8 Home Buying Secrets Your Real Estate Agent Will (Probably) Tell You

By
Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

8 Home Buying Secrets Your Real Estate Agent Will (Probably) Tell You

 

Are there secrets to buying a home in today’s market?

 

Perhaps.

 

But if you want to get the edge as a buyer you really don’t want secrets.

 

Some secrets, like problems with the home that weren’t disclosed, are definitely not something you want to find out about after closing.

 

This is about 8 buying secrets your real estate agent (a responsible, ethical one – probably the majority) will tell you. And just to be clear, this post is a rebuttal to the 8 points in an article by CreditSesame.com that appears on Mint.com that purports to share “home buying secrets’ your real estate agent won’t tell you.

 

Stuff like that always makes me wary, and you should be wary, too.

 

Journalists are not fundamentally writing real estate articles to help consumers. They get nothing out of these articles, as far as I know, except perhaps grabbing readership, and earning their salary or freelance fee. Based on the generalizations we often see they clearly don’t speak from the vantage point of true knowledgeafter all they AREN’T helping people buy and sell real estate every day…and are simply writing to grab attention, which does more harm than good for the consumer.

 

The article I reference really annoyed me. So here are my thoughts – you may or may not agree, but make sure you read it.

 

Your Agent IS Your Agent1. Your Agent is Your Agent – what? A buyer agent won’t tell you that they are YOUR agent? That is the whole point of having a real estate professional represent you, to guide you and help you make the right decisions. We’re not buying the house, you are, and our job is to watch out for YOUR interests and help you get the best deal. You bet you will know we are working on your behalf.

 

2. Only Fools Fall in Love – sounds like a poorly written love song. Does anyone really think their agent is going to convince them to buy a home because they love it? Get real. Our role IS to help you acquire the home that you want, whether you love it, like it, or are  simply settling for what you can afford in a competitive market. Our role IS to help you NOT make the wrong decisions because you don’t know, aren’t paying attention, or are ignoring issues you need to be aware of because you are smitten with a particular home.

 

Are You Willing to Walk Away from a Deal?3. Be Willing to Walk Away – you absolutely should be willing to step away from a house, or a negotiation, if it is not in your best interest. It’s YOUR choice. No responsible agent will encourage you to do otherwise. Our job IS to negotiate on your behalf and we need to know what you want and are willing, or not willing, to do. If anything is a secret, it’s when buyers are not honest with their agent about what they are willing and not willing to do. We can, and should, only represent what you tell us and give us permission to share. If you aren’t sure, we’ll help you sort through the issues.

 

4. Time is on Your Side – Really? This is a secret an agent won’t share? Hmmm. Seems to me the article misses the whole point about the reality of many markets, and that buyers need to know the truth about what’s going on. Maybe timing is in your favor in some market or price points, but in many it’s not. Are you aware there are multiple offers on most properties? That many homes are selling over asking? The issue really is…are you getting the right advice about how to approach offers and negotiations in your particular market based on buyer activity and inventory. There are no generalizations that “time is on your side” as this article implies.

 

Media articles like this drive me nuts!5. Your Agent is Not Your Friend – well, I agree with that statement, but not the premise in the commentary. Our role is a business relationship, with the focus on your best interests…helping you buy the right home based on your decision and due diligence. No agent I know is working with a buyer because they want to be friends. But a good agent who earns the trust and respect from their clients and assists them in getting the best deal because of what they do may, and probably will, become a friend.

 

6. The Listing Agent Just Might be Your Best Friend – I think the author is confused about friendship and perhaps striving for an emotional response from readers by using the word. Get real. The listing agent is looking out for his or her clients’ best interests, and appropriately so. They want to get the best offer, and the best terms and conditions, for the seller. The same is true for buyer agents when we work on your behalf, except we are there to help you get the home at the best possible price, and the best terms and conditions for you, which may not be what the seller necessarily wants.

 

Strategically Low offers? Really?7. There is No Such Thing as an Embarrassingly Low Offer – Once again I think the writer’s “presumed” knowledge on this subject is skewed and not based on any specific experience or information about the realities of negotiating a real estate deal, at least these days. Yes, it’s true that some low offers may result in the seller countering. It depends on the market, the inventory, and who you are competing with. And an offer should be viewed as a starting point for negotiations. But “a good agent will encourage you to make strategically low offers?” That’s one heck of a generalization. Where did the writer get THAT gem. It would be pretty stupid for an agent to suggest that to a client when there are multiple offers on a property.

 

8. On-line Real Estate Companies Can Save You Money – well, if this isn’t a plug for RedFin I don’t know what is. Yet another generalization. The author states that on-line brokerages offer discounts and rebates on the “traditional 3% real estate commission” (hmm, where did you get THAT information?!) and are taking away the market share from bricks-and-mortar real estate companies (any data to support that?). What rock have you been hiding under? Are you not aware of what real estate companies are on-line these days and what they are doing? And then the implication that all on-line real estate companies offer discounts and rebates.

