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Old 10-10-2010, 06:22 PM  
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Trusted realty companies

Have you guys had any significantly good/bad experiences with realty companies? I know that, largely, it comes down to the actual realtor, but I'm just trying to get a feel for it.

My wife and I plan on buying a house in 2013, when I get out of the Marine Corps, and I'd like to find a very trusted realty company to use.
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:35 PM  
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Originally Posted by Jake7 View Post
Have you guys had any significantly good/bad experiences with realty companies? I know that, largely, it comes down to the actual realtor, but I'm just trying to get a feel for it.

My wife and I plan on buying a house in 2013, when I get out of the Marine Corps, and I'd like to find a very trusted realty company to use.
It really is up to the real estate agent. Being a real estate broker, I have seen many types of agents. Try to find an agent who is honest, hard working, punctual, and knowledgeable (if they do not know something, they should be willing to find out for you and get you an answer promptly). Other than that, it is up to the buyers to do their homework before meeting with several real estate agents. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Good luck!
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:39 PM  
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It's good to ask people you know in the area who they used and how they found the experience. Whatever you do, don't use someone recommended by a friend or relative who lives in another area, it makes a big difference to have someone that knows about things like traffic, noise, crime, future development, and so on that someone from another city won't. Will also know if a home is overpriced for the area, or a good deal, without depending only on zillow.
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:13 AM  
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It's good to ask people you know in the area who they used and how they found the experience. Whatever you do, don't use someone recommended by a friend or relative who lives in another area, it makes a big difference to have someone that knows about things like traffic, noise, crime, future development, and so on that someone from another city won't. Will also know if a home is overpriced for the area, or a good deal, without depending only on zillow.

Exactly! Depending on the market, area may mean the whole city or just a few small neighborhoods. Where are you going to be looking?
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:26 AM  
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It's good to ask people you know in the area who they used and how they found the experience. Whatever you do, don't use someone recommended by a friend or relative who lives in another area, it makes a big difference to have someone that knows about things like traffic, noise, crime, future development, and so on that someone from another city won't. Will also know if a home is overpriced for the area, or a good deal, without depending only on zillow.
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:16 PM  
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I'll be looking in the southeast missouri area. Around Cape Girardeau/Jackson, but more than likely outside of town - we're trying to find a house with some land, and a bit off the grid.

I'm in the Corps and stationed out on Oahu until 2013. However, I'm sending my wife and kids home early in the summer of 2011, and that's when we'll start our house hunting - well, she'll be hunting, and I'll be talking to her on the phone/looking at pictures hah. I've pretty much told her that she can find a house that she likes, but it HAS to have land with it.

One of her friend's from highschool's mom is a realtor, so hopefully that'll work out. However, I'm a big stickler for working only with people I trust, so I was hoping to find someone on her that had someone they may have used a few times, and was 100% sure they were a good guy/gal.
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:23 PM  
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i would peruse around online and find a realtor with good reviews. you dont pay them up front, so if you end up not liking them, you can get rid of them and find another.
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Old 10-14-2010, 04:18 PM  
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i would peruse around online and find a realtor with good reviews. you dont pay them up front, so if you end up not liking them, you can get rid of them and find another.




I agree ^^^^. Maybe when you're ready to look, you could post this question in the Missouri section - someone there has to know, or know someone that knows, of a good agent in the area where you are wanting to buy.
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Old 10-15-2010, 03:25 AM  
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Yeah - my wife has plenty of family down there, so I'm sure that one of them is going to know someone. I was just hoping that someone on here might be in that area, or have a brother or something who could give me someone I can trust!
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:03 PM  
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You're not yet committed to purchase, you're thinking about it. You're doing your research. That's good. That's GREAT. You don't know how many people come to me with a silly, romantic notion to buy a house, a notion that evaporates once the reality of the idea sets in. Let me give you a couple pieces of advice to help you eliminate the most common complaints about real estate agents:

First off, every agent can be a bad agent, has been a bad agent, and will be a bad agent, myself included. Someone, somewhere is going to be upset with each of us. Our business involves the most expensive decisions someone will likely ever make in their lives, and with those decisions come stress and fingerpointing from every side of a transaction over any perceived fault. A LOT of the problems attributed to agents are due to the buyer's failure to commit.

