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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor
Old 01-10-2007, 03:07 PM   #21
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat
The realtor DH and I are talking to will not represent both sides on the sale. The buyer must have their own realtor.
I thought that, in some states (most states?) that having one agent represent both parties was illegal or must be disclosed, and both parties sign something to say that they acknowledge this.

-CC
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor
Old 01-10-2007, 05:39 PM   #22
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor

Depends. Some realtors with disclosure will "double end" the deal. Not highly recommended.

As far as the full service brokerage stuff goes, I guess its all up to your comfort level. I negotiated 2% fees with both Century 21 and Prudential Realty, the two high end brokers in my area. When I tried paying 2% to the buyers agent I got very few shows. When I upped it to 3% they flew through the door.

The negotiation process was pretty simple. I called up an agent I had used previously, said I wanted to sell my house...wanted to give them a shot at it because I liked them and thought they did a good job. Said I saw the el cheapo brokers and thought they were attractive from a pricing standpoint at 1.5%. Realizing that I'm a reasonable customer that isnt going to jerk anyone around or be difficult to do business with and that its a free extra listing, would they do the job for 2%? Absolutely...but shhh...dont tell anyone!

If you just hate even the nominal negotiation, use Costco's program. Last time I checked, they gave you a couple of hundred bucks in a gift card for signing up for it, then after the sale is done the agent rebated you 1% of the sale. The agents all provided me a paragraph long biography of themselves, how many listings they'd sold, experience, etc. I had several to pick from. The only thing I had to do was give the agent a form to sign while we were doing the closing paperwork, then mail that in. Check showed up a few weeks later.

When I bought my current house, the selling agent was an el cheapo 1.5% outfit and IIRC they were offering only 2% to the buyers agent. My agent didnt show me the house, I found it myself. Fairly sure she omitted it due to the weak commission, which sucked because its obviously the house I wanted to buy. I dont think the seller was getting a lot of traffic, as they jumped on my low offer.

I didnt see many problems in the buying cycle due to the 1.5% sellers agent that were unique or different from a 3% seller. In fact, the two times I used a full 3% sellers agent I found them to be long on promises up front and short on delivery after the contract was signed.

Your mileage may vary, etc.
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor
Old 01-12-2007, 11:06 AM   #23
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Guapo
Oh yeah, I forgot FSBO's. While I'd consider selling my house myself, I wouldnt ever buy a FSBO unless the seller was giving me a below market price to compensate for not paying the agents...which they arent going to do because that defeats the purpose of FSBO'ing their house.
We're a realtor's worst nightmare, whether we're buying or selling, because we're demanding control freaks educated & inquisitive customers who want to get into every aspect of a transaction.

OTOH we've FSBO'd three houses over the last 18 years (two sales and two purchases) and there's a subculture of dedicated amateurs who make it worthwhile. Admittedly FSBO works best with good neighborhoods & good homes, and you may need professional help (or a realtor's good faceslap of tough-love reality) in a troubled home.

FSBOs have to wait for the right customer. Some people won't even look at a house with a pool, but other buyers can't live without one. If you're selling a house with a pool then you have to wait for the pool people and not waste your time trying to convert the non-pool buyers. Same with selliing a FSBO. Wait for the other FSBO buyers to show up, split the savings with them, or offer a 2-3% courtesy to a realtor who brings in a full-price offer. Sometimes you're dealing with fellow bargain-hunters who'll share the savings, other times you meet people who've built their own real estate empires, sometimes you run across get-rich-quick idiots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Guapo
I dont see much of an advantage to dealing with an inexperienced seller that may have emotional attachments vs buying from an experienced, unemotional professional agent, especially when I have nothing to gain financially.
Our "dream house" was being sold by the family's brother. He had just inherited a real-estate company and two teenagers from his deceased sister, who'd put the home into a trust FBO her kids. The deceased parents had a bad-realtor reputation and no other agents wanted to work with "that company". They'd already put the house on the market twice but it was so cluttered & dirty that realtors didn't even want to touch the property, let alone deal with the people. By the time we found it, everyone was crazed and they just wanted to get the heck out with whatever equity they could salvage. We obliged.

So I kinda like the inexperienced sellers, although you have to deal with a lot of crap to save the money. It helps to be emotionally unattached and ready to walk away. It helps a lot to enjoy doing this and to have spent the previous few years attending hundreds of open houses and chasing another deal or two. Fortune favors the prepared mind.

