Lack of communication equals your own wasted time

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Agents, feel free to educate your first time home buyer about how the business works while your driving around with a client in your passenger seat. This is just a story about how an agent wasted A LOT of his time with me because of simple communication issue. A first time home buyer does not have a same understanding of the house buying subculture vs. a professional agent. I thought that when I looked on a non agent MLS site that a house listed "for sale" meant it was for sale. If I was made aware that it doesn't mean that it would have saved a lot of time.

I became interested in buying my first house a few years ago. I got preapproved then I contacted an agent. I told the agent I wanted a house that needed to be rehabbed. I didn't care what the inside of the house looked like since I was going to change it all anyway. I was only interested in the house square footage and neighborhood.

I told the agent I would find the house myself.I used the Edina Reality website. One of many websites that have the MLS. I thought I was making it really easy for the agent. I told him don't show me any houses that I didn't pick out and drive to first. I would find properties "for sale" off the MLS, up to 130k then I would drive to the properties I was interested to see if I like the neighborhood. Once I found 7 or so that I like I would send him an email and we would set up a time on the weekend to go look at the interiors. I only needed 3 minutes inside the property since I brought my video camera for a quick tour....really easy to work with. I wanted to buy a house ASAP because I hated paying more for rent than I would if I bought.

When he would show up we might take a look at one of the properties I had requested then he would show me a bunch of others that I never looked at myself. I would ask about the other properties I was interested in seeing and he would kind of shuffle through his papers to see what the issue was. Being a naïve first time home buyer I was never satisfied by what he said, to my mind it's "for sale" I just saw it on the internet for sale this morning. Also the fact that he was showing me properties that I didn't request to see overall made me think this guy just doesn't pay attention to me. Over about 4 weekend days, he probably showed me 35 houses.

I did make an offer on a REO house for 150k, but after a month of not getting anywhere with it I was finally laid off from my construction job and could no longer buy a house.

Once I found a job again, I found a new agent who told me that the MLS agent site is different than the general public MLS. It will show if a sale is "pending" and therefore a waste of time to look at especially if you want to buy ASAP. So what I did was find properties I liked of the general public MLS, I sent my new agent the MLS numbers. She would check and see if any are pending sale, then send back the email showing which ones were ok to look at. We spent one afternoon looking at about 7 houses, 3-5 minutes inside each one, plus about an hour of total drive time. I made an offer and it was excepted. We close a few weeks later and she's paid her commission.

Nothing worse than a first time buyer working with (what looks like) a 'first time agent'. I'm glad things are finally working out. But it pays to be upfront and direct with people asap. As soon as he's not showing you what you want to see, you ask questions and get to the bottom line as soon as possible. It sounds like (understandably, being new) you allowed a lot of your time to be wasted.