Pay Realtor Per Showing

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spm301
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Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by spm301 »

I'm having difficulty finding a house and am feeling very guilty dragging a realtor to homes I do not place an offer on. Not placing an offer on a home i tour is due to a variety of reasons, partially the market (deceptive pictures, lack of pictures, homes selling in a day so I cannot do much research and lack of open houses that require me to have a realtor present to see a home) and part is my indecision and fear over buying a home.

Dragging a realtor to a showing I am not interested increases the 'pressure to buy' for future showings (in my mind). Would it be reasonable, or acceptable to offer to pay the realtor a 'per showing fee'? This would be in addition to the realtor's commission. If so how much? $50?

Paying the realtor per showing would be more of a psychological benefit on my end as it would alleviate some of the 'pressure to buy' and I could convince myself the realtor is partially being compensated for the time spent which would allow me to think more clearly without the guilt of 'wasting the realtor's time'.

At the end of the day I want to buy a home from the realtor, but am feeling so guilty taking the realtor to homes I do not place an offer on.
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Brianmcg321
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by Brianmcg321 »

You shouldn’t worry about it. They will get a hefty % when you do buy. It’s their job.
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bampf
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by bampf »

To me this is a terrible idea. Agents are very well compensated when you buy.
Jags4186
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by Jags4186 »

This post made me laugh.

The real estate agent is a sales person. If you aren’t buying they don’t have what you’re looking for. It’s their job to find you the right one.

If you see enough places without buying, eventually the agent will stop returning your calls. That could be 10, 20, 50, 100 showings.
livesoft
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by livesoft »

You should give your realtor specifications and they should screen homes for you. I only looked at two homes: The first one my spouse tricked me into looking at and did not meet my specifications. The other home: we bought it.

Below is a list of my specifications, so come up with your own and give it to your realtor so they can do their job:
livesoft wrote: Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:34 pm I wrote about it previously:
livesoft wrote:A list from a previous thread ….
http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 24#p818024
livesoft wrote:When we started looking to buy, we went to library and checked out the books. It was pretty straightforward. I would not buy a book unless it was in the $1 rack at the used book store.

And the idea of "evaluating windows" is kind of silly. Here's my criteria when I was looking for a home.

1. On a cul-de-sac near the end, but not at the end and not at the beginning.
2. Good schools.
3. Within 3 miles of my office.
4. Short walk from a water features like a pond or lake.
5. No tile countertops.
6. No bathroom doors visible from a seated position in any public room like den, kitchen, living room, game room, study, etc.
7. 4 bedrooms, at least 3 bathrooms.
8. Brick exterior, not stucco, not wood.
9. No major street within 2 blocks. (i.e. Interior cul-de-sac).
10. No chance of flooding, so must be on a ridge or high ground with good drainage even during a hurricane.

Surprisingly, these criteria eliminate about 98% of homes, so if the realtor is doing their job, you won't have to look at more than 1 or 2 homes. Notice that except for the countertop thing, there is nothing special about windows, insulation, appliances, etc. Those are small things that you can change. You can't change location and add a large pond or good schools where none exist.
In addition, (some are redundant):

11. Not on a corner (same as #1).
12. If street has street lights, at the street light (free security lighting).
13. 3 ways out of the neighborhood (in case fallen trees block the roads).
14. Cannot hear any highway noise nor noise of major traffic arteries.
15. Nice walking possibilities for the dog; nice running/biking loops in several directions for you.
16. Consider site plan: Deciduous trees on south side to shield from sun in summer, open views on north side.
17. No nuisances (no electric wires, power lines. No visible water towers, cell phone towers, billboards, sewage treatment plants.)
18. Walk to schools (see #2).
19. Walk/bike to nearby grocery store, restaurants, drugstores, doctors, dentists (but not so close that one gets any noise or traffic in the neighborhood).
20. Home is offset from next door homes, so that windows do not face neighbors' windows, patios do not directly face neighors' patios.

And I agree with awval999, price-per-sq-ft is a good criteria, but once narrowed to a neighborhood the list I presented might help.
I'll add two more criteria from recent bogleheads threads:

N1. Water heaters should be located very near (such as above) critical bathroom showers and kitchens, so that one does not have to wait for hot water. Two heaters are better than one for redundancy.

N2. Washer/dryer in the laundry room should be located conveniently on the same floor as the master bedroom, but not so close as to allow noise in the bedroom. A good location is between the kitchen or mud room and the dining room. That way the dining room can be used for dumping/folding clothes from the dryer. Of course, one of the hot water heaters should be above the laundry room.
If you tell your buyer's agent not to show you any house that doesn't meet the specific location requirements, that'll speed things up and they won't waste your time. I only looked inside 2 homes in the course of 5 months. The first one I was tricked by my spouse; the second one we bought.
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Topic Author
spm301
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by spm301 »

livesoft wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:14 am You should give your realtor specifications and they should screen homes for you. I only looked at two homes: The first one my spouse tricked me into looking at and did not meet my specifications. The other home: we bought it.

