Now that we got the initial stages of home-buying out-of-the-way, compliments of Brian and Christina from the Jackson Home Team, your realtor and lender should walk you through the purchasing process easily, legally, ethically and morally… this won’t be a problem if you picked a good real estate agent and a good lender! So, how can you tell if you DIDN’T pick a good realtor? What are the tell-tale signs your real estate agent is screwing you over?
In my opinion, having friends who know the ins and outs of this business makes for a good interview. After all, they’ve SEEN it all!
- Faulty Communication. If your realtor doesn’t get back with you within 24 hours, and can’t answer your questions in a timely manner, not only is it unprofessional but it is just bad business. While this doesn’t necessarily mean they are screwing you over, it makes it difficult for you to make the decisions you need to make which can impact the rest of your life. After all, buying a house is not the same as choosing which pair of shoes to buy.
Granted, if your realtor is trying to get facts from another realtor, his/her ability to answer your questions are dependent on how fast the other realtor discloses the information you need. One great thing about Brian and Christina is even if they weren’t getting the information in a timely manner, they were constantly updating us on where they stood with the other real estate agent.
- It is easier to be screwed if you are selling a home rather than buying a home. As a first-time home buyer, the appraisal process alone can keep you from paying rates which are too high.
If you are selling a home, however, it may be in your highest interests to get two or three opinions on your list price. There have been a few cases over the years where realtors convince a seller to price it under market and it goes under contract immediately because another real estate agent or friend of the realtor comes in and buys the house at a cheap rate unbeknownst to the seller.
- Collusion. Another dirty trick which doesn’t happen nearly as often anymore is when a realtor colludes with an appraiser. This is when a lender has a buddy-appraiser who appraises a house in favor of the intentions of the realtor.
Since the Dodd-Frank Wallstreet Reform and Consumer Protection Act, this has almost eliminated these occurrences….mainly because there is a list of certified appraisers which are rotated for real estate agents and firms, making it difficult for colluding to happen between buddy realtors and appraisers. This isn’t to say these occurrences no longer happen – they just happen less frequently.
The Dodd-Frank Wallstreet Reform and Consumer Protection Act (say that three times fast) worked as a double-edged sword for some realtors. In the attempts to keep real estate clients safe, many realtors hands were tied.
For example, Brian and Christina had a client who was selling their home in Marshfield. The house had been totally redone, and when an appraiser from Springfield, Mo took a look at it, he appraised it out for far less than what it was worth. Brian and Christina knew this because the pricing seemed off, especially for that particular neighborhood. At that time, Brian called up an appraiser he knew who resided in Marshfield, who came in and agreed the original appraisal was off. Brian and Christina were able to fight the first appraiser’s figures in the interest of their client in Marshfield. After the Dodd-Frank (fill in the blank) act, Brian and Christina aren’t able to simply call up an appraiser if they feel the initial quote is wrong.
If you are a first-time home-buyer, there are some things you need to know so you can be better prepared to purchase a house. This experience can be amazingly freeing and wonderful, or it can be awful. The only remedy I know of which works is one – to educate yourself on the process and two – get yourself a good lender and realtor. It makes a world of difference.