"Buying a Home? Time for Negotiation Boot Camp"

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Broadpoint Properties Cal BRE #01324959

This morning while I was having my first cup of coffee, I got on the Internet to see what was going on in the world. On the home page for msn, one of the main articles was/is entitled: "Buying a Home? Time for Negotiation Boot Camp."

The article provides some tips and tools in a clever style where a drill sergeant bullies a home buyer into understanding the best tactics to take when buying a home.

While very general and not neighborhood or market specific, this article does present a few good ideas and some helpful tips for home buyers.

However, Author Christopher Solomon of MSN Real Estate, I have a bone to pick with you. Do you hate Realtors®? Do you think we are completely selfish and only sell real estate to make millions and billions of dollars (that would be nice wouldn't it)?

First off, I'm not too crazy about all of your tips. Many are completely generic and do not reflect current activities occurring in well-known and prominent markets throughout the nation. But, we will get to that in a moment.

Your item number two. Not so nice. "The negotiation misconception:  Your real-estate agent is your buddy, so tell her what you can spend."

Mr. Solomon: Article 1 of the Realtor Code of Ethics states:

"When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, REALTORS® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client. This obligation to the client is primary, but it does not relieve REALTORS® of their obligation to treat all parties honestly."

So, while I would certainly like to make a decent living selling real estate, I can only represent the interests of my clients if I have ALL the information that I need to get the job done right.

Second . . . most of your items reflect a traditional market (not our current real estate market). You advise not to make offers quickly on homes that you like. In some markets, homes are receiving multiple offers on the very first day they are offered. If you do not act quickly, it may be too late!

As far as generic articles go, this one provides a few good tips and tools. But many buyers are struggling to get their offers accepted in this fast-paced, unique and challenging distressed property market. So, perhaps the article needs a few revisions.

Here's a link to the article.

What say you?


Re-Blogged 8 times:

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Suzanne Ellis
Semonin Realtors - Louisville, KY
Realtor | Louisville Kentucky Homes

Thanks for the post.  I get so tired of the "agent is not your buddy so don't tell them what you can spend.  Does he even know how hard it is to find a house for someone like that?  And having represented a couple of sellers who got offers at 30% less, the seller told the buyer to walk.  Hard to make a deal work when the seller is angry at the buyer or vice versa.  Maybe some of these people should be made to actually work in the field on which they write and make a living at it!

Dec 28, 2009 09:27 AM #74
Brian Brumpton
Keller Williams Boise - Boise, ID
Boise Idaho Real Estate


Real estate is an easy one to apply broad sweeping generalities to.  I've given up on authors like this trying to fill space the horoscopes couldn't cover. 

Dec 28, 2009 09:31 AM #75
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

I agree that timing is very important and hope that people will have the sense to know that the author of that article is not the best source of information.

Dec 28, 2009 11:59 AM #76
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Melissa, an offer 20-30% below list price would likely not even receive a response - sounds like this guy has been listening to TV investor hucksters and taking their spin as the gospel truth. When a Seller is insulted, they don't want to play.

Dec 28, 2009 12:08 PM #77
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

I had some major issues with the article and it's "advice". It's the reason consumers start out not trusting us at all.

Dec 28, 2009 12:19 PM #78
Emily Lowe
The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty - Nashville, TN
Nashville TN Realtor

I also agree that this article is outrageous and hope that consumers are smarter than to believe this...

Dec 28, 2009 02:21 PM #79
Debra Chiarello
Deb Chiarello

Oh, the ignorance that fills the internet.  The author of the MSN article obviously never heard of "fiduciary responsibility"!  Sure, go ahead and ask why my clients are selling the home - and I'll tell you I am not at liberty to divulge that information!  Ask what repairs have been performed to the home, and I'll politely tell you that I'd be happy to provide you a copy of the seller's disclosure.  Most of us know who we represent and how to protect our clients' interests.

No, we are not our clients' buddies.  They hired us for our professional services & knowledge, and that's what they'll get.  (Tho many times they do become our buddies!!)  For most of us, negotiating on our clients behalf is the best part of the transaction!!  Am I right?  I am puzzled as to why the author feels that we should not be privvy to our clients budget.  In my area, 20 to 30% can be a really big difference in the quality of a home.  Ah yes, it is because we are those nasty, greedy, ogres - always trying to push our clients over budget so we can get a higher commission!  Greed, Greed, Greed - our only motivation.  AAAGGGHHH! 

Dec 29, 2009 05:37 AM #81
. 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC
What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779



Congratulations on your featured post! The time and energy you put share the info is much appreciated.

