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Old 08-17-2008, 11:31 AM
 
Location: NY
1,416 posts, read 4,876,170 times
Reputation: 588

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My SO and I just came home from viewing a house with our buyer agent and we are both having serious second thoughts about this whole buyer-agency thing.

To make a long story short, we went to see a house this morning which we had requested to see even though we knew it was overpriced for the neighborhood. It's also 50K higher than our maximum top-end but our agent ran comps and agreed with us that the house is overpriced, so we decided to go see it anyway in hopes that the seller might be flexible since it was advertised as being a brand-new listing. Turns out that it was previously offered at an even higher price, so the sellers clearly are out of touch with reality. We really REALLY liked the house but just don't think the location warrants that price. On the way out to our cars and to my complete shock our agent started saying the kind of things that I'd expect to hear from a SELLER's agent! Things like what a beautiful house it is and how the listing agent told her there's been a lot of interest in it (you know, the old "Better grab it before someone else does" ploy), and painting the sellers as now being reasonable pricewise when CLEARLY they are still not in the ballpark. I felt like I was listening to a seller's agent! It made me really uncomfortable and I just said "That may be so but it's not worth that much TO US" and we took our leave. On the way home my SO and I talked about it and he had the same reaction that I did: That our buyer agent was subtly pushing us to buy a house that was clearly more than we said we wanted to pay. We also talked about how for the most part we have done the lion's share of the work in finding houses and all our agent has really done is set up showings. And for every showing we have gone to, my SO and I have probably eliminated a dozen other houses through our own legwork and research. We don't need her for financing and we've been through the homebuying process enough times to know the ropes (we're not babes in the woods) so we're now really questioning whether having buyer agency is even necessary. Seriously, all she is doing is getting us in to see houses which we could just as easily do ourselves by calling the listing agent.

So now we're haggling over which one of us is going to have the awkward duty of asking our buyer agent to cancel our agency contract which doesn't run out until the end of February. We also can't decide on how best to present our reason without being rude. I thought of just saying something along the lines of "We appreciate all you've done for us during the past eight months but we would now feel more comfortable going it alone without buyer agency." But that still sounds awkward. Anyone else decide that having a buyer agent just wasn't making any sense, and ended your contract early?
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Old 08-17-2008, 02:21 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
8,168 posts, read 17,918,774 times
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How does that work, a buyers agent? Do you pay for this service ? Is it a percentage of the total cost? Does the seller pay a share ? I know that these are common in other places, but not in New York I did not think.

Is that a cancellable contract that you have signed?
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:47 AM
 
335 posts, read 798,996 times
Reputation: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by totallyfrazzled View Post
My SO and I just came home from viewing a house with our buyer agent and we are both having serious second thoughts about this whole buyer-agency thing.

To make a long story short, we went to see a house this morning which we had requested to see even though we knew it was overpriced for the neighborhood. It's also 50K higher than our maximum top-end but our agent ran comps and agreed with us that the house is overpriced, so we decided to go see it anyway in hopes that the seller might be flexible since it was advertised as being a brand-new listing. Turns out that it was previously offered at an even higher price, so the sellers clearly are out of touch with reality. We really REALLY liked the house but just don't think the location warrants that price. On the way out to our cars and to my complete shock our agent started saying the kind of things that I'd expect to hear from a SELLER's agent! Things like what a beautiful house it is and how the listing agent told her there's been a lot of interest in it (you know, the old "Better grab it before someone else does" ploy), and painting the sellers as now being reasonable pricewise when CLEARLY they are still not in the ballpark. I felt like I was listening to a seller's agent! It made me really uncomfortable and I just said "That may be so but it's not worth that much TO US" and we took our leave. On the way home my SO and I talked about it and he had the same reaction that I did: That our buyer agent was subtly pushing us to buy a house that was clearly more than we said we wanted to pay. We also talked about how for the most part we have done the lion's share of the work in finding houses and all our agent has really done is set up showings. And for every showing we have gone to, my SO and I have probably eliminated a dozen other houses through our own legwork and research. We don't need her for financing and we've been through the homebuying process enough times to know the ropes (we're not babes in the woods) so we're now really questioning whether having buyer agency is even necessary. Seriously, all she is doing is getting us in to see houses which we could just as easily do ourselves by calling the listing agent.

