Vent re: my buyer's agent

revampApril 19, 2010

Okay, I am in the process of purchasing a home. This will be the third home I've purchased, so although I am no real estate professional, I'm familiar with the process.

In short, my agent drives me nuts, but I wanted to see if I've got unrealistic expectations of him (maybe my past agents just spoiled me).

I used this guy 3 years ago to sell a home, and he did a great job of marketing the place. He's one of the busiest, most well-known realtors in the county--he knows lots of people and can make connections. It worked well for me on the seller side.

Now, as a buyer, I can never get hold of him. I've been looking at small batches of homes (2-5) once a week for the past few weeks. He's never able to work around my work schedule (he's always busy on weekends) so I end up having to take time off of work if I want to see these properties.

Sometimes, I see a brand new listing that I want to jump on, but can't get in to see it for a week because of how busy this guy is. We lost out on one house by a matter of hours (we submitted an offer and the response was "oh, we accepted another offer 2 hours ago) due in part to not being able to see properties on a timely basis.

Now, I just got back from seeing a property I want to put an offer in on. I told my guy AT the property, "Ok, let's go back to your office and put in an offer". He says, oh I can't I have another appointment to go to. I say, no prob, fax the docs to me at work.

I get to work, I call him up and he says he won't have time to write the offer until maybe 6pm TONIGHT! (I saw the house at 8:15 this morning). Am I out of line for expecting him to make time when I'm trying to not be scooped on a house?

This is in WI, so we are under contract for 6 months with his real estate office. So, if I dump him I still have to work with his coworkers. Also, he knows EVERYONE so I don't want to burn bridges. He's a pleasant, smart, skilled professional who has just spread himself too thin. If for whatever reason this deal falls through, should I dump him and find someone who is at my beck and call, or try not to ruffle feathers but possibly lose out on other properties?


/end rant.

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Truthfully, I don't think a buyer's agent really needs all of the contacts that a seller's agent does. You are not really looking for the same attributes here. I would suggest checking out some newer agents at the same office who will aggressively look out for your needs. You just have to figure out a way to handle it delicately so no feathers are ruffled. Use the example of not being able to write the offer immediately.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 2:13PM
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All of your concerns are very valid -- the ones about his not having enough time as well as about not ruffling feathers. But the simple fact is that he IS spread too thin, and it already cost you one house.

If your offer gets in on time, you may be able to avoid the conversation (if that's important to you), but otherwise, you really need to tell him exactly that. Start with what a great job he did on the selling end, and how you value his experience, professionalism and contacts. But that he appears to be spread too thin. (That's a good, inoffensive phrase.) State the simple facts that the delay in viewing one house cost you the house, and that you've had to tour homes at inconvenient hours.

Then ask him if there's a junior agent in his office who is less busy and might be willing to split the work in exchange for a referral fee and a chance to learn from one of the most successful agents. Many of our area's top Realtors have teams of assistants who help them like this.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 2:54PM
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This forum is so eye-opening:

Never, ever, in my entire life, have I heard of any agent putting off someone who wants to write a contract because the agent has another appointment scheduled.

The *purpose* of appointments is to get property under contract.

You might tell him that you're most anxious to get your bid in before *this* one gets away, too, & tell him you'd be willing to have him refer you to an associate.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 2:58PM
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Good news, he got the contract and addendum to me just a few minutes ago, so at least it will be submitted during business hours today (it's an REO).

Now, fingers crossed!!!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 4:12PM
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Unless this house goes through with no problems, tell him what you told us ... you need an agent who can work on your schedule, and submit paperwork promptly, even if it means cancelling or delegating some of his other work.

What part of "this is a buyer's market" does he fail to understand?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 9:34PM
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Sounds like this agent is almost too successful. If he has this much work, it's always a Seller's market to him! I was very pleased with a young relatively inexperienced buyer's agent I used. She was enthusiastic, flexible with her scheduling, and hungry for business and good recommendations. When she ran into something that was new to her, she could always consult with the "big boss" who runs the very successful brokerage.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 10:01PM
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There's an old saying about being a jack of all trades and a master of none. No disrespect intended to the agents here, but I've never meant one who was equally proficient on both sides of a transaction. There are excellent listing agents and excellent buyers' agents, but never the twain shall meet. (To borrow from another old saying.)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 11:22AM
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Thanks for all your input. I'm glad that I'm not too off base with my expectations, and some of you gave some really great suggestions as to how to approach my agent to ensure I'm receiving the service I expect (and am indirectly paying for).

Hopefully, this REO property works out, I'm really excited about it but scared, too--it needs a roof, appliances, window treatments, closet hardware, etc...whereas the other homes I was looking at were all move-in ready.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 11:40AM
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Does he not have office staff???

I would think that if he has another appointment, and you are ready to deal with a contract, that he would have an experienced secretary who could get you started. No?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 9:12PM
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The licensed person has to write the contract.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 12:00PM
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UPDATE--the grief is now almost over! We're under contract for a beautiful home in the neighborhood we were wanting.

This house is not the REO property (after 4 weeks of "verbal offer acceptance" but no signed paperwork, we decided to cut ties on that one--plus upon reflection the house was just too massive for us. Just because you *can* doesn't mean you *should* in regards to buying a huge house)

So, we scaled back a bit and found a pristine 3bed home with a layout we love that is in complete move-in condition. I'm so glad that the home search is over for us (barring catastrophe) and I no longer have to get aggravated at my Realtor.


Here is a link that might be useful: House I'm under contract on

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 1:33PM
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