realtor etiquette

zippity1June 8, 2011

we are looking to retire in a few months

and we are considering moving out of state

we've been looking at a home online for several years

the house has been for sale for at least 5 years

we actually viewed the home with a realtor last september.

the house was built as a weekend home -therefore almost no closets, almost no kitchen-less than 4 ft of counter space, laundry in a closet (stacked)

so even though we love some of the house, there are expensive things to fix and things that we'll just have to work around and a possible partial remodel

anyway to the question i have

the owner has now listed the house on craigs list and it's still listed by the realtor

the craigs's list price is quite a bit less than the realtor listing (20percent)

the question is

if you've approached a realtor about a home, is it ever appropriate to purchase that home through the owner??

the price for the area and what will have to be done to the house is too high and not at all affordable at the realtors price

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Just because a house is listed at a certain price with a realtor doesn't mean you can't make an offer to the owner through that realtor for 20% less or what you really think it is worth.

The owner will owe the commission whether you make the offer through his realtor or go straight to the owner if he still has a contract with the realtor. I suggest just sending the offer to the realtor to avoid any uneccessary drama.

Could be the listing hasn't been updated yet in the system and will reflect the price drop soon, or the owner is just testing the water without doing the price drop so it will show in the MLS system.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 10:22AM
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Simplified version:
Usually, even if the home is no longer listed, the owner will owe the Realtor a commission if somebody who viewed the home during the listing period purchases it within xx months (it will be specified on the listing contract). It's to protect the Realtor from an unscrupulous seller who might try to work a side deal to avoid paying for all the listing, signage, marketing, showing, expenses, etc. There's similar protection for buyer's agents if they sign a contract. Anyway, in your case, it's between the owner and his Realtor, so you shouldn't have to worry about it. (Assuming that you're talking about the listing agent)

What you should worry about is a craigslist scam. At 20% below, it's probably not the actual owner who posted it, but a scammer who is representing himself as the owner. It's a very, very common problem here and our MLS has a warning (again, yesterday I got another message) to listing agents to check craiglist regularly to ensure their listing hasn't been hijacked.

It is more common with rentals, but one of my buyers had me check on a home that they found on craigslist for a steal. Steal? Certainly, in the literal sense of the word, since it was listed on MLS for twice what "someone" was asking on craigslist (the double price was reasonable for that home).

It won't cost you to find a buyer's agent that will work for you to determine a fair price to offer for the home and negotiate with the seller, if the price truly is too high for the area.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 10:34AM
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the owner's telephone number is on the craig's list, she's been a business woman in the area for 40 years and it's her business number she's a wealthy woman with a wealthy husband-it's not a financial hardship to keep it (it's just not making her any money and she's not using it)that's why she's not been too interesed in lowering the price any more
she could be checking the lower price-
-she owns a larger acreage and she's actually added that acreage to her price and not really reduced the price -
she could probably sell the extra seven acres quite a bit as it is a bluff lot
prior to our looking at the property (5 to 7 years ago),the place was priced at double the price it is now-
the original listing agent said she never showed the property-it was way too high and in 2 years not one person showed an interest in it

whoever buys it will have to pay cash or pay a large large amount down because it won't appraise for anywhere near what she's asking (she even says she'll owner finance it because she knows the bank won't loan that much on it

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 12:05PM
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What do you have to loose by making an offer of what you think is a fair price? All they can do is say no or come back with a higher number at which point you could decline and you're not in a different spot than where you are at now.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 3:09PM
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I don't understand why you would want to pursue this. You don't seem to like the house that much and the circumstances seem a big questionable. With all the houses on the market right now, I'm not sure why you would be settling for a place with some many fatal flaws.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 9:24PM
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Those are pretty major flaws to have to deal with.

On top of that, if it's been for sale because they don't use it, that means it's been vacant most of the time (weekend house= occupied 2 days a week at most and probably vacant either all summer or winter, depending on climate/hobbies).

As if that wasn't enough, the owner is shady enough to work around a realtor (or realtors) she's been jerking around for 5+ years.

And just to top it off, it's grossly overpriced.

Personally, I wouldn't deal with this woman at all, but I most certainly would not deal with her without an agent.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 12:12AM
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I agree with the above poster...go through the realtor to make an offer, if you truly want to make an offer on the place.

The owner sounds like she would be difficult to deal with, as she has a "take it or leave it" attitude,and she seems to be quite stubborn. A realtor would be a great buffer in this case. However, beware that even a great realtor can't make a stubborn person budge even when they are unreasonable. If there are inspection issues, the owner might be unreasonable. Which is fine, you always can walk away. But just realize what you are dealing with ahead of time.

Congrats on your upcoming retirement. I guess this property is in the new state?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 11:21AM
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Here's my advice. Call the owner and inform her you have seen the listing on Craig's List. Tell her you would like to make an offer. In order to save time, you may say I was thinking of X dollars, and see what the reaction is. If you are in the ball park, say you would like to put the offer in writing. Hire a good real estate layer to draw up a contract.

Let the owner figure out what commission needs to be paid to the realtor. The owner hired the realtor, therefore it is between those two parties and not your concern.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 3:12PM
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some red flags--is she the owner or does her husband own it too? Can you remodel? Is is just a house-- does it have land? is there water, sewer, electricity? If you do add on, do you have to get permits? neighbors? are you near a city for shopping and medical? where would you live if you remodeled and can you find people to do so?
You need to make a list of all the pros and cons regarding this house and talk to a RE lawyer. Would I do it? NO. Is this the place you are going to spend all your time at?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 6:06PM
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it is owned by a trust (trust in her name) we have plans on what we can do to remodel and yes, they are feasible plans, permits will not be a problem at all, neighbors on the bluff side (same side) are very nice (actually very very nice) across the "road" are farms mostly pastures,
shopping and medical are further away than i would like
(good within 10 miles-great about 50 miles, groceries etc 10 miles (anything you want 50 miles) county water system and good electrical service
yes, it's the place we're going to spend 75 percent of our time
bear in mind we're living in a burb of houston right now and i go shopping maybe once a month and grocery shopping once a week
we know it will work for us, we just know the place is to high still and we're getting antsy

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 7:48PM
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One big issue now showing up is flood insurance/flood plains etc.
Check that out also. You mentioned trust? What does your lawyer say regarding this.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 11:17AM
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So if you are getting antsy make an offer of what YOU and the MARKET thinks it is worth and see what the response is. If no deal then move on and find something else as then you have your answer and know this won't work for you and make sense financially.

What do you have to loose?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 3:30PM
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You are putting yourself in knots over this house? You're never going to be able to own it at a price low enough to be able to put the money into it that it needs.

You are in lust with a bad boy. That house will just end up breaking your heart and emptying your pocketbook if you actually move on to a real relationship. You need to be looking for the shy boy next door that only needs a new haircut and sports jacket to be the king of the prom.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 5:30PM
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marie the house is on a bluff elevation is roughly 900 ft
(looking over roughly a 375 elevation valley-no drainage problems)
lyfia and mike, we're probably going to take your advice and offer what we're willing to give
and live wire you're absolutely hitting the nail on the head
i'll let ya'll know what happens, it may be a couple of months

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 8:16PM
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