Below is a list of my specifications, so come up with your own and give it to your realtor so they can do their job:
livesoft wrote: Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:34 pm I wrote about it previously:
livesoft wrote:A list from a previous thread ….
http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 24#p818024
livesoft wrote:When we started looking to buy, we went to library and checked out the books. It was pretty straightforward. I would not buy a book unless it was in the $1 rack at the used book store.

And the idea of "evaluating windows" is kind of silly. Here's my criteria when I was looking for a home.

1. On a cul-de-sac near the end, but not at the end and not at the beginning.
2. Good schools.
3. Within 3 miles of my office.
4. Short walk from a water features like a pond or lake.
5. No tile countertops.
6. No bathroom doors visible from a seated position in any public room like den, kitchen, living room, game room, study, etc.
7. 4 bedrooms, at least 3 bathrooms.
8. Brick exterior, not stucco, not wood.
9. No major street within 2 blocks. (i.e. Interior cul-de-sac).
10. No chance of flooding, so must be on a ridge or high ground with good drainage even during a hurricane.

Surprisingly, these criteria eliminate about 98% of homes, so if the realtor is doing their job, you won't have to look at more than 1 or 2 homes. Notice that except for the countertop thing, there is nothing special about windows, insulation, appliances, etc. Those are small things that you can change. You can't change location and add a large pond or good schools where none exist.
In addition, (some are redundant):

11. Not on a corner (same as #1).
12. If street has street lights, at the street light (free security lighting).
13. 3 ways out of the neighborhood (in case fallen trees block the roads).
14. Cannot hear any highway noise nor noise of major traffic arteries.
15. Nice walking possibilities for the dog; nice running/biking loops in several directions for you.
16. Consider site plan: Deciduous trees on south side to shield from sun in summer, open views on north side.
17. No nuisances (no electric wires, power lines. No visible water towers, cell phone towers, billboards, sewage treatment plants.)
18. Walk to schools (see #2).
19. Walk/bike to nearby grocery store, restaurants, drugstores, doctors, dentists (but not so close that one gets any noise or traffic in the neighborhood).
20. Home is offset from next door homes, so that windows do not face neighbors' windows, patios do not directly face neighors' patios.

And I agree with awval999, price-per-sq-ft is a good criteria, but once narrowed to a neighborhood the list I presented might help.
I'll add two more criteria from recent bogleheads threads:

N1. Water heaters should be located very near (such as above) critical bathroom showers and kitchens, so that one does not have to wait for hot water. Two heaters are better than one for redundancy.

N2. Washer/dryer in the laundry room should be located conveniently on the same floor as the master bedroom, but not so close as to allow noise in the bedroom. A good location is between the kitchen or mud room and the dining room. That way the dining room can be used for dumping/folding clothes from the dryer. Of course, one of the hot water heaters should be above the laundry room.
If you tell your buyer's agent not to show you any house that doesn't meet the specific location requirements, that'll speed things up and they won't waste your time. I only looked inside 2 homes in the course of 5 months. The first one I was tricked by my spouse; the second one we bought.

Writing down requirements is an excellent idea and something I should go about doing. I think under a 'normal market' this would function quite well, but the real estate market I am in is absolutely crazy. A so-so home in a good neighborhood came on the market yesterday and already has multiple offers on it. In addition, the realtor suspects it will go around (5% over asking price) - while this home needs quite a bit of upgrading. It's a very frustrating environment to work in.
adestefan
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by adestefan »

Do you need to buy or is this just FOMO? If it’s bothering you just sit on the sidelines until you’re ready.
Topic Author
spm301
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by spm301 »

adestefan wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:24 am Do you need to buy or is this just FOMO? If it’s bothering you just sit on the sidelines until you’re ready.
I do need to buy. I'm not going to be homeless, but apartment living is not working out. I am having difficulty matching my expectations to market realities. It's difficult to a convince myself I'm making a 'good decision' when prices have increased $20K, $30K over last year's market in many instances.
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8foot7
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by 8foot7 »

I remember when I was looking for my first home. I can't remember how many homes I was shown -- it wasn't many, maybe five max -- and I started feeling the pressure from the buyer agent. "This one is good and might get away." "Which one are you going to put an offer on?" "Can I call their realtor and tell them an offer is coming?" and other somewhat pushy statements. She was a high-powered realtor, a friend of a wealthy neighbor and family friend of ours and she was taking me on as a favor. At the time I was naive and thought that she was really was trying to get me into the right home, so I caved to the pressure and limited my search, but I would have been more comfortable seeing two or three other places; I remember there was one house in particular I really wanted to see and she talked me out of it, ostensibly because if I wasted time looking and considering that home, the one she thought was best for me would get away.

Over time I have figured out that 1) I was buying a starter home so she was looking at $4,500 max to then split with her brokerage 2) she was tired of driving all over the metro area showing me houses 3) I was nowhere near a big enough fish for her to give a you-know-what about.