So now we're haggling over which one of us is going to have the awkward duty of asking our buyer agent to cancel our agency contract which doesn't run out until the end of February. We also can't decide on how best to present our reason without being rude. I thought of just saying something along the lines of "We appreciate all you've done for us during the past eight months but we would now feel more comfortable going it alone without buyer agency." But that still sounds awkward. Anyone else decide that having a buyer agent just wasn't making any sense, and ended your contract early?

you clearly dont need a buyers agent IMHO. You know how to do ALL the research (clearly surpassing anything she/he is bringing to the table), and you are saavy enough to cut through the crap-cake and make your own sound, reasonable decisions. Sounds like 8 months is more than enough investment in them/you from both sides. And - - dont forget, that "Buyers" agent was more than likely a "sellers agent" for most of their career, so of course there is going to be a time limit of patience and BS. And from the sounds of it, looks like their patience is probably short at this point too...so I dont think you are going to get any hurt feelings on either end.

My advice would be to reimburse them for their troubles (come up with some $$ amount that is fair for their 8 months of work (perhaps pay them a rate for each house you have seen through their efforts and any expenses involved?).

You can get new listings from just doing your research by contacting or going to open houses with with some of the bigger listing agents in your area and you can crunch comps and fair market values with the best of them, so why dont you just go it alone for now?
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:15 AM
 
Location: East Northport
3,192 posts, read 8,061,650 times
Reputation: 1088
Unless you really dislike this person, there is no need to stop working with her. It sounds like she has invested a lot of unproductive time with you (eight months). You really don't have anything to gain by calling each listing agent individually. Whether a consumer is working with a buyers agent or a sellers agent, it is a good idea to pick an agent and stick with him/her as long as you are being serviced well.

Also, (and I have given this advice many times before), you would be better off looking at homes that are closer to what you are willing to pay. If a seller is realistic, they will price a home accordingly. It's rare that you are going to get them to come dramatically off their price, even if you believe that the home is worth significantly less.

It should not take eight months to find a home. Just like the seller who takes a year to sell, a buyer who takes a year to buy probably has unrealistic expectations.
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:35 AM
 
Location: NY
1,416 posts, read 4,876,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomMoser View Post
It should not take eight months to find a home. Just like the seller who takes a year to sell, a buyer who takes a year to buy probably has unrealistic expectations.
Well, when we first began looking 8 months ago we were not looking in the same towns we are now looking in. For the first 3 or 4 months we were only looking further east because of the taxes. But we eventually realized that by changing our focus to the Hauppauge School District we could get the same lower taxes and still keep the convenience of being in western Nassau. We weren't entirely thrilled with the prospect of being out east but thought it was the price we'd have to pay in order to get something nice on at least a half acre with taxes under 10K. It was only when we found out about the Hauppauge SD from a friend that we changed our focus to an entirely different part of LI. We kept the same buyer agent though.
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:47 AM
 
Location: NY
1,416 posts, read 4,876,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modmondays View Post
My advice would be to reimburse them for their troubles (come up with some $$ amount that is fair for their 8 months of work (perhaps pay them a rate for each house you have seen through their efforts and any expenses involved?).
My SO had that thought too. But what is a fair compensation for someone plugging our email into the Stratus system, or giving us an emailed link for an MLS number that we emailed them we wanted to see the info on? My SO and I have spent far more hours and gallons of gas in driving past houses and through their neighborhoods to "vet" each house before even asking our agent for a showing. Our agent has NEVER previewed a house for us to see if it meets our requirements, as I understand is sometimes done. She has never gone to the Town to verify taxes etc on anything; we've always done that ourselves. During the last 8 months we have physically seen less than a dozen houses with her, half of which have been in her home territory but not ours, so the time and gas involved has been a lot more for us than for her. She has only TWICE done comps for us on a property and only TWICE have things got to the point of tendering an actual offer.

