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Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale?

Posted by tlbean2004 (tlbean2004@yahoo.com) on
Tue, Jul 29, 14 at 21:36

There is a house down the street from me that is in forclosure. I want to look at it. I was considering buying it and renting it out, but i only want to look now. not serious about buying.

If i call the listing agent. will they let me look at it?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

Why do you want to waste your time looking at it if you are not serious about buying it?
Why would an agent want to waste their time showing the house to someone who is not a serious buyer?


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

I've never had an agent request I sign anything to look at a house. I can't tell if you are a serious buyer or not, I wouldn't call the agent if you know you won't consider buying it.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

What you said is you want to call the agent to have a look at a house. That implies you're going to get him/her rousted out to the house for what will be (to them) frivolous reasons. Since normal people don't do that I think you could correct what's clearly a typo.

That said, I've been in nearly every nearby house for sale but always so far during an open house when an agent is there already. And probably a bit bored. Just announce you're a neighbor, you're not buying, and just want to look because the neighborhood is important to you.

And smile a lot.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

I agree with grubby. I looked at many houses before I bought. I also looked at many houses when we were putting our house on the market. We hit every open house but we also called LA to get in.

NC, how do you know if you want to buy a house if you can't see it?? It's all 'business.'

Jane


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

Jane,
I know because the OP wrote " i only want to look now. not serious about buying."
85% of agents do not succeed in this business. A large part of agents failing to succeed, is because they never learn how to prioritize which people to spend their time with.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

"Why do you want to waste your time looking at it if you are not serious about buying it?
Why would an agent want to waste their time showing the house to someone who is not a serious buyer?"

Why should a buyer have to explain their plans to you?

The OP said she was interested, just not right now.

Telling the seller (or his agent) anything just stacks the deck against the buyer.

Not a good strategy for getting a deal. Or for keeping personal info private....

We went to open houses. If we were asked for info we would sign in with a fake name. Nobody needs to know how much you have to spend or when you plan to buy. The only one who cares is the agent, who makes money getting referrals.

We found our house because of an open house. We dealt with the seller directly when we made our offer. His agent was on vacation during one of the open houses. It was much better dealing with him than the nosy agents who kept telling us 'you can use a real estate AGENT, you don't have to use a lawyer'.

We used a lawyer for a good reason. They were committed to OUR best interests.

Not like the nosy gatekeepers who will throw you under the bus (like our ex buyers agent did) when things get tricky.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

Good grief.

The things people will do & then brag about on an internet forum.

If the house was listed with an agent, the seller was obligated to pay that agent the fee *the two of them agreed upon*.

You the buyer are not a party to that agreement.

You & the seller cheated someone out of the money he/she was entitled to.

If there's any justice in the world, the seller sold the house too cheap & it has undetected flaws.

Using fake names (uh, did you ever think to just smile & say, "we prefer not to sign in"?), sneaking around when the agent isn't in town, using a lawyer instead of an agent (buyers' agents are committed to the buyer's interests, too, but buyers' agents are also signatories to a Code of Ethics, which means they can't participate in cheating a listing broker out of a fee)...
good grief.

OP, if you're 'interested' in the house (curious) but not 'interested in buying', please don't lie to get someone to entertain you.

Banks & their listing agents have been down this road before, & they don't waste time trying to figure out whether you're a buyer or just curious; the listing agent typically won't show the house without a commitment letter from a lender.

If you want someone to show you the house as entertainment, ask an agent if she'll do it for a fee.

Tricking people into providing you with a service when you know you're not going to pay them is very very wrong.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

When you are in a position where you MIGHT buy then look at the house. If you definitely aren't going to buy now, why waste your time and the agent's time?
The house may not even be available when you finally decide that you're ready, so what's the point?

Going to Open Houses when you aren't a serious buyer is fine, because the only person's time you are wasting is your own.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

tlbean2004,

to answer your question "If i call the listing agent. will they let me look at it?" You will have to call the listing agent to find out! LOL - they can say no, and if they ask you to sign papers then YOU can say no.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

I know this is a it of a different situation because it's a foreclosure, but when we were selling we did not want our agent to show to the house to unrepresented buyers. And, that's not unusual. Represented buyers have presumably already gone through SOME sort of vetting process by their own agent.

If an unrepresented buyer just called up our listing agent he would at the very least want identification.

