So I was not surprised to find a real estate agent trashing customers, asking: “Don’t you realize you say things that let me know you aren't serious, or that you'll be more trouble than you're worth?”
As I read on, I thought, this angry blogging agent agent is making sense. S/he is annoyed about the potential Buyer who says: "I don't care how long it takes. I'm only concerned about getting the best deal." Angry Blogging Agent (ABA) rants: “The best deal? How do you quantify that? No agent wants to waste months showing you homes, and we don't want to show you all types of properties while you crunch the numbers. We just want to show you the kind of homes that you'll move into in the next six weeks or so. The more move-ready you are, the harder I will work for you!”
This statement also pissed off ABA: “"If I find something I like, I plan to offer at least 20 percent less than the asking price." ABA would respond (I don’t know if s/he’d say it out loud or just mentally): “That sounds pretty cocky. It may be a buyer's market, but don’t think for a minute sellers are going to generously hand over 20 percent to you. Home prices have softened, so sellers are already getting the message loud and clear. The ones who need to sell are pricing their homes more aggressively, so the chances of finding a home overpriced by that much is just about nil. In fact, if your agent shows you comparables, you'll see that homes are already being priced to sell. What's going to happen is while you smugly offer 20 percent less, another buyer is going to come in much closer to asking price and get the house you wanted.”
Another way to tick off ABA? Say, "I only want to spend $250,000, but I want you to find me a place in [the most expensive neighborhood]." S/he really had some unkind and vulgar words to say about this client!
So if you’re heading out to work with a real estate agent, I thought I’d offer some phrases and approaches that won’t sour your relationship from the start. How about changing “I don’t care…best deal” into “I would like to buy a home in the $350,000 range that I can close on before my lease expires in 90 days”?
Rather than stating your intention to low-ball all asking prices, how about showing your agent your financial savvy by saying: “Please only show me houses you know are fairly priced and are in line with neighborhood comps so neither of us wastes our time”?
And if you have dreams of a luxury home but cannot even afford a caretaker’s cottage in your desired neighborhood, perhaps it is best to say to your agent: "I'd love to have a home as nice as those in [expensive area], but I only have $XXX to spend. Which neighborhoods come closest that I might afford”?