 

The whole article smacks of sensationalism, generalizations, erroneous reporting, and, dare I say, just a bit of insult to the real estate profession. And maybe to home buyers as well.

 

Your thoughts?

 

 

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  1. Bill Burchard 12/20/2012 11:32 AM
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Rainmaker
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Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin

Jeff:

Intersting post. Thanks for sharing. Hope you have a wonderful week. 

Dec 19, 2012 01:16 PM #1
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Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Jeff, this article is written by someone who hates real estate agents, I think. (And believe me, there are some gullible souls that will agree with this - and in the process, harm themselves, financially or perhaps buying altogether a home that may not fit the bill for them!)

Shameless plug for Redfin? Look like it is.

Dec 19, 2012 01:23 PM #2
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks, Alan. This was one of those that had to be written after reading another crappy example of real estate journalism.

Agreed, Praful. I think that author hasn't much of a clue. Certainly not very much knowledge.

Jeff

Dec 19, 2012 01:35 PM #3
Rainmaker
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Lori Cain
eXp Realty - Tulsa, OK
Midtown Tulsa Real Estate Top Producer
GREAT rebuttal, Jeff - loved it!!!
Dec 19, 2012 02:45 PM #4
Rainmaker
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Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

Right on about the ability to walk bit, I'll encourage my clients to always look at options...keep an eye on other acceptable homes for the buyers while in negotiations.

Dec 19, 2012 03:47 PM #5
Rainmaker
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Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Yes, this is a wonderful rebuttal. That article was ridiculous.  It is without experience and meant to get a strong reaction. 

Dec 19, 2012 06:53 PM #6
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Michele Connors
The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County - Greenville, NC
Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor

You are right, the "author" is an idiot and fishing for readership....I like the comment section of that article by some agents that also got their feathers ruffled by the ignorant "pointers"..

Dec 19, 2012 07:00 PM #7
Rainmaker
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Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Jeff you did a fantastic job with your rebuttal. Often times an article like this is written just for the opportunity to "link bait". Of course that works well with controversy as you and I both provided them links. The article as we both know is ignorant. The last one on online companies and probably Redfin is an absolute joke!

Dec 19, 2012 08:44 PM #8
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks, Lori. The article really annoyed me. Usually I just ignore them but decided this time to share my thoughts. No doubt they will appreciate the link. LOL

Pete - I have as well. It's their choice. I can't imagine an agent encouraging someone on a home that they do not feel comfortable buying, but the article implied that agents would never do this

Debbie - oh yes, and so often that's what we see.

Jeff

Dec 19, 2012 11:05 PM #9
Rainmaker
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Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

That was a cringe-making article if ever I saw one.  This is a great rebuttal, Jeff.

Dec 20, 2012 02:00 AM #10
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Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner
Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268 - Iowa City, IA
Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices

The article is ridiculous and items 6 and 7 are beyond belief. The writer apparently doesn't have the first idea about what he or she is talking about. I'm not surprised you felt the need for a rebuttal. Good job. I hope they read it!

Dec 20, 2012 02:40 AM #11
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Jane - I am still ticked, but getting over it. It's just another blatant example of shameful media "reporting" on the real estate indsutry.

Denise - indeed!! It's a shame this sort of this gets published for consumers to read. It makes us all look like idiots, and sadly what people read on the Internet they often believe.

Jeff

Dec 20, 2012 05:12 AM #12
Rainmaker
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Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Glad that you wrote ths counter-point.  The article wasn't based on what agents represent with.  Those low offers will not get accepted, be willing to walk away, time is on your side . . . are exactly what won't get a buyer into a property, they'll lose out every time.  This type of article does one thing, it sabotages what a real estate agent does for their client.  It doesn't help consumers, customers and clients.  It puts unreasonably expectations on how an agent DOES actually work as a fiduciary. 

Dec 20, 2012 05:20 AM #13
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Carla

And as the oustanding Buyer Broker you are, you would know better than anybody. I think sabotage is a good word for the impact of the article by CreditSesame.

Jeff

Dec 20, 2012 06:23 AM #14
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Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Jeff - Your rebuttal makes a lot of sense and hits some important points.

Dec 20, 2012 03:57 PM #15
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Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Christine is right. 

Dec 20, 2012 11:43 PM #16
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks, Christine - these were some important issues to cover

Andrew - glad you thought so. I did as well. :)

Jeff

Dec 21, 2012 08:34 AM #17
Anonymous
mary belle

 

I’ve read a few posts here and I can actually relate. Last November my Fiancé and I were looking for a home to buy in Jupiter and we were having a tough time. Our Pastor recommended Gilles Rais Fine Homes; and I must say the service was superb. The Rais team is so professional; extremely knowledgeable about the area and the market . They found us a beautiful home. What I liked the most is that he kept us in the loop of information. I suggest you check outhttp://www.gillesraisfinehomes.com (954.305.1579), for all your real estate concerns.

Jul 10, 2013 05:30 AM #18
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