Michigan Home Buying Tips - How not to get fired by your realtor

Real Estate Agent with Real Estate One 6501304423

Here are some metro Detroit home buying tips to think about.  Working with a client is a two way street.  When we get a buyer coming to us we want a buyer that is going to buy a home.  As a buyer you want to be ready, able, and willing to buy a house when you start going out to look at homes.  There are several things that stick out as a qualifications to being a good buyer.  They are:

  1. Ready to buy.....the buyer has gone out and gotten their pre-approval letter
  2. Serious about buying.....yes there are many not so serious buyers.  They are looking for that "perfect house" or dream home
  3. Realistic about what they can buy, what they want for the price range they are in
  4. Realistic about putting in an offer
  5. Listening to your agent 

All five of these have come up during my 19 years of experience working with buyers.  I have gotten very good at picking up indications of whether a buyer is serious or not.  I went through and checked on three buyers I started working with last spring.  We ended up parting ways because I realized they were not good buyers.  I just checked public records and none of them ended up buying a home.  So I was right in my decision to part ways.  They were time wasters.  So if you are a home buyer and really want a home here are some tips. 

Get started today

1.)  Let me explain more fully about ready to buy.  If you just want to go out and look that is not a buyer most real estate agents want.  We see houses all day, we have limited time in our life.  So if you are not serious enough to take the time to get a pre-approval letter then you are not a good buyer.   Yes, it takes time to get your documents together and talk to a mortgage person.  But it is a necessary step to being able to put in an offer.  This is why real estate agents want to know if you are pre-approved.  No listing agent is going to look at your offer unless there is a pre-approval attached to it.  You can't buy without one.  So if you come to a Realtor and want to look at homes and don't want to get a pre-approval letter that tells us you are not serious about buying.  So if you want to buy a home get a pre-approval letter.

Are you ready?

2.)  Yes there are some buyers that are just lookers.  Never will be serious.  These buyers are a little more difficult to sort out.  They may take 5 years of looking before they buy.  They are happy to look.  They may never buy because they do not find that "perfect house"  A real estate agent has to place a value on their time.  After all they could be working with a serious buyer instead.  Or instead of  looking at homes they could be spending time with their family.

I had a German couple that was here working in the US auto industry.  They started picking apart every house we looked at about the poor construction.  They were putting up road blocks and explaining why they wouldn't buy.  These were high end homes they were looking at in the $500,000 to $700,000 range.  They houses were not bad houses by any means.  It was the buyer making an excuse why they would not buy the home.  Then the buyer started making comments about the housing market and how high it was.  Then they actually made the comment whether they would be buying a house.  It was the last straw.  If you tell a realtor that you are unsure of buying a home....then maybe you should wait to look at any more homes until you are sure you want to buy.  You are just wasting the real estate agents time.  They got mad at me when I suggested to part ways, but they have never bought a house after 2 years.   I made the right choice parting ways.   So if you are a buyer and unsure whether you want a house.....take the time to decide whether to move forward or not before you look.  Being decisive about the biggest financial investment you are going to make in your life is important.  Be sure of what you want to do.

Confused on which way to go?

3.) Being realistic about the price range and what type of home you will get for the money.  I had a client that lived in Northville in a $750,000 home that they had built.  It was a very nice home with all the latest amenities.  They wanted to buy an Oakland County lake home for a weekend cottage.  The issue that comes from some high end buyers wanting to down size is that their tastes and requirements are too high for lower priced homes.  You can't get all the bells and whistles in the low price ranges.  The homes just don't have them...that's why they are priced that way.

So Marianne would walk into a $250,000 lake home and start in on say how the shoddy it was built.  Or that it didn't have granite or large closets.  She just tore the houses apart and thought they were bad.  I saw about 15 homes with her and it was all the same story.  Well Memorial Day weekend she wanted to see a home an hour away.  Of course it did not fit and she verbally tore it apart. 

Every house that we saw she wanted detailed information about each house, each lake, disclosures, and more.  Items that we usually get to the clients when they are truly interested in the home.  I was spending a lot of time gathering this info for her.  So here we are with another home she did not like.  She thought it was poorly constructed, bad layout, and high priced.  She calls me up on Sunday on Memorial Day weekend and tells me she would like me to meet her brother on Memorial Day at 3 to discuss whether the house could be remodeled at a price she wanted.  I told I could meet the brother at 7:30 and she got mad at me because it was not fitting into her schedule of coming home from her Memorial Day weekend.


