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Old 08-18-2010, 07:46 AM
 
24 posts, read 55,579 times
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We're starting the wonderful adventure into homeowning, and are looking for a recommendation for a real estate agent. If they are exclusive buyer's agents, that would be much preferred.

Also, any advice on where to look and what to avoid would be appreciated! We're hunting for a three bedroom house with five to fifteen acres suitable for horses, within about 45 minutes to Lexington.
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Todds Rd. area
969 posts, read 2,511,874 times
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I don't know of any agents that deal exclusively with buyers around here....and I am a realtor! I know what you mean though, you want somebody that has represented enough buyers to know the market and how any property you pick would compare to others.

Here is something else to think about. A 45 minute radius around Lexington covers a lot of ground. I think you may find an agent that knows most of that area, but I seriously doubt you'll find one that knows that whole area well enough to really be of use to you. You might want to try to narrow down the area a little before you commit to one agent. That way you won't risk ending up with an agent that, say, knows Georgetown really well, but knows nothing about Mount Sterling.

Let us know what price range you will be in and how deep you want to be in the country. That will help the C-D community help you to narrow it down.

Hopes this makes sense and you find it helpful!
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:18 PM
 
24 posts, read 55,579 times
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We're wanting to stay around $150k, and how far we are off the beaten path is negotiable. We'd like to have a grocery store within a stone's throw, since we're prone to forgetting to pick up that damn gallon of milk before we leave work, but places to go out to eat, movie theaters, and the like, aren't super important. So long as we're within 45 minutes or so of work, we're good.

We need three bedrooms, the number of baths is flexible, and five to fifteen acres. We will also need to know city/county ordinances on how many horses per acre of pasture, as we already have two horses. The style of home is not important, other than no trailers. Modular, prefabricated homes are fine, but a trailer is not. Already fenced in is preferred, but we'd be willing to negotiate on that. Essentially, we're looking for a mini-farm.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Todds Rd. area
969 posts, read 2,511,874 times
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Land gets much cheaper if go get past the ring of towns surrounding Lexington. Berea, Mount Sterling, Lancaster, and Lawrenceburg are nice little towns.
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:13 AM
 
62 posts, read 137,902 times
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I'd recommend hopping on LBAR.com, you can find basically every listing around Lexington and specificy your search criteria on your own. Click on the "map search" or "radius search".

Also, goto LBAR and click property search and type in these addresses (4 of the best i saw that meet your criteria):
3448 Pine Ridge
1978 Burton
1256 Crowe Ridge
2381 Grassy Lick (has horse barn with stalls, 14 acres, 3,300 sqft, but older civil war house - I like this one the best)

All of these have 2,000+ sqft, 3+ BD, 2+ BA, 8+ acrs, <45 minute commute and listed under $150k

To be frank, I think realtors (absent the best of the best) are somehwat useless from the buy side. I am not a realtor but have bought and sold plenty of RE in the area. I'd be glad to help you if you'd specify a bit more what your looking for. Newer construction, older homes with character, etc?

(Hint: contact the seller's agent directly from the contact info listed on LBAR, you can get them to do "dual agency" and reduce their commission so the seller pays less than 6% and get yourself a discount off the ask price)
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Todds Rd. area
969 posts, read 2,511,874 times
Reputation: 290
[quote

To be frank, I think realtors (absent the best of the best) are somehwat useless from the buy side.

(Hint: contact the seller's agent directly from the contact info listed on LBAR, you can get them to do "dual agency" and reduce their commission so the seller pays less than 6% and get yourself a discount off the ask price)[/quote]


I know this seems like a good idea in theory, but I can tell you as a realtor that this isn't really that good of an idea. Just about everytime I see a house that sold for far more than I thought it was worth, it was a "Dual Agency" situation. A listing agent who stands to make both sides of the commission really only has that one house to sell you, and at that point is working more for themselves. Do you want to trust them with helping you determine what the house is really worth? Do you want the person who knows what your top dollar is to be the same person who also knows the seller's numbers? To dig around and find out as much as they can about the seller's situation? To recommend inspectors? I've been a dual agent several times, and let me tell you, it takes somebody with a strong conscious to not end up taking advantage of whichever party is the most likely to give in.

You said you thought buyer's agents were useless unless they were the best of the best. I think it would be easier to find a really good buyer's agent than to find a dual agent with a stong conscious.

Not trying to start an argument here, just wanted to throw in my 2 cents.
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:09 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, FL
54 posts, read 111,942 times
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LEXpert, I recently received an offer from a person who would like to "rent to own" my townhouse. Being that I'm selling this myself and I haven't really looked into that option, what do you think of this? If I decided to pursue it, would I be best to go through a real estate attorney to draw up the contracts? Honestly, I'm just really ignorant on the subject and want to know if it's a good idea or something I should avoid.
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Todds Rd. area
969 posts, read 2,511,874 times
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Like so much in life, if everything goes well, there is nothing wrong with entering a "Rent to Own aka Lease-Purchase" agreement with another party......but so little in life ever seems to go that well!

