House Buying Questions

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Concerned, Aug 12, 2001.

  1. Concerned

    Concerned Well-Known Member

    1. If I want to just go look at a specific house, who do I contact to do it? Do I need to get an agent or can I just call the realtor listing the property?

    2. When should my honey and I start the mortgage broker process? Wait until we have a bid accepted or now?

    3. How long does it take usually to close on a house?

    Background: I was going to wait until next summer to get a house but a specific one just went on the market. We are willing to buy it now because it is our dream house and it is in our price range. If we can't get that one we will wait otherwise we want to shuffle everything around to do it now.
  2. MiamiBlues

    MiamiBlues Well-Known Member

    1. You can call the sellers agent or you can have an agent represent you like I did. They will split the commission with the seller's agent. Just a word of caution, I don't know what area you are in but we lost the first house we liked because the seller's agent refused to split the commission with my agent and since the seller lived in Venezuela the agent could do whatever she wanted.

    2. You can start the mortgage process now and get pre-approved. This way you can deal from a position of strength since you have secured the mortgage.

    3. In our case we put in an offer on our home the first week of June and closed Friday, August 10.

    There are many factors that can affect the process like your credit being probably the most important. Also, since rates are down mortgage brokers are very busy. A mortgage that normally could be processed in a week might now take 3!

    If you really like the home go for it. Good luck!

  3. Momof3

    Momof3 Well-Known Member

    You can just call the realtor yourself, you don't need a buyers agent unless you really wanted one.

    I would start the process immediately, getting a preapproval looks very good to the seller, they know you qualified and can get a loan, this will make you look better if there are other bids and they don't have the preapproval.

    We found our house around May 18 or so and closed June 22, pretty quickly.
  4. Hope

    Hope Well-Known Member

    Hi, I'm a Realtor and I would highly recommend that you call your own Realtor. Don't have one you say, track down one. Call the most reputable large brokerages in town and ask for the manager. Tell her/him you'd like to meet with an "experienced Buyer's Agent".

    DO NOT speak to the person at the "up desk". They are simply answering the telephones and you'll get the luck of the draw -- not the most efficient way to hire an agent.

    Tell the manager you'd like to see credentials that this person has closed X number of homes FOR BUYERS.

    Please do all of this BEFORE you go see your dream home. Something the public doesn't readily understand is that it costs you no extra and you'll get a Realtor who is representing YOU. Otherwise, the Seller's agent can either only represent the Seller or act as a transaction coordinator and represent neither. He or she will ferry messages back and forth, but you're actually doing all the work.

    If you go to the Seller's agent, there's a strong possibility that everything you do and say can and will be legally used against you to get the highest price for the Seller. That after all, is the Seller's agent's job.

    (FYI, same with builders.)
  5. IncomeHelp

    IncomeHelp Well-Known Member

    I must echo those who say get pre approved and seek the help of a BUYERS agent.

    When you go through the pre approval process you will deal with things with less stress. You end up knowing how much you can borrow and the letter your broker will give to your agent for each offer saying you are approved and ready to go carries a lot of weight with sellers.

    Having a BUYERS agent is having someone who works for YOU. Has YOUR best interests in mind and gives you some peace of mind.

    This is what we are doing right now. We had to take care of a few credit issues, Explain some things, but doing that before you make an offer and are in escrow can mean the world of difference. Our buyers agent is really great and we feel like they are very honest and are not trying to sell us a house, but rather helping us buy what is right for us, and with good resell value.

  6. Concerned

    Concerned Well-Known Member

    Buyers Agents??

    How is the buyers agent working for me? If they split the commission they are going to be just as eager to sell the house as the sellers agent.

    They would have no interest in getting me a lower price because that lowers their cut. They would have no interest in dissuading me from a house with problems if it will lose them money.

    Am I missing something here??
  7. IncomeHelp

    IncomeHelp Well-Known Member

    Re: Buyers Agents??

    While buyers agents do split the commission they do not disclose your interests, motivations, qualifications etc with the sellers agent or the sellers. What you say to a buyers agent is not used against you in the attempts to sell a house.

    We received a disclosure that discusses seller's agents and buyer's agents. If you receive one as well (we are in CA) you will better understand what type of agency relationship you can expect with the agent in the transaction.

    No one can guarantee you anything and I certainly am not saying a buyers agent will not attempt to "sell you anything to make the commission", however going into real estate transaction without a buyers agent means that is one less person you have working for you, and except for a home inspector, if you pay for one, if you don't also have an Attorney working for you then no one is looking out for you best interests.

