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  1. #1
    Senior Member Snicklefritz's Avatar
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    Characteristics of a good realtor?

    I just made a major move cross country and am looking to buy a home, but I'm not so sure I like my realtor. So I thought I'd ask my fellow foo-sters what things they've liked or disliked about realtors they've worked with.

    Mine is easy to get along with and is not pushy, something which I really like. However, most of the time it seems like I'm doing a lot more work than she is. Honestly, I don't think I get much out of the relationship other than access to the lock boxes so I can get in the homes.

    What expectations have you guys had of your realtor when you were looking to buy?

    If it means anything, I got connected with the realtor through the relocation company. The relo people in general have been excellent and very attuned to my needs, but I'm not so sure about the realtor.

  2. #2
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Get another realtor.
    Home sales just took another dive.
    In this market you should be getting the red carpet treatment.

    A motivated realtor should be actively showing you several properties once a week or so and be in phone contact almost daily.

  3. #3
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    I used the same realtor when I sold my old home and then bought the one I'm in now. She was amazing. I told her what I wanted in the new house and she sent me emails several times a week when new listings came out. When I told her I liked a property, she would walk through and preview it for me to make sure it was something I'd like.

    She had references for inspectors and was able to be there for the roof inspection when I couldn't get off work. On the day I moved in she came over with a basket full of cleaning supplies. A week later she dropped off a gift basket with certificates to Home Depot and Blockbuster, and some microwave popcorn. I have recommended her to several friends and I will definitely use her again if I need a realtor.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    So Tom only hires people that are nutty? Is part of the requirement to be a moderator on this site is that you have to be nuts??
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  4. #4
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Gagged and tied inside a mob car trunk?
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Snicklefritz's Avatar
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    "In this market you should be getting the red carpet treatment"

    "She was amazing. I told her what I wanted in the new house and she sent me emails several times a week when new listings came out. When I told her I liked a property, she would walk through and preview it for me to make sure it was something I'd like."

    +1000


    Even though I gave my realtor a list of things I can't live without and things I do not want, I still get a lot of listings that are so far off the mark it's ridiculous. I'm only interested in homes that are in move-in condition and I have the budget to support that, but I still get listings for homes that require "TLC" or are being sold "as is". I wonder if she really scanned through the stuff she's sending. I also told her I am not interested in split or bi-level homes but I still get listings for those as well. I've done searches myself and have found plenty of things that do match, so it's not like my criteria are so narrow that she has to send me this other stuff just to have homes to view. That's definitely not the case.

    I also asked her to filter out any homes that are in a flood zone and those where the sellers disclosure talks about a radon problem. Where I live, by law I don't think people have to talk about radon on the seller's disclosure but it's there in case the seller chooses to waive their right to confidentiality. I figure I might run into a radon problem eventually but if I definitely don't want that, why head down that path if it's a known problem? Anyway, she said she would send me additional listings, but won't provide info on flood zone issues or radon except for homes I actually want to view. Flood zone info is in the public domain so it shouldn't be difficult to find that. As for radon she can just ask for the seller's disclosure. If she is worried about the time involved in doing this for every listing she sends, maybe she should actually filter the homes according to the criteria I gave her. If she did that, then the list of homes would be very manageable.


    I would love it if I could find a realtor who would preview homes for me, but I don't know if I could get my current realtor to do so if she won't even provide the info on flood zones and radon issues up front on the homes she sends me.

    On one particular visit, my parents were with me helping me evaluate some prospects and one place we went to the owner was actually home. I looked in some rooms, my parents went into others and my realtor comes up to me and whispers "please tell your parents that it would be better not to split up and looking the rooms separately, it would be better if we stuck together as a group while we look around". I was like wth? I didn't actually say that, but thought it. Between my father and I we've got a PhD and MBA, we're not thieves about to ransack the place!
    Last edited by Snicklefritz; 08-29-10 at 10:14 PM.

  6. #6
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Yep, find a new realtor; it sounds like the one you have is disillusioned with/doesn't like their job.
    Drive through a high dollar neighborhood and get names off of the for sale signs. Those realtors worked hard to get those listings (are dedicated) and with the sales downturn they are going to be hustling to make a series of smaller sales to keep their bottom line up (and they are not looking to flip Hud homes, their stock and trade is catering to picky clients, they will stick to what they know).
    Last edited by Allen; 08-29-10 at 10:24 PM.

  7. #7
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    It's obvious you need a new realtor. Like any service provider, you should literally interview a few before selecting one. Let them know your expectations (see Cbadrider's post for a description of a good realtor). Purchasing a home is usually your most expensive purchase in life. Don't waste your time with your current realtor ... and don't stay with her just so you don't hurt her feelings. It's a business, and it sounds like she needs to learn what it takes to succeed in realty.

    Good luck!

  8. #8
    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    Where did you move to?
    I just put a bid in on a foreclosure last night...if I win the bidding, I will need to sell casa de MV.

