How can homebuyers and real estate investors better deal with difficult Realtors?
As the housing market heats up, many real estate investors and homebuyers have found that working with agents can be difficult. Let me be perfectly clear, however, there are plenty of great Realtors out there. There are, unfortunately, plenty of bad ones too. Or perhaps they are misunderstood. Some of the biggest issues arise from the two sides not understanding each other. So why is dealing with Realtors so infuriating sometimes? More importantly, how can buyers get more of what they want when dealing with Realtors?
Why don’t Realtors answer inquiries about their listings and ads for properties?
It seems like a big mystery, and it’s contagious. In some areas, this issue appears to be an epidemic, and it’s turning off buyers in droves. People are just getting burned out on reaching out to make offers on homes with no answer. That is going to bite agents back in a big way as soon as rates tick up a notch, and they have far fewer buyers. To that end, how can serious buyers overcome this hurdle and buy the deals and properties they want?
There can be a variety of reasons behind this phenomenon, and the more buyers get it, the better they can overcome it. Here are some reasons your calls may be going unanswered:
- They didn’t get your message
- They are focused on getting new listings and expect another agent to field offers
- They are looking for better offers for their own wallets
- They are holding out for an offer from a friend or partner
- They are just slacking
It’s normally hard to know what the real issue is if they don’t answer you at all. You can try contacting their office, using another method of contact, posing a better offer, or getting your own Realtor.
Many buyers are also getting frustrated that seller’s agents aren’t submitting their offers to their seller clients. Sometimes agents might refuse, but normally this is assumed when offers are shut down too fast, or not counteroffer is received. All of the above reasons can be at play here too, or it could be a matter of:
- Your price is too low
- They don’t like your contingencies
- You are not making a large enough deposit
- They don’t like the contract form you used
- They don’t trust your proof of funds letter or mortgage pre-approval letter
Solutions may include: getting your own buyer’s agent, speaking with the agent’s boss/ broker, threatening complaints, sending your offer directly to the seller to make sure they’ve received it, or making a stronger offer.
There is a big difference in opinion between what makes a good purchase offer. This is complicated by varying trends in different counties, and in different phases of the market. For example; you may get away with a $500 deposit in one area, but may have to put up a $10,000 or more earnest money deposit to be taken seriously somewhere else. You may be able to include financing contingencies and other clauses in some cases, but not in others. The better you get to know your market, the better you’ll be at nailing offers on the first try.
We’ve seen new models of real estate brokerages and fees come into play since 2008. Some are good, others may just be greedy. The seller pays the Realtor’s commission. They split that commission with the buyer’s agent, if there is one. However, more recently, some buyer’s agents have apparently begun attempting to try to charge other fees to buyers. One suggested they should be paid to submit offers. Technically, they can ask for a lot of different fees. That doesn’t make them fair, normal, or acceptable.
While it is often tempting to cave in and pander to even the wildest demands of real estate agents, they are not the only source of properties. There are bank foreclosures, for sale by owners, and real estate wholesalers. Be wary of letting emotion cause you to overpay. Consider the long run when buying real estate and deciding when it’s smart to look around.