First time buyer, my agent not at all as helpful as I need

5 Replies

Hello,

I'm in the process of buying my first property. I found an agent through Zillo but she hasnt really been responsive to my questions and I'm pretty sure she's just trying to work me for the highest commision. The first listings she sent me after I explained what I was looking for, 4 out of 5 of them where significantly higher than the range I requested.

I should also clarify that I'm in Oklahoma. It feels like the gold rush, everyone marking their listings up 20 to 30% hoping some out of stater comes and buys them to grow pot, cash in hand. Properties that have been on the market for years suddenly adding 25% to their ask. I realize it's a sellers market but the markups I'm seeing seem excessive. But again, I'm a noob and I'm way out of my element right now.

So she sent me a listing the other day and it fits my needs. I'm not in love with it, the house is kinda small and I'm expecting it to need a new roof even though I havent actually walked through it yet. But the pics suggests it will need work. But again, it fits my needs for now. However, the ask on it is $110/ft sq which is ~35% higher than most everything else around it. I told her it was pretty much a solid find except for the price, as the same amount can buy a hell of a lot more. But she said the price is good because its on a lake, so its a vacation destination. i dont know about that, the lake only exists to cool the coal plant on the other side of it. But i digress.

I'm hoping someone can advise me cuz I don't really feel like she's gonna do me any favors. This is the listing. It does fit my needs for the most part, which are pretty specific. But the price seems high already to me and it clearly is gonna need work on top of that. Should I walk away? Or should I make an offer proportionate to its value to me? I asked her this yesterday morning and still havent heard back. I'm going to pay in cash, so anyone able to tell me how much I should offer? I'm not in a hurry to buy but my needs are pretty specific so if I'm wrong about everything here, I don't want to miss out on what was right in front of my face. I dunno, am I reading everything wrong?

@Joseph Ramirez Zillow is a tough place to find an agent relationship. Why not look around in the local forums here on BP and find some active agents in your area? You will have a lot more luck that way. Zillow tries to sell us agents marketing share so we can get leads like you who click on a button. These leads are super cold and a lot of agents see conversion rates of around 1%. This means they are constantly scrambling trying to find that 1 in 100 buyer who is ready to go. Its bad for both sides in my opinion. 

I looked at the listing you sent and it looks very small. I would make sure you have something that will be easy to re sell in the future. Make sure you are near the market average so have 3 or 4 bedrooms, 1 or 2 baths, etc. Don't buy the ugly duckling because it is cheap as you won't be able to sell it high in the future either!

Originally posted by @John Warren :

@Joseph Ramirez Zillow is a tough place to find an agent relationship. Why not look around in the local forums here on BP and find some active agents in your area? You will have a lot more luck that way. Zillow tries to sell us agents marketing share so we can get leads like you who click on a button. These leads are super cold and a lot of agents see conversion rates of around 1%. This means they are constantly scrambling trying to find that 1 in 100 buyer who is ready to go. Its bad for both sides in my opinion. 

I looked at the listing you sent and it looks very small. I would make sure you have something that will be easy to re sell in the future. Make sure you are near the market average so have 3 or 4 bedrooms, 1 or 2 baths, etc. Don't buy the ugly duckling because it is cheap as you won't be able to sell it high in the future either!

Thanks, John. I know that was the absolute worst way to find an agent and I'm going to take the time to find one more receptive to my needs and experience. Also thanks for validating my concerns on that listing. I already nixed it because the living space was miniscule but it's good to get your nod!

 

@Joseph Ramirez   I looked at the listing and photos.  It looks a little dated (wallpaper in the bath plus lots of dark paneling) but I don't see anything indicating that it needs repairs in the near term.  It's only 5 days on market, so if you're in a seller's market, you're not in a strong negotiating position.

I have never found $/sf to be a reliable indicator of value.  In fact, I've always found it to be non-linear.  In my experience, smaller properties always have a higher $/sf value.  I can't comment on the price because I don't know your local market.  I'd ask your agent to run comps for you.

If it were in central Maine where I live, and where RE prices are very low, I'd say it was a little under priced.  Even without being across from a lake, I'd expect it to see here in the $125K range.  If your market is like ours here in Maine, it's a very strong seller's market.  I'd expect it to go under contract in a matter of days.  

My advice would be to write an offer with the fewest possible contingencies - and if you were in Maine, I'd go $5K over asking.

I don't see anything in what you said that the agent did wrong. Working with noob, as you said, buyers is a horror show because what they want to spend and what they want to receive for it usually don't compute to what is going on in a seller's market. Are you sure you aren't the problem, or more specifically, your expectations? You can find good agents on Zillow, but how did you find her? Did you click anyone or did you see how many sales she did in the area you like and read all her reviews? You can search for the best reviewed local agents in each market and read all of their reviews. It sounds like you were lazy about it and are now complaining that your one click didn't get your an ace.