As a seller there is no way I want every weirdo on the street coming through my house, both for the sake of security and wasted time and effort.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

Good points, Lizzie.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

Only problem, Lizzie may be losing a potential buyer. I wouldn't have a problem showing my DL, but I wouldn't want to go to the work to bring a qualification letter to a showing without knowing if I will have interest after a tour.
I just have never had an agent ask for anything if I call to see a listing. Last year I asked an agent I met at an open house to show me one listing in a gated city. She asked if I was willing to look at several more with two different listing agents at each showing. The only one I remotely liked was the one original I requested seeing, one was really a waste of everyone's time because it really didn't match my given criteria (one level), and was way above my price limit, but the agent said the sellers are very flexible. That house is still on the market, still overpriced even though they dropped over 10%.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

'I wouldn't want to go to the work to bring a qualification letter to a showing without knowing if I will have interest after a tour.'

This attitude is one reason that I hope the day is at hand when a buyer has to sign a buyer's rep agreement & maybe pay a retainer before any agent trips over his/her shoes to accomodate a looker.

People who refuse to get pre-qualified are not buyers.
They may be shoppers, or lookers, or people who want to be entertained.
(& just in case someone objects that the looker may turn into a buyer, firstly, it's not worth the time or the risk of missing a real buyer, and secondly, people who assume that they can use your time frivolously are not people who will remember your helpfulness & call you back when they are ready to buy.)

Buyers consult lenders before they waste *their* time looking for a home.

Finding the right home isn't an afternoon movie, it's work;
it takes time & energy & focus.

If you think that getting a pre-qual letter is 'work', you don't have the stamina to look for a house.

If you never have had to answer any questions 'just to see a house', I'll bet you've also had very few 'second dates' with the Realtors whose time you've used & not paid for.

As I said somewhere else, if you want someone to entertain you for the afternoon, call an agent & ask him/her to do so for a fee.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

I am not asking to be entertained, no need for the harsh insulting comments. Your statement "people who refuse to get pre-qualified are not buyers" is simply not true. I've never refused, as I've never been asked and I've bought and sold many properties.
I am giving my perspective as a seasoned buyer and seller of real estate.
Yes, I did use that agent's time last year, this was her decision. If I liked her skills I would continue to use her but I did find that agent is not the right one for the area I'm looking in. I will contact a different agent next time as the one I used is not competent in the one area I'm going to buy in. Very nice agent, but not right for the area.
As a buyer I've never consulted a lender nor given a letter to an agent, nor have I stipulated a prospective buyer get one to view my property.
This past year I bought one property, it was cash but the agent didn't know that until we got down to final negotiating, also sold three properties, never requested anything until it was in the negotiating stage. One is a little different as it is an apartment building, the buyer agent contacted me, it wasn't listed.
Others may find different customs throughout the country, I am in Southern California.

sylviatexas you seem angry about your "buyers", maybe it is time for a vacation.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

same as cmarlin. Funny thing is that at least one agent lost me that way. She followed up later, and when I told her that I had purchased a property all cash, told me "I thought you weren't serious." Well, sorry, there are plenty of other REAs around.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

Sylvia:
I'm with cmarlin: I've never gone to a bank first, I've known what I can afford, or intended to pay cash. No realtor has quizzed me about my qualifications before showing me a home. They've asked me my background/intentions, and I've always been open about that. But that conversation usually happens during the showing, not before they agree to unlock the door.

Be careful what you wish for. Adding hoops for buyers to jump through, making them sign agreements, and charging for showings would likely reduce the number of buyers using agents. I actually would love for those hoops to be added, because the "no questions asked, unlimited free buyer assistance" model is what keeps most buyers using agents, which is what keeps most sellers using agents, because the buyers' agents avoid FSBOs. And thus we're all locked into the outdated, overpriced 6% model.

Are you sure you really want to change that?

Personally it would be my dream come true. Transaction costs for real estate are way too high.

Ooh, I'm getting a big soap-boxy. Better get down now. ;-0


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

"Why should a buyer have to explain their plans to you?

The OP said she was interested, just not right now. "

She's not a buyer. She made that clear. And I'm guessing the answer to the first question is that no sales person wants to waste their time with someone who isn't going to buy when they could be spending it with someone serious about buying.

That's their bread and butter. If you sold cars I'm not sure you would appreciate someone coming in to test drive every model in the place when they had no intentions of buying.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

Exactly, mareda.
Thanks.

As for insulting, 'maybe it's time for a vacation' comes pretty close.

I love what I do.

What I do not love is the attitude expressed here:

'Yes, I did use that agent's time last year, this was her decision.'

There's no respect or consideration for that agent's position in that statement, & there's also a sort of aura of smugness, of having outsmarted someone, using her but having no responsibility for having done so.

Can you imagine expecting a doctor to spend an hour visiting with you at his/her office, while you make up your mind whether you like him/her?

Would you perform whatever professional duties you perform on your job, doing the job upfront while the employer decides if he/she wants to pay you?