  9. #9
    Junior Mint
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    Our realtor did not work very hard for us; the house we ended up buying we basically found through a listing on the Internet and told her we wanted to see it. These days you can get a lot of information online and you don't really need to the agent for much besides access and the transaction. I know, then what is the agent doing to earn their commission? Not a whole lot. Eventually, that business will have to change. Yes, it's definitely a strong buyers market now, and rates are low, so take your time and wait for the right deal for you. Prices will not be going up again anytime soon.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tizeye's Avatar
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    First, I am a Realtor, so a slightly different perspective.

    Not so certain about the roam high end neighborhoods for "successful" realtors. Usually they are there due to contacts or specialized focus on high end. If you are looking for mid ot low end housing, they may not be interested in you - and give you minimal time as they concentrate on the higher end.

    Remember, it is a business, and each Realtor is an independent contractor running their own business, but legally required to be under a broker. I also work under a large well known chain as they cover a lot of the marketing expenses up front...but they also take a big chunk of the commission. Likewise if you were referred to the current realtor, 25-35% of the commission goes to the referrer, another 40% to the firm, so those "big bucks" that the public perceives evaporates quickly.

    One of the value added services that I do, that is probably rare or done in a lesser format, is transfer the MLS data to an excel speadsheet developing a report for active, pending and sales (past 6 mo) to give a better idea on what a fair offer would be and a target to negotiate to - within reason. It helps to bring into perspective the distortion created by the news media anout buyer's market. In other words., if the current property is asking $75/sq ft in fair to good condition, stands out not only on condition but all other available active are $85-95/sqft and recent sells $76/sqqft and those selling 95-115% of their original ask with no discout for cash sales...they are ot going to take an offer 50% below ask when it is fairly priced where it is. I will submit the offer because I have to where they effectively insult the seller who would now rather sell to anyone other than them. If they won't listen to me on a counter, or maintain the pattern on subsequent properties, I fire them. That is a business decision I have to make, and know of two sales I've lost this year because I was tied up by the unrealistic low baller and couldn't budget the time to tend to others who elected to go with another Realtor and purchased.

    On the buying, and particurally the selling, side rather than looking for the most popular/prolific/elite consider a different approach. Look at the number of listings that they have responsibility for. There are those that will have hundred(s) of listings, throwing them out there to see what sticks. I look at it a different way. What is humanly possible to give good service? As such, I limit my listings to no more than 10, which will be in various stages from new, to about to close. I can also be picky with which ones I take and not have 10 labor intensive short sales. That doesn't ovewhelm me and gives me time to give great service to both buyers and sellers.

    Concering the OP's initial issue of dissatisfaction with the realtor...
    First, take a person inventory...what is it that you expect
    Next, discuss it with the Realtor...can they meet your expectations
    If not, or not to your satisfaction, do find another Realtor - but not just any Realtor. Find one that meets the expectations you had for the first one. If such a person doesn't exist, then may have to look at the expectations.

  11. #11
    GATC
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    I have never had a successful realtor relationship. Selling our house was worse than pulling teeth, and the two we bought were FSBO, after having worked w/ realtors for some (nonproductive) phase of both searches. Very happy w/ those FSBO transactions.

  12. #12
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    A good realtor will ensure the end justifies the means.

    Other qualities to look for:
    sober
    pulse
    knowledge of the American alphabet
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  13. #13
    location:northern Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
    Where did you move to?
    I just put a bid in on a foreclosure last night...if I win the bidding, I will need to sell casa de MV.
    Can't you just move it to another trailer park
    Last edited by spry; 08-30-10 at 11:32 AM.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  14. #14
    Junior Mint
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    Quote Originally Posted by tizeye View Post
    One of the value added services that I do, that is probably rare or done in a lesser format, is transfer the MLS data to an excel speadsheet developing a report for active, pending and sales (past 6 mo) to give a better idea on what a fair offer would be and a target to negotiate to - within reason.
    We did this on our own from information that was findable online. We actually got the house for a little less than our own agent was advising we offer.

  15. #15
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
    Gagged and tied inside a mob car trunk?
    They'd tell you the guy living next door to the house you'r looking at is the president of the local chapter of the Outlaws. Unlike my sisters realtor, who mentioned the fancy security system and let her find out about the neighbor on her own.

  16. #16
    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spry View Post
    Can't you just move it to another trailer park
    No way..the new trailer park bans mag wheels and they look so good I can't bear to take them off. I'd rather sell it to someone who will appreciate them.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    When buying one big thing is that they listen and learn. Don't expect them to find yuor dream house at a bargin for the first property you lok at. But expect them to get houses closer to that dream as time goes on, or at the least not keep taking you to houses with the same negatives from your standpoint.

    An ironic point is the house we finally bought was a bargin, in part because the owner had died and her kids wanted cash now. I was also ready to pass on even looking at it whne we turned onto the street. It backs up to a park, bad, but it turned out that in this case there was a hill and as it rose the impact of the park declined rapidly. But if this had been one of the first 4 or 5 houses I'd ahve passed.

  18. #18
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    Your realtor sounds clueless to your needs. If you've expressed them clearly in the beginning, and it sounds like you have, and she's still not sending you the ones that are at least in the ballpark of what you want, then I'd find someone new.

