Working With Real Estate Agents in Chicago

24 Replies | Chicago, Illinois

I am having some very bad experiences working with agents in Chicago.  They have all been the non-listing agents and I fully understand why the listing agents do what they do, they want all of the commission for themselves if possible.  For a point of information, is there anything that can be done if you believe that the selling agent did not present your offer?  After this deal, no matter which way it goes, I am going to try to just seek out the listing agent until I find agent that can make me comfortable.

Calvin, I’m sorry you feel this way! Your agent should make you feel comfortable and have an open line of communication. Feel free to message me if you have any question. I’d love to show you that all agents aren’t the same here in Chicago. 

Trust me @Calvin Lipscomb I feel your pain, I know my realtor always presents my offers but I'm pretty sure some of the listing agents haven't shown my offer to the bank. A lot of listing agents really do want both sides of the commission which is pretty under handed. Not much you can do without proof though which I am actually working on.......What areas in Illinois are you looking at?

@Philip Williams I am more concerned about the listing agent not presenting my offer to the seller. I like to clearly know where I stand with a deal. A good agent would find out if offers are being entertained now or when all offers are going to be considered. You don't negotiate if you are NOT negotiating. My agent led me to believe that we were negotiating. Ugh. I will see where things stand on Monday. I am focusing on the South Shore area. I am looking to 6 family units. I am will to consider a 4 family.

Well I suppose that depends who the seller is, when the property is a foreclosure it's a little harder to confirm whether or not your offer has been presented. With most of the foreclosures we are dealing with there is no negotiating it's pretty much here is our offer and find out if we win at some time in the next week. A few times there has been a highest and best counter back to my realtor but not often. My realtor is excellent but he can't control the other side of the deal and how there realtor's ethics are. I haven't looked into the south shore area very much but if I hear of any off market deals i'll shoot them your way!

Hi Calvin, sorry to hear about your agent headaches. I had a great buyers agent for all of my rental property purchases, can't say enough good things about her. Having said that, there were a couple of bank own properties where I was frustrated just like you, communication issues. So that was the deciding factor in getting my real estate license, not commission savings. I am very good at knowing when people are lying, even over the phone, that skill set was not being used with the buyer broker buffer. Getting licensed in IL might not be practical for you, just thought I would share.

Originally posted by @Philip Williams :

Well I suppose that depends who the seller is, when the property is a foreclosure it's a little harder to confirm whether or not your offer has been presented. With most of the foreclosures we are dealing with there is no negotiating it's pretty much here is our offer and find out if we win at some time in the next week. A few times there has been a highest and best counter back to my realtor but not often. My realtor is excellent but he can't control the other side of the deal and how there realtor's ethics are. I haven't looked into the south shore area very much but if I hear of any off market deals i'll shoot them your way!

 With foreclosures I fully understand the frustration of presenting an offer.  My deal is not a foreclosure being held by a banking entity.  The long lag of presenting an offer and the acceptance or rejection of that offer I can work with when dealing with a lender.  When the listing agent asked my agent if I can do full price all cash my agent was supposed to ask "are we negotiating"?  That is what a good negotiating agent would have said putting the agent under pressure to disclose what is really going on.  I will see what is going on today. 

Originally posted by @Miguel Castillo :

If your offer is declined you can ask the listing agent to show you page 13 of the contract.

 Hmmmm, Can you please explain that to me.  I know my offer is going to be a fully price, all cash, the typical closing in about 15 days since it is cash, and close to 30% in escrow.  

You should never make an offer with the listing agent. The listing agent is working on behalf of the seller to get them the best offer. For them to also represent you presents a conflict of interest. Secure yourself a buyers agent to work on your behalf.

The last thing South Shore needs is more absentee landlords, to be honest. That's the main reason the crime is so high there.

@Calvin Lipscomb I am sorry to hear about your frustration. I don't know which agent you are working with, but I can tell you that this is definitely a "sellers market" here in Chicago. I have not done a deal yet in the southwest suburbs that hasn't been multiple offers (on the buy or list side). You may have to offer on multiple properties to get a deal, even if you are offering cash! One of my cash buyers in Berwyn recently had to go well over list because we were competing with multiple cash buyers. 

The south shore neighborhood is definitely getting very competitive as well. Have you touched base with @Ronan M. ? He invests in that area and knows it pretty well. 

Originally posted by @John Warren :

@Calvin Lipscomb I am sorry to hear about your frustration. I don't know which agent you are working with, but I can tell you that this is definitely a "sellers market" here in Chicago. I have not done a deal yet in the southwest suburbs that hasn't been multiple offers (on the buy or list side). You may have to offer on multiple properties to get a deal, even if you are offering cash! One of my cash buyers in Berwyn recently had to go well over list because we were competing with multiple cash buyers. 

The south shore neighborhood is definitely getting very competitive as well. Have you touched base with @Ronan M. ? He invests in that area and knows it pretty well. 

I do not believe I had the opportunity to discuss this with @Ronan M.  I will reach out to him.   @John Warren the market for 6 family+ units are that  competitive in the South Shore area? 