If you want to interview a Realtor or some Realtors before you commit to working with one, by all means do so *before you use their services*.

Meet the agent in her office or, in this day & age, at Starbucks or McDonald's, but decide who you're going to pay, have that person do the work, & uphold your end of the relationship (get that pre-qual if you're the buyer, fill out your disclosures if you're the seller, etc).

& my free advice to anyone who wants to buy or sell & whose agent smiles charmingly & says she's just too busy & you can get the listing agent to show you the house:
get someone who isn't too busy to take care of you.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

Just ask to see the house and do not commit to signing anything- what do you have to lose?

Many buyers spend a lot of time looking before buying so unless buying a house quickly is necessary, no one should be considered a "serious" buyer.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

I understand the position of both parties here, as I looked at a lot of houses I did not buy, and had a lot of folks stroll through my house that did not buy. As a buyer, I try not to waste an agent's time. I can tell pretty much immediately if I like or dislike something- the house sells itself when I walk in, or doesn't. But, I think discounting a client's willingness to buy is very foolhardy- someone looking out of curiousity may just seize upon a property because it strikes their fancy.
We used an agent for a land transaction that had pretty much written us off in terms of buying a preowned home, and that was apparent in her attitude. I did it out of fairness, but she really could have lost a very decent commision by taking out her frustration on us. We'd given her our criteria and we were taken to substandard listings... why, I don't know, but it wore me out. No cosmetic flips of 70s houses, no houses with powerlines in the yard, no houses under a certain square footage- eh, we got to see them all. So, the whole "wasting time" thing runs both ways. Now someone is going to say that she was just a bad agent, but we've had car salespeople do the same thing, trying to sell us cars we showed no interest in. It always baffles me.
And before someone says we should have made things clearer, how many times do you have to tell an adult that certain features don't interest you before they GET it?

We found our own lot. She had nothing to do with it but we threw the commission to her.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

sylviatexas, I can't help but think you are entirely too emotional regarding this subject, you quote me after I agreed with your words,
"Yes, I did use that agent's time last year, this was her decision". Of course I used her time that is part of the real estate business. My looking was not for personal entertainment. Many agents have also made huge commissions from me with limited time, that again, is the real estate business.
You continue to complain because I determined an agent was not the right agent for the area I want to pursue, reading a "sort of aura of smugness of having outsmarted someone" Please reread what I said there is no aura in my post. You are simply reading way too much into this subject because I stated I have never signed an agreement (never been asked) with a buyers agent and then I "kindly" dropped an agent wrong for me. Did you consider she wasted my time as she doesn't know my desired area?
I know this is a business transaction, would you expect anyone to continue with the wrong agent out of respect for her position?
You appear to forget at the end of the transaction, it is my money on the line, I can't make decisions based on emotions.
It appears you have been burned by prospects, I respect your right to interview prospects, contract with them, charge deposits. Buyers also have the right not to agree with your terms.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

I was a Realtor for many years and the only time we had to have a pre-qualification for a buyer to see a house was if it was very high end. (Over $2,000,000,000 for example)


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

May be it is out there, yet being a layperson I am not aware of......

I am wondering instead of the current 0% or 100% commission structure, if we could pay a fee for each service an agent provides, such as showing a house, giving a market analysis, sharing selling tips, marketing the property, negotiating the transaction..etc. or at least prior to a buyer/seller has signed commission agreement with an agent for services.

It would be fair to an agent who provides services while a client is trying out if s/he is the right one, or window shopping, or getting educated of the local real estate market.

It would be beneficial for a client to pay for services based on client's needs and agent's competency.

Yes, it is a client's money on the line for a real estate purchase, but it is also an agent's livelihood on the line. No agent has unlimited time, energy, money..etc. in providing services without compensation.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

No, cmarlin, I'm not "emotional".

I'm just not mincing words.

You say you've bought numerous properties, so you know how it works.

No matter how many agents 'work for you', only one gets paid.

If you want to interview agents (why do you not have a 'go-to' agent if you've bought so many times?), do so at their office;
interview them, don't use their professional services & then claim that you were really just interviewing them & that it was 'their decision';
it's *nobody's* decision to do their job without getting paid.

One of my colleagues has gotten burned so many times that if a potential buyer responds to his "Do you have an agent?" with "no", or "not yet", or "we haven't decided", he agrees to show them the house as long as they sign a one-time buyer rep agreement.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

Yes, it is a client's money on the line for a real estate purchase, but it is also an agent's livelihood on the line. No agent has unlimited time, energy, money..etc. in providing services without compensation.

