Author Topic: Frustrated with Realtor  (Read 14251 times)

fpjeepy

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Frustrated with Realtor
« on: March 28, 2021, 05:01:32 PM »
I've been living on a boat for three years but now moving back north for a new job and need to go back on land for winters.

Im frustrated that the realtor path is 1) Find out how much you can borrow. 2) Pick one.

I understand they don't have the time, but there are thousands of other things I need to consider. Will this property appreciate faster or slower than other options. What about buying a fixer upper? A new build? What about a tiny house? Can I take on a roommate? Airbnb legislation? Should I wait a year? When will foreclosures start happening again? How much is flood insurance? Is it cheaper to pay the insurance or have the house lifted?

I'll live in a camper or a van for a couple of years if that is a smart financial decision. But I feel like that makes me such a weirdo that they don't even know how to have that conversation. Also makes me hate Americans. Are we really that lazy? This decision could be the difference between 2 weeks vacation or 4 weeks for the rest of my life. Or retiring years earlier. Why am I the only one that seems to care?



lhamo

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2021, 10:37:29 PM »
A realtor makes money by helping people buy and sell houses. Why would you consult them about van living?

If you are not ready to buy then rent.  A room if you want to save money.

ixtap

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2021, 11:44:10 PM »
It sounds like you want a life coach, not a realtor.

Not sure why you would call someone else lazy for not doing what you don't want to do for yourself?

Also, not all Americans are realtors, if that helps your misplaced anger at all.

charis

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2021, 02:52:50 AM »
Why are you the only one who cares about what? Realtors are not financial advisors. You tell them what kind of property you are seeking and hopefully they can find it.

Dicey

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2021, 05:59:27 AM »
From the thread title, it seemed you had a specific problem with a particular realtor. I was very confused by your post, so I decided to look at your post history to try to understand it better. I found this:

To me living in a condo, watching football games on a big screen and manicuring my lawn is my worst nightmare. Thinking about it gives me anxiety. I know some people love it, but not for me. I'd rather be sleeping on an air mattress eating ramen noodle and white perch I caught off my bow. But the reason I'm here asking people for advice is because the only thing that gives me equal anxiety is making a bad financial decision. It's more of a pride thing than anything else, but I'm really scared of 10 years from now listening to people tell me "Wow, that was a terrible financial decision you made. I thought you were a little smarter with money."

I completely agree with @charis, @ixtap, and @lhamo.

uniwelder

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2021, 06:19:28 AM »
I'm interpreting the post a bit differently and think everyone commenting is being a bit harsh.  The last statement of @fpjeepy seems to just be venting in general, but the first part has to do with realtors that don't have useful real estate advice for someone with in depth questions. 

I've dealt with two real estate agents that were amazing--- knew about renovation work, landlording, acted almost as a home inspector during the walk through, and were open to out of the box thinking.  I've had other agents (only had one meeting with each) that basically just opened the front door for us and let us inside.  The OP must be having some bad experiences.  When I think of the commission an agent collects from a sale, I'm expecting an expert in their field who will know the answers (or look into them) to the questions the OP has.  In how many other professions can someone legally make so much per hour with no particular skill?

To fpjeepy, it could be either your attitude that is turning real estate agents away from you and making them unhelpful, or you could just be running into ones that are accustomed to buy-buy-buy consumers.

Dicey

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2021, 07:32:38 AM »
Nobody's time is free, especially in an insane market. I find your comment about "no particular skill" incredibly arrogant and condescending.

I have purchased and sold many homes and good real estate professionals provided a huge asset on the path to FIRE. Of course, I always started by doing my homework first. Seems like the OP wants someone to do that for him, for free. I call bullshit on that and on your comment.

charis

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2021, 07:45:20 AM »
I worked with a realtor who never even asked us how much we could borrow. We told her our range, what we were looking for, and pointed to some example listings that we liked (what many consider "starter" homes, but we planned to keep).  Obviously some are better than others, but things go much better when you know what you want and where you want it.

Freedomin5

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2021, 07:57:42 AM »
The questions youíre considering arenít questions a realtor can answer for you. Do you want to live in a fixer upper? Or a new build? A tiny house? Or enough space to have a roommate?

Your job is to tell the realtor what you want and how much you want to pay (which can be less than the mortgage amount you qualify for). Your realtorís job is to help you find places that fit your criteria.

Right now, Iím not getting a sense that you know what your criteria are, in which case the realtor canít help you find the house you want when you donít even know what you want.

Also, when will foreclosures start happening again? Beats me. I donít have a crystal ball, and I doubt your realtor has one either.

fpjeepy

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2021, 07:59:16 AM »
I did a poor job explaining myself.

I was expecting the realtor to be an expert on all costs associated with housing. I guess the safer assumption is to assume they are there to unlock a door for showings and file paperwork.