Originally posted by @Ray Harrell :

You should never make an offer with the listing agent. The listing agent is working on behalf of the seller to get them the best offer. For them to also represent you presents a conflict of interest. Secure yourself a buyers agent to work on your behalf.

The last thing South Shore needs is more absentee landlords, to be honest. That's the main reason the crime is so high there.

 Crime is high for reasons that has little to do  with absentee landlords.

I have yet to come across a good buyers agent as of yet, when it comes down to presenting and negotiating the deal.  I think that there are advantages when dealing directly with the listing agent.  Too many times the listing agent will try to cut out the other agent to keep the entire commission to themselves.  

High crime has a LOT to do with absentee landlords and the concentration of lower income rental units in an area. Don't be fooled by the lower prices in South Shore. There's a reason for that. It's not yet at the point where people are willing to pay market rent without a subsidy. South Shore has the highest concentration of Section 8 tenants in the city, due primarily to working class, middle income flight. Check the news from a couple weeks ago.

At the bottom of page 13 theres a line that says this offer was presented on and rejected on. If you believe your offer was not presented you can request to see a copy.

Originally posted by Account Closed:

Hi Calvin, sorry to hear about your agent headaches. I had a great buyers agent for all of my rental property purchases, can't say enough good things about her. Having said that, there were a couple of bank own properties where I was frustrated just like you, communication issues. So that was the deciding factor in getting my real estate license, not commission savings. I am very good at knowing when people are lying, even over the phone, that skill set was not being used with the buyer broker buffer. Getting licensed in IL might not be practical for you, just thought I would share.

 Thanks for thoughts.  Hmmmm, I looking at a large footprint in the area and that might be an idea.  I am not aware of state requiring me to live there.  And, if my interest can not be appropriately represented it may be best to be in a position to do it myself.  You have me thinking now.

Originally posted by @Ray Harrell :

High crime has a LOT to do with absentee landlords and the concentration of lower income rental units in an area. Don't be fooled by the lower prices in South Shore. There's a reason for that. It's not yet at the point where people are willing to pay market rent without a subsidy. South Shore has the highest concentration of Section 8 tenants in the city, due primarily to working class, middle income flight. Check the news from a couple weeks ago.

 "It's not yet at the point where people are willing to pay market rent without a subsidy."  And when that time comes I may not have the resources to compete.   Just like the residents who are struggling to compete when the A areas became viable again.

@Calvin Lipscomb I own a number of properties on the south side of Chicago including one in South Shore  (12 unit by the lake) I am also a Real Estate Agent with Second City Real Estate and work with a number of investors who target that area.  Feel free to reach out to me if I can be of any assistance to you.  

Originally posted by @Ronan M. :

@Calvin Lipscomb I own a number of properties on the south side of Chicago including one in South Shore  (12 unit by the lake) I am also a Real Estate Agent with Second City Real Estate and work with a number of investors who target that area.  Feel free to reach out to me if I can be of any assistance to you.  

 Thanks for the outreach.  I will PM you.  

"

For a point of information, is there anything that can be done if you believe that the selling agent did not present your offer? "

As an attorney, this is one of the reasons why I hate real estate agents. The real estate agent has a fiduciary duty to the owner to present ALL offers. Full stop. Period. No if, no ands, no buts. If you feel that the agent has not presented your offer to the owner, I would the offer directly to the owner. I you have evidence that the agent has not presented your offer, complain to the state regulators.

Oh, I second the opinion about dual agency being a conflict of interest.

@Calvin Lipscomb Sorry to hear about your issue. I've been working with an investor buying properties in south shore for several years and the market has changed dramatically.  We initially had little trouble putting buildings under contract and now we have to work almost exclusively through off market offerings. I don't mind it, but I've found the sellers want their price and don't give much room to negotiate. It's resulted in some unrealistic expectations for pricing. 

Originally posted by @Bob Floss II :

@Calvin Lipscomb Sorry to hear about your issue. I've been working with an investor buying properties in south shore for several years and the market has changed dramatically.  We initially had little trouble putting buildings under contract and now we have to work almost exclusively through off market offerings. I don't mind it, but I've found the sellers want their price and don't give much room to negotiate. It's resulted in some unrealistic expectations for pricing. 

 We are trying to establish ourselves in the area and to gain experience in this area.  We do not mind obtaining less than optimum cap rates on a deal with everything else being equal.  

Originally posted by @Bob Floss II :

@Calvin Lipscomb Sorry to hear about your issue. I've been working with an investor buying properties in south shore for several years and the market has changed dramatically.  We initially had little trouble putting buildings under contract and now we have to work almost exclusively through off market offerings. I don't mind it, but I've found the sellers want their price and don't give much room to negotiate. It's resulted in some unrealistic expectations for pricing. 

 I am considering looking for off market opportunities myself.  My initial entry has been painful.  

This is in the purchase contract, if you think your offer is not present ask for a copy

My questions to you would be are your offers actually competitive OR are they low ball offers? If they are the later well then you need to look at the market, it's a sellers market so your offer may not be cutting it.