Nobody is disputing that realtors really can make the process of buying or selling property much easier. Unfortunately, there are some agents who tend to focus more on what they stand to get out of the deal, and they are very good at protecting their own interests. It’s for this reason that you should pay close attention to certain signs. They include:
Creating Excitement And Hype
When an agent has been chosen to sell a property, they are going to pull out all the stops, especially if the property has a nice price tag. The more they can sell it for, the higher their commission will be. This also means they have a natural talent to get people excited or switch to scare tactics. For example, other buyers might happen to show up while you are sticking to your open house appointment. They might even suggest what is called sealed bids, a situation where you go up against other buyers without critical information about the other offers.
Always stick to your guns and your budget. A lot of their strategies will involve putting pressure on you to come back with a larger check, but don’t become the victim they want you to be. You are the one who needs to pay the mortgage, not them.
Don’t Share What They Don’t Need To Know
One of the first questions an agent will ask is the max you are willing to spend. And, if you are in the process of selling, they will want to know the minimum you are willing to sell it for. Take note that they don’t need this information to help you buy or sell a house, no matter what they try to tell you. The moment they get this information, they start attaching their personal agenda to the sale, which can ultimately put you at a disadvantage.
This is why you want to keep your options open and consult with at least three different agents. Whether you are buying or selling, you want the property to be priced accurately and the deal to be fair.
One trick that is particularly popular among self-prioritized agents is striking with offers made at the last minute. For example, your offer has been accepted on the property, everything has been arranged and the house is practically off the market. Then, out of nowhere, the agent calls to tell you another offer has come through, and it’s bigger than yours. How exactly do you handle this situation?
The most obvious step would be to ask for proof of the offer. In other words, the agent has to provide the offer in writing before you decide to take it seriously. But being put in this position is a hassle on its own, which is why you can consider methods of curbing the odds of agents calling you at the last minute.
The first is called the Good Will Charter, which states all the parties interested in the property have to put down a deposit. But they lose the deposit if they don’t go through with the sale. The alternative is to go into a lock-out agreement with the seller. Basically, you request them to pull the house from the market for a certain amount of time while you get the deal to go through, making the deal exclusive. If you’re not in the mood for estate agents then this company offers flat fee MLS listing in Connecticut and I’m sure there are similar companies around the country.
Both options have their pros and cons, so use them wisely.
Manipulating Help To Buy Offers
Thanks to the Help To Buy Phase 1, certain individuals are at liberty to get a loan, valued at 20% the value of the property. Naturally, the money has to be repaid, but that doesn’t stop lenders from advertising the value of the property at 80%. This creates the illusion that Help To Buy candidates will be paying less when in truth, they won’t.
It’s unfortunate, but there are cases where agents insist that buyers only use their mortgage broker services. In fact, agents will downright force it on people by refusing to work with them if they don’t use suggested mortgage services. It goes without saying that this behavior is illegal and unethical. Unless you really trust the agent and you have the time, check out what they have to offer. Just remember:
– Their options are going to be very limited
– They might charge for the advice they give
– Being discussed openly between mortgage brokers and agents about the best way of draining you of every penny
Under no circumstances should you ever feel pressured to use a mortgage service recommended by an agent.
Lastly, agents might start suggesting additional advertising when your property isn’t moving or getting enough offers. The only problem is that additional advertising will cost you money. Do you really want to start paying an agent for trying to sell your house? Just think how long it could take then?