    Doesn't matter how many listings she's carrying or other clients, if she can't get the basics accomplished, she's worthless.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Snicklefritz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tizeye View Post
    First, I am a Realtor, so a slightly different perspective.

    Remember, it is a business, and each Realtor is an independent contractor running their own business, but legally required to be under a broker. I also work under a large well known chain as they cover a lot of the marketing expenses up front...but they also take a big chunk of the commission. Likewise if you were referred to the current realtor, 25-35% of the commission goes to the referrer, another 40% to the firm, so those "big bucks" that the public perceives evaporates quickly.

    Thanks for your detailed comments. I hadn't realized that the referrer would get such a large cut. If that's the case, I'm not entirely surprised by what I've experienced so far. Maybe that's why she seems to be doing very quick initial passes and isn't spending the time filtering according to all my criteria. If she's not going to be getting a large percentage of the commission, maybe the interaction isn't worth that much to her. I've spoken with a few other people who've been given realtor referrals from the same relocation company and they've had similar experiences, as in they were doing a lot more work than the realtor.

    I would be very happy to find one like what cbadrider had. But if this woman I have now can't even sort homes out based on flood zones for listings she sends me, I doubt she would consider previewing homes for me since that would take a ton more time.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Snicklefritz's Avatar
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    Ok, based on what everyone is saying, I think I need to maybe take a short break from searching, get recommendations for realtors from friends or coworkers and then interview some new ones.

    I mean really. I told this lady I want: 3 BR, 2 BA, prefer ranch style but would consider colonial. Must have a basement and garage. Would like to stay under 0.5 acre. Want move-in condition only, no "as is" homes where the listing says it needs "TLC". Yet I still get a lot of listings for split and bi-level homes which I said I definitely don't want. Or how about this one: a home on a 5 acre lot that is selling for at least 50% less than what other homes sell for that also says "it needs TONS of TLC but is a great opportunity to rebuild your dream home". Please. How did that crap make it in there? lol.

  21. #21
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    My realtor calls us up out of the blue every now and again when he gets a listing that he thinks we'd like. One of these days we might be interested in purchasing another rental property(bought one in 2005, one in 2007), but not right now.... Good to know he keeps his eyes open, tho!

    OP, it sounds like your realtor started the job when it was a seller's market, and hasn't adjusted to the fact that, in a buyer's market, the realtor simply has to work harder.
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
    No way..the new trailer park bans mag wheels and they look so good I can't bear to take them off. I'd rather sell it to someone who will appreciate them.
    Let us all pause for a moment of silence.................................for the trailer parks in Ohio for this upcoming hurricane/tornado season.
    You heard about the couple from West-By-God who took the address when they moved their trailer?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  23. #23
    Body By Nintendo Psydotek's Avatar
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    Another good quality is a realtor who won't push the most expensive properties you can (or can't) afford.

    I just bought a house myself and had a good experience with mine. She was genuinely nice and friendly, every day or other day was sending me listings that met my criteria, and after we started the bidding process she was always on top of all the huge amounts of paperwork that needed to be completed. She also made sure that the papers weren't just signed but that I understood what each document meant when signing them. When looking at properties she warned me against places that were definitely overpriced and made sure that we were looking at houses that were 10-20% under my maximum price limit.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    A girl once asked me to give her twelve inches and make it hurt. I had to make love to her 3 times and then punch her in the nose.

  24. #24
    Senior Member tizeye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snicklefritz View Post
    I've spoken with a few other people who've been given realtor referrals from the same relocation company and they've had similar experiences, as in they were doing a lot more work than the realtor.

    I would be very happy to find one like what cbadrider had. But if this woman I have now can't even sort homes out based on flood zones for listings she sends me, I doubt she would consider previewing homes for me since that would take a ton more time.
    Relo referral. Be careful there. Many times as part of the contract with your company, they will not pay certain moving expenses or other benefits if you use a non-referral realtor. It doesn't matter if the Realtor you chose was your mother! Whomever you choose may also have to be relo certified, which many firms ration out with just a couple per office...and use it as a carrot for others to switch firms.

  25. #25
    For The Fun of It
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snicklefritz View Post
    Ok, based on what everyone is saying, I think I need to maybe take a short break from searching, get recommendations for realtors from friends or coworkers and then interview some new ones.

    I mean really. I told this lady I want: 3 BR, 2 BA, prefer ranch style but would consider colonial. Must have a basement and garage. Would like to stay under 0.5 acre. Want move-in condition only, no "as is" homes where the listing says it needs "TLC". Yet I still get a lot of listings for split and bi-level homes which I said I definitely don't want. Or how about this one: a home on a 5 acre lot that is selling for at least 50% less than what other homes sell for that also says "it needs TONS of TLC but is a great opportunity to rebuild your dream home". Please. How did that crap make it in there? lol.

    Your realtor took an information dump on you because your realtor is lazy. The vast majority of them are. Most of them aren't very attentive listeners either. FOLLOW UP is the most important characteristic you need in a realtor.
    Last edited by Paul Barnard; 08-31-10 at 05:34 AM.

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