    I also believe there is some kind of "Murphys Law" that says all home buying experiences will fall short of "easy" and "painless".


    GEORGE Well-Known Member

    Re: Buyers Agents??

    We didn't sign a BUYER'S AGENT CONTRACT...but as far as we were concerned, he was a BUYER'S AGENT...
  9. Hope

    Hope Well-Known Member

    Re: Buyers Agents??

    Yes, you are missing something. The Buyer's Agent is paid from the "transaction", and has no obligation whatsoever to the Seller, nor to the Seller's Agent (Listing Agent). Just as the Listing Agent's job is legally to get the highest price and beszst terms for the Seller, the Buyer's Agent's job is to get the lowest price and best terms for the Buyer.

    As for, "won't they try to get me to buy that house at the highest price?" The Buyer's Agent doesn't CARE what house you buy, unlike the Listing Agent who cares very much that you buy THAT house.

    Further, let's say the asking price (list price) is $200,000. Your Buyer's Agent negotiates $190,000. Assuming a 6% total commission which is split 4 ways between the Listing Agent and his/her brokerage, and the Selling Agent and his/her brokerage, that's a difference in the commission of $150...BEFORE the Agent's monthly license dues, taxes, desk fee, gas, wear and tear on the car, advertising, mandatory continuing education, etc.

    Trust me that means if a Buyer's Agent were to somehow talk you into paying the full $200,000, s/he would net an extra big ole $15!!!

    BUT most importantly, s/he would earn your wrath and that kind of negative publicity travels like wild fire.

    Instead a good Buyer's Agent makes up in the loss of that $15 or so (figuratively speaking) in volume from referrals and word of mouth of just how good they are and how much they saved you in time, money and aggravation.

    BTW I am both a Listing and Buyer's Agent, but not both at the same time. I give my pitbull attention to whomever I'm representinv during that transaction.

    And when I say, "same with builders", the Sales Counselor is an employee of the builder's. It's his/her job to get you to pay the asking price and his/her boss will know the reason why if s/he doesn't!

    In short, the builder's employees work for the builder...NOT for you. But, the vast majority of builders set up a "cost of doing business" account at the start of the development...even before the first brick is laid...from which real estate agents (not all of us are REALTORS) are paid. It had NO effect on the price of the house as it is tax deductible.

    So when you go directly to the builder, you shoot yourself in the foot, because you've cheated yourself out of having the builder PAY to have your interest represented by an Agent.

    And, no, smart builders won't stab a Realtor in the back and go around them. Why? Because, nice and kind a person as you are, you're only going to sell ONE of his houses -- the one you buy. Realtors are going to sell literally hundreds and thousands of his/her houses.
  10. GEORGE

    GEORGE Well-Known Member

    Re: Buyers Agents??

    $150...not $15 ?
  11. G. Fisher

    G. Fisher Banned

    Hope, why should we call only the most reputable large brokerages?
  12. Hope

    Hope Well-Known Member

    Yes, George, that's $15 AFTER all those expenses, net of $150.

    And sorry I got carried away there. When I said, "call the largest reputable brokerage in town", first I was thinking from the point of view that you don't know anybody, no aunts, cousins, etc. in the business, no referral from a trusted friend or neighbor, etc.

    My point is, look for someone who'll you 'll feel comfortable with, small, large, independent, national firm, whatever.

    BUT, I would lean towards someone who's not too busy, has been in the business 3 or more years, but less than 15 or 20.

    Why? Had time enough to get scraped and bruised, gotten over being intimidated in negotiating across the table from veteran agents. has learned a thing or two on the streets and grown confident. But who hasn't grown complacent in the business yet.

    Again, ignore all this if your Mom is a Realtor. But if you've NEVER bought or sold before and don't know where to turn, I think that's a pretty good blue print.
  13. Concerned

    Concerned Well-Known Member

    Thanks Hope. I did take your advice and got myself a buyers agent this morning. I did a search on my area and buyers agent on a search engine and found a posting saying exactly what you were saying and called the realtor who made the posting. They handed me over to another branch (huge realty) close to my home.

    I did a quick walk-through with the sellers agent just to be sure it was all it was cracked up to be. But since my honey and I both liked it we went ahead and got us an agent.

    Now we go into mortgage hell. I'll keep you all posted.

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