I was misplacing my homework responsibilities with the realtors. My frustration with Americans comment was because of the way the process was explained to me by the realtor. There was no discussion of who does homework, and who we consult. Which led me to believe that no one does the homework and Americans are just making uninformed purchases. That makes me upset that we are a culture that is careless with our money.

fpjeepy

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2021, 08:00:39 AM »
The questions youíre considering arenít questions a realtor can answer for you. Do you want to live in a fixer upper? Or a new build? A tiny house? Or enough space to have a roommate?

Agreed, but I can't make that decision either if I don't know the associated costs to each.

lhamo

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2021, 09:27:19 AM »
The questions youíre considering arenít questions a realtor can answer for you. Do you want to live in a fixer upper? Or a new build? A tiny house? Or enough space to have a roommate?

Agreed, but I can't make that decision either if I don't know the associated costs to each.

The answer to each of those questions is "it varies."

Unless someone has JUST completed a renovation or new build (tiny house or otherwise) exactly like the one you are contemplating using the cost of materials available during the pandemic (which are at least 30-50% higher than pre-pandemic costs in many areas), they can't tell you what those costs will be in early 2021. 

Similarly, with lots of places having no-eviction rules extended through at least the early summer, anybody promising you that you can get $xxx/month by renting out a room cannot give you a guarantee.   There are a LOT of people in my area who have tenants or roommates who have stopped paying or are struggling to pay their rent.

Anyway, rather than ranting about how a realtor can't answer your questions you could ask people with relevant experience about the different options you are contemplating.   You might want to go to some more targeted fora than this one (e.g. bigger pockets or the afford anything community for investment real estate questions, tiny house or vanlife forums for that very specific lifestyle choice, etc.).  But there are also people here who have experience and wisdom to share with those things.

Mr. Green

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2021, 03:26:55 PM »
This is an extreme seller's market and an incredibly good time to be a real estate agent. Because of that, at least in my area, it means everyone and their brother thinks it's a good time to become a Realtor. So the market is currently flooded with shitty agents who don't really know what they're doing and may not be very good professionals. I've encountered a few myself, and our agent, who has been in the business for over a decade, is dealing with subpar agents daily. If you haven't already, I would look for someone who has been in the business for a while, and not just while it's been easy money.

Freedomin5

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2021, 03:47:48 PM »
This is an extreme seller's market and an incredibly good time to be a real estate agent. Because of that, at least in my area, it means everyone and their brother thinks it's a good time to become a Realtor. So the market is currently flooded with shitty agents who don't really know what they're doing and may not be very good professionals. I've encountered a few myself, and our agent, who has been in the business for over a decade, is dealing with subpar agents daily. If you haven't already, I would look for someone who has been in the business for a while, and not just while it's been easy money.

Be aware that the ones with decades of experience may not have the time or inclination to sit with you for four hours answering all your questions about fixer uppers and tiny houses, only to have you decide to go live in a van. In the hours that they spent with you, they could have taken a serious buyer around looking at homes and closed a deal. The experienced realtors will be able to assess within the first meeting whether you are a serious buyer. So do your homework before reaching out. People who know what theyíre doing typically like to work with people who know what they want and know what they are doing.

Mr. Green

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2021, 03:53:40 PM »
This is an extreme seller's market and an incredibly good time to be a real estate agent. Because of that, at least in my area, it means everyone and their brother thinks it's a good time to become a Realtor. So the market is currently flooded with shitty agents who don't really know what they're doing and may not be very good professionals. I've encountered a few myself, and our agent, who has been in the business for over a decade, is dealing with subpar agents daily. If you haven't already, I would look for someone who has been in the business for a while, and not just while it's been easy money.

Be aware that the ones with decades of experience may not have the time or inclination to sit with you for four hours answering all your questions about fixer uppers and tiny houses, only to have you decide to go live in a van. In the hours that they spent with you, they could have taken a serious buyer around looking at homes and closed a deal. The experienced realtors will be able to assess within the first meeting whether you are a serious buyer. So do your homework before reaching out. People who know what theyíre doing typically like to work with people who know what they want and know what they are doing.
+1. You want experience, but don't waste their time. It's pretty acceptable to have some questions but if you're just feeling things out or come across as very unsure about what you want to do someone may be hesitant to take you on as a client, or you may find that the speediness of their responses isn't the fastest because they have daily urgent business. Our agent's phone is blowing up 24/7, and he's routinely up late into the night making contracts happen because things are moving that fast. So be respectful of their time.

ixtap

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2021, 05:26:10 PM »
And then there are the pat answers that they  convince each other are true at their own get togethers. I was home buying in a particularly tenant unfriendly state. They can evict you within two weeks of a missed rent payment, you cannot withhold rent to get things fixed, and you have no legal recourse until they have ignored your written request for a month, but if they lie and say they had it fixed, this must be a new problem, the whole process starts over...