I say this as we're getting ready to buy a fridge off Craigslist from a seller who's a desperate idiot. They couldn't even tell a model number from a barcode, let alone write an effective ad or communicate over the phone. It's taken them a month to get to this point, but last night we picked our way through the remodel construction debris (we were the only ones who had flashlights) to see a brand-new unused still-wrapped beauty that we think we're going to be buying for 35 cents on the dollar. When we got ready to walk away to "go home and remeasure to make sure it'd fit", the seller admitted that they needed our deposit money for cab fare. Perhaps that affected their motivation, but I think they're ready to work with us for the rest of their selling price.

Of course I may change my opinion by the time we get back home....
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor
Old 01-12-2007, 12:12 PM   #24
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor

Well, if a fsbo seller were willing to split the savings with me, I'd consider it. Havent seen anyone around here yet willing to do that. Or obviously a unique or special property would be considered. In general though, paying full price to buy from an amateur with attachments is a tough one.

I'd have fsbo'd from my neighbor across the street who has a similar home. He told me he was going to sell it for $350, then dumped it for $320. I'd have offered him $310 or 315 cash at the time, figuring it for a good deal considering these were selling in the $350-370 range a year ago. Just as well, I gauge the prices have fallen even further in the last few months. The new owners might have lost $10-15k on the home before they even moved in.
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor
Old 01-12-2007, 12:35 PM   #25
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor

quick update: as i don't have nord's savvy in buying real estate or refrigerators, i've decided to go realtor. started making calls today. spoke so far with regional mls as well as local & state realtor boards. managed to at least eliminate one myth: there is no telling who is top producing realtor or at least no one will tell me. they either don't keep such stats or don't disclose this to the public. as to realtors advertising themselves as top producers, that depends on how they happened to manipulate their own subjective "data." so they can "legitimately" claim they are top 1% because they happened to sell the only house available on that block.

knowing part of their job is to play me, my initial approach to each realtor will be neutral in that only after they give me their take on the current market for this product in that area do i reveal whether i am buyer or seller. not that i will go with one that favors one side or the other but i'll likely side with the one whose answer seems most honest.(though, realistically, i might somewhat lean towards the more optimistic view.)

i've decided to contact realtors who seem most familiar with this product. turns out the very first one i spoke with gave me an honest enough response and happens to be currently closing on one of mom's neighbors, their only other listing in this area, which was asking $3mm.

all your responses very much appreciated. can't get enough information on this. not so easy when i only do this once or twice in my life but they do this every day for a living.
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor
Old 01-15-2007, 03:09 PM   #26
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor

final update

have realtor. will be looking over paperwork tonight before signing. we are offering the selling realtor 2%. the buying realtor 3%. the selling realtor's office get's total 3 or 4% (still negotiating) if they bring the buyer.

they priced house $5k under where we had it priced and think we will wind up taking home about $1.1mm though i'm still hoping for $1.2. though i suppose not a big deal either way when considered over a 40-50 year retirement.

thanx to forum participants for all the good information on this and other threads which i was able to search. what a good resource you all are.
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor
Old 01-15-2007, 06:22 PM   #27
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor

Lazy,

I don't know how I missed the original post but we're on a similar path. DW just listed with a "power agent" at 2.5% for the selling agent and 3% for the buyer agent. Our property is listed for $899k and is a definite teardown. The agent has many builder contacts and they are the likely buyers.

We listed on Thursday and got an offer today for $850k from a builder. The agent recommends turning it down. The property is priced on the high side based on comps and other listings. He thinks we have a bit of a premium property and since we can wait he suggests waiting a bit. DW is turning it down.

I don't know if you're having any interactions with your family over this. DW's sister/BIL wanted us to FSBO or not pay more than 3% total commission. They also thought we should list at $1MM. That would have been too far above the market. They have unrealistic expectations but can sit 1,500 miles away and pontificate all they want. They have been very dependable in telling us what we should do and get upset when we don't.