I agree, I believe it is up to each party to determine when it is time to end or formalize the working relationship.
Just as in other areas of life, an agent can't be used unless they allow it. I'm not talking abut a normal amount of effort on each end in a preliminary getting to know each other stage.
Experienced, successful agents know how much time to spend.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

I see real estate sales much like other sales positions, many sales people do work to get an account, but don't get paid until they land the account. Do experienced successful sales people get angry at the client for not going with them, or do they keep up the work hoping next time they will get the account.
A while ago I contacted an agent asking if she had a particular type of property listing, she said no there is nothing like that in this city. I found just this type driving through the city, called the listing agent and bought it immediately, next day first agent called back giving me this property, I said I'd already found it and was working with the listing agent, so she would clearly know I was not using her information without going with her. A year later I was listing another property, interviewed her, chose her, making an appointment to meet her Monday morning to sign the agreement. One agent when I told him it wasn't his listing, said he had a client he thought would buy this house (heard that one before), told him to bring me a signed offer before Monday am as I was signing with another agent then. He did show it and bring me an acceptable offer. Monday am I went in person to see the agent I had already told I was listing with to tell her what happened. She was professional saying she really appreciated my personal appearance as most wouldn't do that. When I sold another nearby house a year later I interviewed her again and gave her the listing, her professional actions made me want to interview her again and helped me choose her to sell my better listing.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

'Just as in other areas of life, an agent can't be used unless they allow it.'

exactly what all users say to justify using people.

& yet you claim that the only way a salesperson can 'get the account' is to keep grinning & keep...getting used.

so they *have* to allow it?

You're talking in circles.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

If you want to interview agents (why do you not have a 'go-to' agent if you've bought so many times?), do so at their office;
interview them, don't use their professional services & then claim that you were really just interviewing them & that it was 'their decision';
it's *nobody's* decision to do their job without getting paid.

You suggested I interview an agent before going out with them, I did not suggest this or state that I was "really just interviewing them"
Again you are angry because I determined after spending some time with an agent I should move on.
BTW, if I found a house with that agent I would have purchased through her, I have never shorted an agent commission. In fact recently after cancelling a listing, then coming to an agreement with another agent who contacted me directly, I brought back in my original listing agent. He was thankful and said my action was rare.
This is business transaction we are talking about. I do not want a go-to agent, one has tried to become my go-to agent, he just last month sold a property for me, but he is not the right one for another transaction. As an experienced agent why is it difficult to understand one agent may know one city very well, but not be right for a different city. Or the one agent who just sold a lower priced house is not the right agent for a higher price house.
In your area is it common for agents to work multiple cities?


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

Please stop attributing emotions to me, or accusing me of basing my position on emotions.

Not only is it distracting &, as I said when you did it the first time, condescending & insulting, but ad hominum attacks have no place in any discussion, let alone a discussion of business practices.

I wish you well in your real estate transactions.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

"... the only time we had to have a pre-qualification for a buyer to see a house was if it was very high end. (Over $2,000,000,000 for example)."

I guess if a house is over 2 bio, a prequalification letter from the bank seems in order :)


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

Just as in other areas of life, an agent can't be used unless they allow it.'
exactly what all users say to justify using people.

Your attacking comment does not negate the truth of the statement.

& yet you claim that the only way a salesperson can 'get the account' is to keep grinning & keep...getting used.
so they *have* to allow it?

You again are twisting my words, I never said "the only way", what I describe was not "getting used". when I worked in sales I saw successful people eventually get an account if they didn't get angry after not getting the account after the first bid.
They were not being used and didn't get angry complaining they were used, that was my point, not getting a sale doesn't always mean someone was being used and when it does happen that a person is used, it is something to learn from, make a better plan and move on, thinking like a victim is destructive to oneself.

I do agree ad hominem attacks have no place in a business discussion, this the point I've been trying to make. Lets keep the personal attacks and emotions out of the business discussion


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

I don't think so. We've looked at plenty of foreclosures in the past with our realtor and never had to sign anything.


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RE: Do i have to sign any papers just to look at a house for sale

Three years ago my husband and I visited a resort area where we were considering buying "in the future". Someone referred an agent to us who spent 3 days showing us homes and different areas, always knowing we weren't prepared to buy. She was very knowledgeable and we really appreciated her time.

The following year we rented a house through her and even though she's not usually a rental agent she found us a great house. This year, we decided to purchase a home (for a lot more than we originally looked) and we wouldn't think of using anyone else. We relied on her expertise, and she came through for us.

Having been a realtor years ago,I know that sometimes lookers become buyers and repeat and referral business is the lifeblood of any prosperous realtor. If someone called me to say they wanted to look at a property but was honest enough to say they weren't prepared to buy just yet, I would accommodate them and hope to make a future customer from them.


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