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Be Careful - A Real Estate Agent Could Lead You Astray
The real estate agent is a valuable source of potential deals for you as an investor. They have access to the multiple listing resources and of course, have a monopoly on this information so they have to be part of your game plan as an investor. Working with real estate agents can be difficult depending on the agent.
Some of the factors that you should take note of include the following:
One way of getting an agent to take you seriously is to offer a fast closing date. There are a few things that make an agent more excited than the thought of getting their commission within the next 14 days. If the agent has another offer presented to him/her they will usually advise the client to take the offer and close than accept an offer that is higher in price. One of the reasons is because it is better to have "a bird in the hand, rather than two in the bush".
If you have an offer that needs to be explained in a fashion to the owner which brings out all its great benefits, then you may have to assist on presenting the offer in person or with the agent. If you present that type of offer to an agent, it may not even reach the owner and certainly will be given less priority than other offers. Agents in general do not like creative offers because they are more interested in conventional offers from solid buyers.
Be suspicious of any agent who tells you what a great deal you are getting on a property. The fact is, if it is such a good deal, why he/she didn't buy it. Don't take their word as to value. Ask for a comparable sales printout to show what other properties in the area are selling for. If comparable sales information shows the same square meters as the house you are looking at, then take a drive by and see if it is correct. Don't leave the homework to your agent; make sure you do a little bit of your own assessment.
Don't be afraid to speak openly with your agent if something is being done that is not to your advantage. Unfortunately there are some agents who are unethical, and work only to ensure that they get their commission. Sometimes they will refuse to present your offer to the owner when it is their obligation and duty to do so.
Many times an agent will lie and tell you to your face that your offer has been rejected, when in fact, it was never presented. If you feel that this may be the case, don't be afraid to go over the agents head and see the owner of the agency. If you find a broker is uncooperative or not acting in your interests, then the best thing is to go to another agent. The new agent will approach the same owner on your behalf.
Arrange to meet the agent and discuss fully what you are looking for. Do this before he/she takes you around to see some properties. Ask them to find a number of properties that will suit your requirements and make sure you are clear on exactly what you want so no time is wasted. The good agent will make an appointment for you to inspect properties very quickly so they can get a feel for what you are looking for.
They will take you to all the properties and they will rearrange their times to suit your timetable. It is a good idea to take someone that you trust with you when you are looking at properties so you can get another opinion. Indicate to the agent that you are serious about your search and that if the right property is found, you would definitely be interested in proceeding. It is a good idea to take your check book with you so that the agent can see that you are serious about finding the right property.
Sometimes buying a property from a typical agent can be difficult. Many of them will tell you not to call them by to check the properties from the advertisements that they place. These are the agents that would rather place an advertisement than call the right buyer so it might be wise to use other agents.
Note: The above points do not apply to all agents. We are talking about the disreputable minority out there. Most agents care about their work and they labor to represent their client efficiently and professionally. Those are the ones to look for.
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