She wanted me to cancel my plans on Memorial Day on a whim on maybe seeing if the home could be remodeled to her likes.  We parted ways.  She didn't buy that house, nor has she ever bought an Oakland County lake house yet.  So she is running another real estate agent or agents around trying to find something that is not in that price range.

As a buyer you have to be reasonable.  You are not going to find granite counter tops, master suites, large bathrooms, large walking in closets like you have in a $500,000 house in a $200,000.  You just don't have the workmanship or the ammenities in lower priced homes.  You have to accept that.  Lake homes cost more than regular homes so you are not going to get as much house.         

I hope these tips on buying a home help you.  Sit down and decide if you are ready to buy right now if you start looking for homes today.  Ask your real estate agent if you are realistic in your wants and price range.  Make a decision to either lower your expectations or up your price range.  It will make buying a home much easier for you.  May you have a successful home buying experience where ever you live in the US.

If you are looking to buy in the metro Detroit area.  I have helped hundreds of buyers find homes in cities all over Metro Detroit.  We have two great home buyer bonus programs too that will help you.  Give me a call at (248) 310-6239 to find out more.

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Russ Ravary

Real Estate One

"Helping make your next move easier!"

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By the way if you know somebody else looking to buy or sell a home I always appreciate a referral.




Comments (14)

Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

What an excellent post, Russ. I remind all my clients, buyers and sellers, that it's a two-way street and while they have the right to fire me, I also have the right to fire them if they don't "behave." 

May 22, 2019 04:15 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Carol Williams good morning, Carol. I'm suggesting this post for Second Chance Saturday. Great message for the public, but also a great message to agents that they should stop wasting their time with the wrong buyers.

May 22, 2019 04:16 AM
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Great tips keep us sane!

 If you just want to go out and look that is not a buyer most real estate agents want.  We see houses all day, we have limited time in our life.  So if you are not serious enough to take the time to get a pre-approval letter then you are not a good buyer. 

May 22, 2019 04:24 AM
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Hi Russ: This is so full of good information that I will want to circulate it amongst my fellow agents if I might! It gives a very good rundown on the things that "Time Wasters" do. These are the real clues that you need to start making demands of the buyer or just walk away--not only do they waste your time, they literally can put you out of business! I know because I have had two like that and after those two, I never allowed another "buyer" to do that to me. One of the two "buyers" was so convincing that she was about to buy that my head was spinning each time she set one house aside as a potential purchase and deftly moved to the next one, leaving me with the feeling that an offer was about to come...inspections were bypassed until she made her "final" selection...Never did--in six months I showed her every single house that was on the market, coming on the market, off-market--there was literally nothing left to show her. I never heard from her at the end of those 6 months--thought of calling to see if she had decided yet and then thought better of that. She called me the following summer and I talked to her but it was the same conversation--as if she were a robot. No thanks! Very good post, Russ!

May 22, 2019 05:03 AM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

Listening is a good thing...ignoring or deciding you know better...Yicks !

May 22, 2019 05:31 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

All excellent points, Russ.  I am often amazed at how often agents allow buyers to disrespect their time.

May 22, 2019 06:14 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

These are excellent points. We have to get good at recognizing when someone is not serious about buying a house!

May 25, 2019 03:25 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Russ - reality matters in real estate.  And it matters a lot. For buyers, for sellers and the real estate industry too.  

May 25, 2019 05:39 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239 - There are some looky-loos who will never buy. We need to figure out who they are so they don't waste our time. 

May 25, 2019 12:37 PM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Great post Russ! I've only had to fire a few clients. Thankfully, I've had really great clients to work with over the years.

May 26, 2019 06:07 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Russ:

There is plenty of good information here for buyers and for agents! We do have to work together as a team to be successful, and having open communication is essential from start to finish so we can succeed.


May 26, 2019 09:59 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Great post, Russ and I couldn't have said it better than Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA - you've uncovered all of the clues for agents who have never experienced this looky lou phenomenon!

I had one recently - like your buyer, picked apart every house (also high end). I would tell them, "This was built by ___, an award-winning custom builder...It will sell very quickly." Probably 5 or 6 that were PERFECT for them but, they . insisited on undercutting the price because of the quality if they were to Offer. Sure enough, 30 - 45 days later, the houses sold over asking price. They FINALLY got the message! 

May 29, 2019 07:31 PM


Nov 05, 2019 02:05 AM


Nov 05, 2019 02:05 AM