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I don't feel that my agent is really helping me get a good deal? what exactly do they do?

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March 12 2009 - Houston
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This is why the interview process before buying/selling is so important.  A Realtor has to be good in so many different areas of the real estate transaction and the reality is many are not.  The first step is to sit down face to face with your agent to discuss your concerns.  Open communication is important.  There just isn't enough room to give step by step of what a good Realtor does in each step of the transaction but in your meeting, your agent should be able to explain everything to you.  Don't be affraid to keep asking questions if you don't understand something.

This is why I look at my job as a teacher as well as a Realtor since I want my clients to understand everything (if they want to learn).  Some people don't care about the process and others do so I make sure I am available to answer questions whenever they come up.
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April 10 2009
Profile picture for Space_Truss
I don't want to offend my realtor buddies, I know they are following this forum and if I give a dozen examples with the list prices, what we offered and the sale prices after waiting on on the market a year, they will know that I was talking about them.

Do not listen your realtor. Do your homework and analyze your market. As I said before, your agent knows your budget and if you like the house and if it fits your budget, they swear the listing price is too low for such a house.

Julie, a close friend got ripped off with another agent friend in your area in 2007. Bucks County, PA. They offered full list price because the agent friend "educated" my friend :) . He lost at least 15%.
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March 16 2009
If you are not happy with the agent, speak with the agent's broker.  When you work with an agent, you will generally sign a Buyer's Representation Agreement stating that you will work with that agent's broker exclusively within a defined market area.  If you are unhappy with the agent, you may not simply move on to another agent if you are under agreement with the agent's broker.  Thus, I recommend you speak with the agent's broker first and express your concerns.  The broker may assign you to an agent he/she feels would be a better fit for you.
  
In the event that you are not under agreement, I recommend you interview a few agents until you find one that you like or ask friends, family and/or co-workers for a recommendation.

Additionally, Avenue CDC, a non-profit organization here in Houston has really good First-Time Homebuyer classes which address how to choose a good agent and what the agents roles/responsibilities are as well as a host of other information.  You may visit their site at http://avenuecdc.org/homebuyers.asp and just scroll down to view the class information.
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March 13 2009
Profile picture for gaylezanca
Find another agent. They are a dime a dozen, literally, these days.
Other than getting married and having children, this is probably the biggest, most traumatizing longlasting thing you will every do.
Go to lots of open houses, smooze up all those agents. Randomly call 10 agents from your local phone book or newspaper (I know that's a lot) and invite them to talk about what they would do for you.
Go with your gut--just like you are now--and get a new agent, one YOU LIKE.
Best of luck (and a lot of it is luck).
Gaylezanca,
homeowner
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March 13 2009

First of all, thanks for the vote of confidence Face_Truss!

The amount of commission that is lost in a negotiation is so negligible that I can't believe people would consider this when guiding their clients. Do the math (and don't calculate the different by the full commission amount...figure about 30% of the total commission for the typical agent split).

I can honestly say that this is never a factor when counseling my buyers. If they are unrealistic about their starting point I will still write the offer, but I do counsel them that they are risking offending the seller and in fact it has happened that the seller does not want to deal with this person at all. The buyer then wonders what happened. Why did they lose the house they really wanted to buy?

Any good buyer's agent can give their clients the statistics of asking price vs. sold price (on average) in their local market. You can then use that information to determine a reasonable starting point in negotiations.

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March 13 2009
Many buyers are uneducated as to the process. Helping to educate the buyer is a huge part of what agents must do for first time homebuyers. They often have unrealistic expectations about making low-ball offers, about thier buying / spending / budget and how this relates to their available properties.


Managing expectations is a huge issue. So you should clearly explain to your agent why you think they are not representing you, and how you want or expect them to handle your home search and offers. The agent can then help you better understand what is being done for you. If you still disagree-- then find a new agent.


Going solo-- unrepresented-- is not recommended because you can seriously get burned. It happened to me when I bought my home. That's the reason I went to RE School, got licensed, and started helping buyers. Now I look out for them as if they were family (in a good way)-- because that's the only way to make sure I get a referral.
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March 13 2009
Profile picture for sunnyview
If you feel unrepresented, you have the wrong agent or you are not communicating clearly with them about what you want. Explain what you want as a client and expect their best effort in return. If you don't get it, say thank you and walk away. There are lots of great agents and if you don't have one now, you should consider getting one. 
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March 13 2009
Profile picture for space_acer
The more you pay, the more they earn commissions.
Heaven forbid the REIC goes flat fee. 



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March 12 2009
If you are unhappy with your agent's ability to help you negotiate a sale or purchase that is in process, first sit down and share your concerns with the agent and be as specific and open as possible.  If you are not comfortable after that discussion and consider the agent is not working in your best interest (unfortunately that happens in every business), you should arrange to meet the agent's manager (usually the main Broker of the Office in which agent works).  You should advise the agent that you will do this.  The Manager can work with you to select another agent from the Brokerage to assist you and with whom you are comfortable.  Or you all may work out another agreeable solution. 

If you seek to buy but haven't found a property yet, ask to be released from any contract you may have with Agent (my state requires Buyer Broker contract) and then find another agent. Interview and meet with 3 agents before selecting with whom you want to work.  This may take a bit of time up front, but it is usually time well spent.

good luck,
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March 12 2009
Profile picture for Space_Truss
You are not the first one I heard this. A couple close friends have similar experiences.

Some (calm down guys, not all :) ) agents know your budget and also how much you are willing to pay for the house and not pushing hard to get a good deal for you. First of all, they are loosing the comission for the part they negotiated. Second, they are thinking that if they push hard and seller does not take the offer, they could loose the entire comission.

There are also some agents suggesting you to offer less than you think. You have to find one of these nice agents. I think all of them are posting here at Zillow. ;-)
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March 12 2009
 
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