You know, whenever I see a thread with someone asking what realtors really do to "earn" their commission, I always see responses by agents citing how many hours they spend on clients who either end up not buying or not selling. And I'm not arguing with that. It IS part of the package of being in that profession. So I honestly don't understand the logic of feeling that we owe this agent compensation, especially when we feel that in hours and time and energy expended over the past 8 months, we have put in far more of those things than she has. We don't dislike her but we've come to the point of feeling like we are paying for something we don't need to have.
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:50 AM
 
Location: East Northport
3,192 posts, read 8,061,650 times
Reputation: 1088
Quote:
Originally Posted by totallyfrazzled View Post
We don't dislike her but we've come to the point of feeling like we are paying for something we don't need to have.
Does your contract provide that you are paying her something above and beyond the compensation the seller is offering?
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:02 AM
 
Location: NY
1,416 posts, read 4,876,170 times
Reputation: 588
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomMoser View Post
Does your contract provide that you are paying her something above and beyond the compensation the seller is offering?
No, it doesn't.

I was just responding to modmonday's suggestion.
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:06 AM
 
Location: East Northport
3,192 posts, read 8,061,650 times
Reputation: 1088
Based on what you told me, I don't think that you owe her any compensation. Keep in mind, however, that unless your contract provides otherwise she is not obligated to let you out of it. But, if you are looking in an area outside of her normal territory, she would probably be ok with it anyway. A nice gesture would be perhaps a gift certificate for a nice restaurant.
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:13 AM
 
1,303 posts, read 2,884,364 times
Reputation: 340
Default Interesting

Quote:
Originally Posted by totallyfrazzled View Post
My SO had that thought too. But what is a fair compensation for someone plugging our email into the Stratus system, or giving us an emailed link for an MLS number that we emailed them we wanted to see the info on? My SO and I have spent far more hours and gallons of gas in driving past houses and through their neighborhoods to "vet" each house before even asking our agent for a showing. Our agent has NEVER previewed a house for us to see if it meets our requirements, as I understand is sometimes done. She has never gone to the Town to verify taxes etc on anything; we've always done that ourselves. During the last 8 months we have physically seen less than a dozen houses with her, half of which have been in her home territory but not ours, so the time and gas involved has been a lot more for us than for her. She has only TWICE done comps for us on a property and only TWICE have things got to the point of tendering an actual offer.

You know, whenever I see a thread with someone asking what realtors really do to "earn" their commission, I always see responses by agents citing how many hours they spend on clients who either end up not buying or not selling. And I'm not arguing with that. It IS part of the package of being in that profession. So I honestly don't understand the logic of feeling that we owe this agent compensation, especially when we feel that in hours and time and energy expended over the past 8 months, we have put in far more of those things than she has. We don't dislike her but we've come to the point of feeling like we are paying for something we don't need to have.
This is an option I am considering as we are currently 50/50 on a potential move within LI. We are mainly considering a buyer's agent because A) we are viewing this as a resource to be previewing and working on our behalf while we are juggling two jobs, kids, etc, and B) we would be working with somebody who found us our current place and we feel truly knows our taste and "flexibility" where necessary.

It appears that you are capable of, and have the time to do a lot of the leg work (drive bys, etc), so as a result I am not certain why a buyer's agent would make sense, especially because you have now focused on an area outside of their expertise. I would recommend scrapping the concept all together, or embracing it fully, backing out of the legwork you are doing (which is one of the benefits supposedly) and working with somebody who knows Hauppauge, etc. As an aside Hauppauge is definitely an overlooked area with very good schools, and great industrial support for taxes. No idea why more people do not look in that area. Good luck to you!
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