We're motivated not by a desire to convince you to buy a house, not by a desire to show you a thousand houses and let you choose, but by the desire to make a house your new home, quickly and efficiently. I'm not paid to coddle you, not to convince you, not to persuade you, not to make you feel good about your decision. I'm not paid to sell you any particular home. I'm not paid to make your decision, I'm paid to turn your decision into reality. That's my job, and I am damn good at it, but unless you actually make the decision, I can't do much.

Before you talk to an agent - ANY agent - be ready to commit. We're more than happy to help you understand the process, understand what you're getting yourself into. The time for doubt is before I start showing you homes. If by the time you ask to see a home, you can't honestly say you're ready to sign a contract, we're wasting YOUR time. When I take you out to see 5 homes on a Saturday afternoon, I expect you to be ready to put in an offer on one of them by Monday morning, or explain to me clearly and concisely why each one of them is wrong for you. If you can't do either, we're wasting YOUR time. I don't get paid to waste your time. I don't get paid to make your decision. I get paid to turn your decision into reality.

If you can understand that, I'll bust my butt to make sure you're happy with my service. If you can't understand that, you WILL have a bad experience - there's nothing I can do to change that. The only question left is "how bad will it be?"


In selecting an agent, I would suggest you ask them how many valuations they do for corporate clients. They'll call them BPOs (Broker Price Opinions). If they've never heard of them, or they don't perform them regularly, they are salesmen. There's nothing inherently wrong with salesmen. Most agents are salesmen. A salesman will likely make you feel good about their work, regardless of how good their work actually is. An agent who does BPO's is more than a salesman, he's an analyst. He's paid not for his ability to sweet-talk people into buying a home, but for his ability to analyze the housing market and produce and justify a valuation. His corporate clients check up on his work - if his valuations are found to be inaccurate, they stop asking him for them. The salesman can make you think you've gotten a good deal; the analyst can tell you exactly how good of a deal you got.

Agents love to talk about how well they understand the market, how they know market values and can tell you if you're getting a good deal. One of the big secrets that a Buyer's Agent doesn't want to tell his clients is that he can justify the asking price on greater than 90% of the homes on the market as "A good deal". There is a very useful tool in an agent's kit. "Comparative Market Analysis" or "CMA" It goes by various names in various organizations - the most common variant replaces "Comparative" with "Competitive", but they're all basically the same thing - an estimate of value based on comparable listed and recently sold properties.

A CMA is an estimation of value produced for a client, either a buyer or seller, based on superficially similar homes. The selection of which homes to include and which to exclude are left to the agent's discretion. The problem is that the agent is inherently biased - he only gets paid when the deal goes through, and he only gets the deal to go through when you feel good about it. So, he carefully selects those homes to make you feel good about the result. A CMA for a buyer would include homes priced higher, so that the buyer feels better about the lower price of the home he's offering. A CMA on that same home for the seller would include lower priced homes, so he thinks he's getting more money than the next guy. The agent isn't really accountable to anyone but his client for the accuracy of the CMA, and the client bases his offer on the valuation created by the CMA. It's a big mass of self-perpetuating circular logic designed to make people feel good.

The dirty little secret is that virtually ALL agents learn of market values by performing the occasional CMA, and they typically ignore the inherent bias. The reality is that they have only a general idea of market values. Their opinions are usually no better than Zillow - and in many cases, much worse, as Zillow has nothing to gain from the transaction.

A BPO is quite similar to a CMA except for one aspect: the agent isn't representing a buyer or a seller - he's being paid specifically to provide - and justify - his opinion. Corporate clients - mostly lenders - often request valuations for properties to which they have some sort of interest. An agent (or team of agents) can perform thousands of BPOs per year, compared to the 2 to 3 inherently biased CMAs per week that a typical full-time agent would perform. Obviously, the former will have a MUCH better idea of market values.
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