of time and effort to close a sale is substantially greater than usual, so perhaps you could work side by side to assist in searches, know your neighborhoods, and focus on your end goals.  Any agent that does not want to work within those parameters may not be the right agent, but be realistic about your expectations. Give them a chance to step up once you are clear on what you want, what you are going to pay, and where it is located.  It may not be on the market yet, so be patient. 
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May 04 2011
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You bypass him/her and talk directly to the property owner.
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May 03 2011
Profile picture for Pasadenan
As already mentioned, the problem is your need for a 6% seller concession.  If you can't afford to buy without that, then you can't afford to buy.

Until you revise your position on that item, it is highly unlikely that you will find an agent that can work with you effectively.
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May 03 2011

This is an unfortunate situation for you.  Clients should be treated equally, regardless of price range.  If the agent you are working with is not doing this I would have a frank discussion with him about your expectations.  If he is unable or unwilling to meet those expectations then it is time to find a more responsive agent.  If you have already signed a buyer brokerage agreement ask for a release, in writing. 

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May 03 2011
If you have an agent that you trust and really want to use him, then you can choose the option to hire him as a buyers agent.  By doing this, you can offer him a commission to find you the right property and act on your behalf.  Usually the amount is around 2%.  Hope this helps.
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May 03 2011
Believe it or not this isn't at all the uncommon and it is very unfortunate.  I had this happen to me before I entered into the business.  Look for another agent, you are working with the wrong one.  A good agent will work with you for as long as it takes you to find the right home.  I really get frustrated when I hear this.  Please know for every unprofessional agent there are very professional ones as well, good luck!
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May 03 2011
I can sell you two nice homes in Phoenix for $350K.  And I will answer your every phone call.
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May 03 2011
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@ Dan Collins

He doesn't pick my calls and did not show up on the last scheduled viewing.

 
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May 03 2011
I'm just curious, what is your agent doing to indicate that he is unmotivated?
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May 03 2011
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Please be aware that a 6% seller's concession is not the decision of your lender, but of the seller.   If you are in a market with tough competition, this request is likely to put your offer at the bottom of the list.

If your agent is not responding, call the agent's broker and ask "what's up?"
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May 03 2011
If you have to motivate your agent.....you are with the WRONG agent!  There are plenty of agents out there that will work for you regardless of how much you have to spend!
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May 03 2011
Profile picture for Meetbishop
I feel my last agent was not motivated because after showing me just two houses he doesn't pick up my calls anymore and did not show up on the last scheduled viewing.

Out of the two houses we viewed, I had him put an offer on one. One of my lenders is from his office and was his recommendation so the financing should not be a issue.

What could have possible went wrong to warrant this neglect?  My wife really liked working with him so I wanted  to stick with him because I wanted my wife to be fully involved in the process.
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May 03 2011
If your agent is not bringing deals to you on a regular basis, if your agent isn't helping you to be first in line with a new offer, if your agent is not looking at possible homes with you dump them.  There are plenty of professional Realtors who will work hard for you.  Would you like a referral?
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May 03 2011
What makes you think your agent is not motivated? If you have a signed contract with them, for them to represent you as a buyers agent you can arrange what ever you and your agent feel is fair compensation. As long as it is writing your agent is a independent contractor and can work on what ever they decide is fair as long as you the client agree. If you are not represented by an agent maybe that is something for you to consider as well.
Best of luck
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May 03 2011
You shouldn't have to motivate your Agent, you can always switch to another Agent if your current Agent is not working hard for you, just keep a list of everything you have seen and if and when the time comes to switch- give that list to the new agent so that they know what you have already seen. Good luck!
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May 03 2011
Profile picture for kristisar

I am so sorry that $300k is considered small out there. Seriously, agents would be fighting over you in PHX.

Amie is right, you shouldnt have to tip your buyers agent, its their job to get you into a home. Thats how they get paid
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May 03 2011
I do not know what the laws in new york are, but you should not need to tip your agent. If your agent knows that you are serious and that you are ready to buy that should be enough.
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May 03 2011
 
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