Every single realtor who asked why I was buying now was told it was due to landlord issues and every single one claimed that this state was the most tenant friendly state in the union. At least one said 'that I know of,' so I was able to give her the benefit of the doubt that she had ever had any landlord tenant experience in another state...

Malcat

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2021, 05:31:35 PM »
Your issue is that YOU don't seem to want to do your homework.

You didn't research what information realtors can provide, you didn't research the costs of various form of "fixer upper" homes, you didn't research the costs and laws around tiny houses.

Your error is assuming that a realtor is a multi-disciplinary professional who would be willing to do countless hours of unpaid research work for you. A typical realtor helps you find what you *already* know you want. They're trained to help you find and negotiate the purchase of the property you know you want. You usually tell them exactly what you want and exactly how much you are willing to spend, and they help you find properties that best fit those expectations.

The good news is, you can get a TON of free help here. For all of things you are contemplating, you can't ask for a better pack of subject matter experts who are the opposite of lazy. Then once you know exactly what you want, you can engage the real estate agent to help you find the best property to meet your needs.

uniwelder

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2021, 08:04:21 PM »
Nobody's time is free, especially in an insane market. I find your comment about "no particular skill" incredibly arrogant and condescending.

I really hit a nerve there and I think you're taking my comment out of context.  I spoke highly of two particularly talented agents, but agents who just open a door for you and earn a few thousand for a few hours work doing the contract? 

...everyone and their brother thinks it's a good time to become a Realtor. So the market is currently flooded with shitty agents who don't really know what they're doing and may not be very good professionals. I've encountered a few myself...

This is what I was getting at in my comment about "no particular skill".  Isn't there a saying about 10% of agents make 90% of the money?

Dicey

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2021, 08:49:26 PM »
Nobody's time is free, especially in an insane market. I find your comment about "no particular skill" incredibly arrogant and condescending.

I really hit a nerve there and I think you're taking my comment out of context.  I spoke highly of two particularly talented agents, but agents who just open a door for you and earn a few thousand for a few hours work doing the contract? 

...everyone and their brother thinks it's a good time to become a Realtor. So the market is currently flooded with shitty agents who don't really know what they're doing and may not be very good professionals. I've encountered a few myself...

This is what I was getting at in my comment about "no particular skill".  Isn't there a saying about 10% of agents make 90% of the money?

...The OP must be having some bad experiences.  When I think of the commission an agent collects from a sale, I'm expecting an expert in their field who will know the answers (or look into them) to the questions the OP has.  In how many other professions can someone legally make so much per hour with no particular skill?

Your fuller quote (above) was even worse. Sure, you mentioned you had two good agents, and then you made disparaging remarks about the rest of the profession. How do you quantify how much they make per hour, for example? Why would you assume every one of them has the same level of expertise?

As to your question about that saying to Mr. Green, "they" say that in sales about salespeople, and then salespeople say that about their customers. etc. Just because there's a saying, doesn't mean it's the gospel truth.

There are Forum Rules in order to participate here. Denigration an entire profession with little but scant anecdotal experience violates at least one of them. You didn't hit a nerve. In my opinion, you were being completely unfair.

uniwelder

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2021, 10:11:24 PM »
Your fuller quote (above) was even worse. Sure, you mentioned you had two good agents, and then you made disparaging remarks about the rest of the profession. How do you quantify how much they make per hour, for example? Why would you assume every one of them has the same level of expertise?

As to your question about that saying to Mr. Green, "they" say that in sales about salespeople, and then salespeople say that about their customers. etc. Just because there's a saying, doesn't mean it's the gospel truth.

There are Forum Rules in order to participate here. Denigration an entire profession with little but scant anecdotal experience violates at least one of them. You didn't hit a nerve. In my opinion, you were being completely unfair.

I suggest you reread my words when you're in a more relaxed state, and rather than try to bend their meaning in a way that makes me sound evil to your ears, attempt to interpret it a little lighter, and then you'll get to what I've intended.  Am I breaking forum rules and disparaging an entire profession?  I'm disparaging those realtors that provide little value and are paid enormously for a few hours work, while giving praise to do those that work hard and have expertise.  Why do you think I believe all realtors have the same level of expertise?  Didn't I explicitly say the opposite?

Regarding the 10% and 90%, you've got me intrigued.  I'll have to look into that and see what information I can find, but don't think I'll be that far off.  I do know there are lots of licensed realtors that only make a couple of sales per year, while there are prominent ones doing at least one per week in my area.  Taking a quick look, the National Association of Realtors website says there were about 6 million home sales in 2019 and there are 2 million licensed realtors, so that gives 3 sales/year on average for each realtor.  I doubt the sales distribution will be evenly spread.  To get the 10% and 90% to work out (or something else lopsided like that) for the statistics I just mentioned, that means for every agent doing 20 sales per year, there would be 13 or 14 with only 2 per year, which sounds about right if the average is 3.  Can someone reference some hard numbers on this?