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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor
Old 01-15-2007, 11:01 PM   #28
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor

hiya 2b. certainly sounds like we are on similar course in this. (edit: and not only that but i just noticed we are 15 posts away from each other as well. :::::insert twilight zone theme song here:::: ) we got stuck selling in downmarket in part because uncle adviced we'd take too big a cap gains hit to sell while mom was still alive. what's your excuse? i figure we'll wind up about minus $150k from what we might have had otherwise. not that i'm lamenting monetary loss, just a good lesson to stick by my own financial savvy intuition into the future.

ours likely will go to an owner who wants a nice new mini-mansion. seemed about five to eight years ago developers were buying but the last few seemed to have gone to new owners. plus a lot of current residents have torn down their own homes & rebuilt to keep up with the newer joneses. now houses range from over 5,000 sf to about 7,500 sf & even bigger on larger intracoastal lots. the view down mom's canal now is really quite something, if you like that $2.5 to $5mm house ontop of house type of a thing.

that's amazing you got an offer so quickly. bet it makes you wonder if you priced too low. but today probably better too low than too high. on the other hand. i'd be afraid of turning down someone who came within $50k of my asking. i guess stuff in your area must be moving better than here. we are priced directly between two other houses based on respective size of waterfront and therefore corresponding size of the boat that can be docked behind it. but the other two have been for sale for months. the lower one dropped it's price by $200k already. as long as they hold where they are now and the higher doesn't lower, which i don't think she will, we should be ok. it happens to be about the very nicest area of a very nice town and though other areas are increasing in inventory this one has decreased. there are only our three available at this price level in this area.

the only other family involved here is my brother and we are in good agreement. he's still running engineering firm so i'm handling this. the poor guy wants to put three little kids through college so he's gonna be working a lonng lonnnng time. we only became friends once we became mom's co-guardians. hadn't we become friends first, we would have needed lawyers today to represent us to each other. i'm so glad mom got so enjoy her sons being friendly to each other in her last few years. i only found out later while going through her personal papers how much this meant to her. she waited her entire life for us to stop fighting. without knowing it, we finally made her completely happy.
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor
Old 01-16-2007, 05:23 AM   #29
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor

McMansions are being build on land originally holding 2,000 - 2,500 sq ft. 1950-1970 era homes built "way out in the country." It's now a very desirable location in Houston. We are priced slightly over market in my opinion and the $850 is "reasonable" but the realtor is wanting to go for more. We're going along.

On taxes, my in-laws are both alive and I suspect one or both will still be alive when we need the cash for their care. Their funds aren't desperate but I am sure their other assets won't carry them to their deaths. Houston is in a slight uptrend and hasn't had the surge that Florida had. The real estate appreciation is probably more in the 3 - 5% range.

There's the $500k cap gain exclusion that will help but there's no way of fighting the amount above that. It is only at 15% so it's no too bad especially when our alternative probably involves homicide. It would be nice to avoid it but I would rather have the taxes paid out of their account than to personally fund their care in anticipation of the tax free payout. Carrying the house also has some costs ($1,000/mo) and it is a minor headache on a regular basis.

The house has been a continuing mental issue for DW and a source of conflict with her sister and her husband. I just want to get the bulk of their assets in a Vanguard account and be done with everything except their care.
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor
Old 01-16-2007, 07:54 AM   #30
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor

spring is on the way and the inventory will skyrocket, try and get your place sold asap or the numbers will be even lower than today, the market is still in trouble.
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor
Old 01-16-2007, 03:23 PM   #31
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Re: suggestions 4 selecting realtor

it's a mostly sunny 81 degrees today and there's a wonderful 13 mph breeze coming in from the southeast so i'm not quite sure just what "spring is on the way" means. thanx for the pessimism but our peak tourist (& real estate) season has just arrived.

as i already noted, inventory has decreased in our area. not that stuff has sold, but that there's enough monied owners who don't have to ever sell. of course i could be wrong but my hope is that this will help stabilize a market which, barring a dirty bomb or national economic collapse, has likely already bottomed out here. but of course only time will tell with that.

while florida no longer has the amazing inflow of people we had for a few years there, latest studies show we still get 1000 people moving in & only 400 out every day. and my desirable areas are already at buildout.

while it's been a rough market here since wilma blew through and prices are still down year over year they might be starting to come up month over month. hard to tell yet. florida is finally working on getting insurance costs under control. i'm not convinced they'll fix the problem but maybe they can keep it from getting worse. also our property appraisers have banded to change our "save our home" homestead exemption law so that our tax savings become partially portable which should stimulate markets among locals.

certainly it would give me good opportunity to sell here and buy a very nice home in someplace like gainesville if i ever decide on that. but even in my own little area i don't see inventory skyrocketing as most of us who are here now were here before, scratching our heads as everything went up and scratching again on the way down. we weren't really going anywhere anyway. so, in retrospect, i'm not completely sure what the fuss is all about.
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