Dec 29, 2009 05:46 AM #82
Claire Record
Keller Williams Realty--Boerne Hill Country - Boerne, TX

Melissa...  Oh the things I could say about these real estate "professionals" that seem to be all hat and no cattle.  They have been given a title...but have nothing behind it.  Most newspapers and news agencies seem to have it out for realtors.  They operate on how most of the business world operates...meaning without ethics.  I am thankful to be a realtor with a code of ethics that offers our clients a safe haven to do business in. 

It's our duty to educate our buyers and educate the public on how it really is.  Thanks for your post...there needs to be more like them!

Congrats on bieng a featured post. 

Dec 29, 2009 06:43 AM #83
Roy & Gail Barnhart & McKay
Barnhart & McKay Realty Advisors - Hudson, FL
Barnhart & McKay Home Selling Team

Mr. Solomon is probably some twenty something who has never bought a home and really should not be giving professional advise about something he clearly knows little about.

Typical Media!!!

Dec 29, 2009 10:23 AM #84
Catherine Kierzek
ReMax Lakeside - Muskego, WI

The article struck me that this guy doesn't like us.  If you're a buyer, the best advice you can get would be from a professional Realtor--especially a Buyer's Agent.   Hopefully buyers will realize the source is not professional.

Dec 29, 2009 11:18 PM #85
Thom Disch
Broker Dynamix - Libertyville, IL
Our Broker Dynamix System generates quality leads

I don't mean to be disagreable here but there are valid points below the surface here.  The MSN article is pretty superficial but the negotiation process is what needs to be addressed.  Haven't we all dealt with a negotiation that has broken down because the needs/desires of the buyer/seller were not completely understood?  All good agents know that it is our job to make sure this does not happen but . . . 

Dec 30, 2009 03:54 AM #86
Beverly of Bev & Bob Meaux
Keller Williams Suburban Realty - West Orange, NJ
Where Buying & Selling Works

Writers love to make us the enemy, as though it is so hard for them to find a good Realtor. Unfortunately, many people follow this stupid stuff.

Dec 30, 2009 09:44 AM #87
John DL Arendsen
Crest Backyard Homes designer & builder of ADU''s

Second post I've read to day about MSN. Can't say as I blame you for being rather miffed. But don't let idiots like that discourage you. I'm sure you won't

Dec 31, 2009 06:13 AM #88
Jenny Durling
L.A. Property Solutions - Los Angeles, CA
For Los Angeles real estate help 213-215-4758

It seems like we must spend alot of time dispelling nonsense that our clients get from the media.  Most people are going to believe what they want to believe until they are proven otherwise. It's unfortunate as alot of buyers will lose out on the first house or 2 they bid on if they don't listen to their agent and realize what is actually going on in the market is NOT what they've been told by the press.

Dec 31, 2009 12:26 PM #89
Margaret C. Taylor
Century 21 New Millennium MD - Mechanicsville, MD
St Marys/Calvert/Charles MD Real Estate Agent

You are right Jenny we will just have to keep educating the public our selves because next week one of them may be our Buyer.  Buyers will really lose out if they don't realize that repesentation by a Buyer's Agent is what they need.  I know in England buyers do not seem to have representation are there any states still in this position or lagging behind.  I know Maryland is strong on Buyer's representation.  margaret C.

Dec 31, 2009 02:05 PM #90
Geri Sonkin
Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103 - Merrick, NY
Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert

The problem with articles like that is that many people reading them take them as the gospel.  There is so much re-educating we have to do to overcome the generalizations or absolute untruths out there for public consumption.

Jan 01, 2010 11:32 AM #91
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.

The article needs LOTS of revisions.  The myths are perpetuated by articles like these and clearly written by people who've never used a Realtor or had a terrible one...there are millions...of good ones out there, ethical, caring and hard working.  But ohhh that would be boring reading. 

Jan 02, 2010 06:29 PM #93
Catherine Marrone
Integrity Residential Brokerage LLC - West Newbury, MA
West Newbury MA real estate, Essex County

A lesson to be learned by all.... If you're going to offer advice, as the publisher of the article did, it should be their primary OBLIGATION to make sure they're imparting accurate information and advice.  Unfortunately, that's not a standard practice and the uneducated public does not know otherwise.

Jan 05, 2010 01:35 AM #94
Jim Hale
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website

Nice post.  Good feature.  Fair and balanced.  Way more fair and balanced than it would have been had I wrtitten it.

Where do they get these guys?

Do "they" hate REALTORS, too?

Feb 11, 2010 07:48 AM #95
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Melissa Zavala

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