Sibley

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2021, 10:34:48 PM »
I have worked, and am working with an EXCELLENT realtor. Easily top 10% in the area, if not top 1%. And you know what she does?

She takes what you tell her you want (location, features, price, size, etc), and helps you find and look at properties that seem to fit your criteria.
She will point out what she sees about a house, but is NOT a contractor or home inspector.
She'll give you some guidance on what the market is doing in the area.
She preps the paperwork to make an offer on a house, and helps you navigate the whole process of offer-counteroffer, inspection, closing (in conjunction with the mortgage person if applicable), etc.
She does NOT decide what you want, where you want it, what your budget is, what makes financial sense for you, do basic due diligence research on a property, long range financial analysis, or cost-benefit analysis.

Pretty much every single thing in your list is primarily your problem to figure out, and sure a relator might have some knowledge they could contribute, but really, YOUR responsibility.

Now, I happen to be cautious of realtors because there are good number of them who are, bluntly, flakes, and I have a basic need for competence and follow-through. But it's certainly not all of them. And no, not all Americans are lazy, or dumb, or poorly educated.

Frankly, just go live in a camper. Based on the quote that Dicey pulled up, you would likely be miserable with anything else.

sailinlight

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2021, 10:55:56 PM »
I don't love the mafia-eske hold that Realtors have on the housing market, but if they were providing the service you suggest they should, their fee should be about double what they're currently charging.

Dicey

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Re: Frustrated with Realtor
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2021, 12:51:47 PM »
Your fuller quote (above) was even worse. Sure, you mentioned you had two good agents, and then you made disparaging remarks about the rest of the profession. How do you quantify how much they make per hour, for example? Why would you assume every one of them has the same level of expertise?

As to your question about that saying to Mr. Green, "they" say that in sales about salespeople, and then salespeople say that about their customers. etc. Just because there's a saying, doesn't mean it's the gospel truth.

There are Forum Rules in order to participate here. Denigration an entire profession with little but scant anecdotal experience violates at least one of them. You didn't hit a nerve. In my opinion, you were being completely unfair.

I suggest you reread my words when you're in a more relaxed state, and rather than try to bend their meaning in a way that makes me sound evil to your ears, attempt to interpret it a little lighter, and then you'll get to what I've intended.  Am I breaking forum rules and disparaging an entire profession?  I'm disparaging those realtors that provide little value and are paid enormously for a few hours work, while giving praise to do those that work hard and have expertise.  Why do you think I believe all realtors have the same level of expertise?  Didn't I explicitly say the opposite?

Regarding the 10% and 90%, you've got me intrigued.  I'll have to look into that and see what information I can find, but don't think I'll be that far off.  I do know there are lots of licensed realtors that only make a couple of sales per year, while there are prominent ones doing at least one per week in my area.  Taking a quick look, the National Association of Realtors website says there were about 6 million home sales in 2019 and there are 2 million licensed realtors, so that gives 3 sales/year on average for each realtor.  I doubt the sales distribution will be evenly spread.  To get the 10% and 90% to work out (or something else lopsided like that) for the statistics I just mentioned, that means for every agent doing 20 sales per year, there would be 13 or 14 with only 2 per year, which sounds about right if the average is 3.  Can someone reference some hard numbers on this?

I've been FIRE for eight years. I have permanent residence in the State of Relaxation. Sure, I'll accept responsibility for "misinterpreting" your words, if you'll take ownership of your "disparaging" comments as you so aptly just called them. Though why you need to be so critical is mildly curious, in a low-key, no-stress kind of way. If you made have worked with brokers or agents who did very little work (in your words), wasn't that your choice to make? FWIW, I did read every word you wrote very carefully before I penned my responses. I'm FIRE, ya know, so I have plenty of time to do that. Oh, and "evil" is your word, not mine. I was asking you to be a bit more respectful of others.

Lots of people get a Real Estate License with no intention of becoming full time realtors, so the numbers are easily skewed. Mortgage brokers in my state are also required to have a RE License. Many flippers get one to save costs when buying and selling or just to be more knowledgeable about the process. I know a couple of flippers with RE Licenses who never sell their completed projects themselves, but the knowledge gained through the RE training process is invaluable. The person who bought my parent's house off-market after my mom died was an estate attorney who also had his RE license, which made the process infinitely easier, but he doesn't sell houses either. There are also a number of Realtors within our forum. Perhaps they'll know other reasons people seek this credential but don't intend to attempt making a living finding houses for others. OTOH, maybe they're tired of people who throw stones and simply ignore them. Oh, and the 90/10 stat didn't come from me.