I would get with an attorney and ask where you would stand if things go sour. I don't have his number, but Billy Sherrow is the attorney that the Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors uses. He is also a former parter of my dad's. You can google his name and lawyer or attorney and get his contact info.

To me, the problem is if they quit paying you. They cannot be evicted as easily as somebody who is just renting your townhouse. The tenant would have an equitable interest in the property. Another problem I see is that the person would "feel" like it is their house since they are buying it and probably would make changes as if they did own it. Again, if it all goes well, this isn't a problem. But, if you need to take possession of the house back at some point in the future, you will want it to be unaltered. I am sure you can put in any agreement that they can't make changes to the property without your consent, but human nature tells me they may do it anyway.

If you do decide to go through with it, you would use an attoney to draw up the contract. Some realtors would try to wedge themselves in the deal in order to get a check, but there is no need for one if you already have the tenant-purchaser.

Personally, I would rather sell the townhouse or just do a normal lease. I had a house that I was on the fence about in 2008 when credit got really tight. I had it for sale and for rent. I turned away a lot of people who wanted to do a lease-purchase or a lease-option......just wanted to share this with you so you know that I have been in your spot. (I ended up renting it, which is what I really wanted to do. The tenants have been in the house for 3 years now. I got pretty lucky!)

You may also want to get with an accountant to see how a rent to own deal would effect you tax wise.

Good luck!
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:44 AM
 
62 posts, read 137,902 times
Reputation: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by LEXpert View Post
[quote

I know this seems like a good idea in theory, but I can tell you as a realtor that this isn't really that good of an idea. Just about everytime I see a house that sold for far more than I thought it was worth, it was a "Dual Agency" situation. A listing agent who stands to make both sides of the commission really only has that one house to sell you, and at that point is working more for themselves.

On the contrary, that is more to my point. One of the other benefits is that the sellers agent, although supposed to be acting in accordance with their fiduciary duty to act in the sellers best interest, will undoubtedly be inclined to promote your particular offer - knowing they will make more money. It is wrong that people would do this, but to use this unfortunate fact to your advantage is a wise thing to do IMO. the agent may say "you know, this offer really looks good, this might be about as much as you'll get in this market", and thus the sellers will be more inclined to accept your offer. Not to mention the potential to cut the sellers commission costs a few percentage points (doesn't always work). The real estate agent only has that house to sell you, but you have the option of buying whatever house you want, and contacting the seller'sagent directly on a number of different houses your interested in (even perhaps ask the others sellers agents their opinion of those other homes, they will probably give you the negative aspects of course, but they will act as a good little devils advocate to highlight disadvantages of the other homes for your consideration.)

"Do you want to trust them with helping you determine what the house is really worth?"
I determine as a buyer what the home is worth, doing my own research (PVA, ask seller's agent for comps as they are your agent as well in dual agency, ask the other sellers agents your in contact with about their value opinion), determine what I am willing to pay and offer way below that in this market.

"Do you want the person who knows what your top dollar is to be the same person who also knows the seller's numbers?"
Don't ever disclose a "top dollar" to anyone, not even a buyers agent - you can give them a rough range. Using direct communication with the sellers agent you can start to find out what the sellers bottom number is and use it to your advantage, and make a low ball offer.

"To dig around and find out as much as they can about the seller's situation?"
Again, by being in direct contact with the seller agent you can learn ALOT about where the seller stands, that you otherwise wouldn't know, and use it to your advantage. You will learn alot more than having a buyers agent and have them communicating back and forth and relaying selective info to you - take out the middleman.

"To recommend inspectors?"
Inspectors can be recommended on here (including by me), or start with finding an A+ rated inspector on the BBB website and do your research from there (maybe angie's list? never used it).

Buyers agents don't neccessarily hold any higher moral standards than the sellers agents, keep that in mind, they can lead you in the wrong direction just as easily (after, all the higher the sales price the more they get paid too). How many people who purchased homes that are now underwater on their mortgage used a buyers agent, probably the vast majority, so don't assume a buyers agent will keep you from overpaying - they're generally (absent the best of the best) not all that smart to be honest. Using the weak concious and difficulty of dual agency of the agent to your advantage is part of my strategy.

I do fully agree with you though, that being from out of town and not knowing the market could lead to overpaying in this scenario. As I am experienced and know the market well this strategy has worked well for me numerous times in getting a steal of a deal. Buyer's agents can no doubt serve their purpose, but I have found a lot of success this way - in reality, not in theory.

Might the OP prefer buyers agent representation, sure. Could they pursue this strategy successfully, certainly. Is it the only way to go, no, just my 2 pennies.
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, FL
54 posts, read 111,942 times
Reputation: 21
Thank you so much! I may just wait and continue to sell the house outright, I'd prefer to have the equity up front and try to avoid as many sticky legal and financial situations as possible.
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