We did end up with a great home and I owned it for 9 years, but I decided never again was I going to let a realtor decide how many houses or lots I was going to be shown.
Mr.Chlorine
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by Mr.Chlorine »

My realtor and I went to 5-8 homes a weekend (usually all on the same day) for close to 2 months before I made an offer. Any that I thought about making an offer on I asked to view twice.

To put it another way, if you bought the first house the realtor showed you, would you expect them to discount their services?
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galawdawg
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by galawdawg »

spm301 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:09 am I'm having difficulty finding a house and am feeling very guilty dragging a realtor to homes I do not place an offer on. Not placing an offer on a home i tour is due to a variety of reasons, partially the market (deceptive pictures, lack of pictures, homes selling in a day so I cannot do much research and lack of open houses that require me to have a realtor present to see a home) and part is my indecision and fear over buying a home.

Dragging a realtor to a showing I am not interested increases the 'pressure to buy' for future showings (in my mind). Would it be reasonable, or acceptable to offer to pay the realtor a 'per showing fee'? This would be in addition to the realtor's commission. If so how much? $50?

Paying the realtor per showing would be more of a psychological benefit on my end as it would alleviate some of the 'pressure to buy' and I could convince myself the realtor is partially being compensated for the time spent which would allow me to think more clearly without the guilt of 'wasting the realtor's time'.

At the end of the day I want to buy a home from the realtor, but am feeling so guilty taking the realtor to homes I do not place an offer on.
Your realtor should be assisting you in finding the home that meets your wants and needs. Some realtors do that better than others. I've worked with realtors who want to pound a square peg into a round hole and show me homes that don't meet my criteria. "I know you said you needed four bedrooms, but I think this two bedroom house would be a great option....", "I know you are only interested in a single family home, but this condo just hit the market and you have got to see it, it is a steal". In some cases, buyers are very wishy-washy about their requirements and end up buying something their realtor found for them, even if it doesn't come close to resembling what they said they wanted.

I'd recommend you reflect upon what you are looking for and be sure you have given your realtor a list of what you require (no flexibility) as well as what you desire (flexibility is there). That way, neither you nor your realtor waste time looking at homes that don't meet your requirements. Beyond that, take as much time as you need to make your decision. Transaction costs are extremely high and you want to be sure you are satisfied with your home purchase for many years to come.

And remember at the end of the transaction, your realtor will earn a commission of 2.5%-3.0%, all for probably less than eighty (80) hours of work. So don't feel guilty, just be sure that you have provided your realtor with reasonable marching orders so that nobody is wasting their time.
Last edited by galawdawg on Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
rantk81
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by rantk81 »

If Redfin operates in your area, I would highly recommend. IIRC, the agents do not work off of commission -- they are paid a salary.
I had a wonderful experience buying my home with Redfin. You do have to be willing to do the "legwork" yourself of investigating potential properties online though.
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jfn111
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by jfn111 »

In real estate the agent is prepared to show as many houses as necessary to close the deal. A good agent will follow what the customer wants and pre-screen the houses.
The biggest problem I run into is buyers that are all over the board on their wants. They tell me 4+ bedrooms and 3+ baths then they see a 3 bedroom house on Zillow and wonder why I didn't tell them about it. :oops:
There is no reason to pay per showing when working with a good agent. As long as the client is serious about buying we are there to show houses. When it becomes clear that they aren't serious we part ways.
fortunefavored
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by fortunefavored »

spm301 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:22 am Writing down requirements is an excellent idea and something I should go about doing. I think under a 'normal market' this would function quite well, but the real estate market I am in is absolutely crazy. A so-so home in a good neighborhood came on the market yesterday and already has multiple offers on it. In addition, the realtor suspects it will go around (5% over asking price) - while this home needs quite a bit of upgrading. It's a very frustrating environment to work in.
I'm in the same boat and the buyer's agents don't have any more information than you do. Waiting on them to "screen" a house right now means the house is gone already. And you will not find anything that meets all your requirements, so it really does require seeing it and deciding if the compromises are worth it. I looked at a house over the weekend that was listed last Tuesday that probably needed $100K of work, several offers over list yesterday, with counter offers requested by end of week. I passed.

"making a checklist" might work if you're willing to wait several years.

So I have no advice other than agreeing not to feel bad about the "agent" - they're going to get 3% on the sale for basically doing nothing in this market.
adestefan
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by adestefan »

spm301 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:29 am
adestefan wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:24 am Do you need to buy or is this just FOMO? If it’s bothering you just sit on the sidelines until you’re ready.
I do need to buy. I'm not going to be homeless, but apartment living is not working out. I am having difficulty matching my expectations to market realities. It's difficult to a convince myself I'm making a 'good decision' when prices have increased $20K, $30K over last year's market in many instances.
That's good. I just wanted to make sure you were not jumping into something because you feel like you need to versus that you really need to. I think other posters have it correct though. Take some time to make a list of what you need in your home and what would be nice to have. After you've done that do a bit of research to make sure your list is realistic in your market and against your budget.

Give that to your realtor and let them do their job. Most are very good at it.
livesoft
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by livesoft »

Is this how real estate bubbles start?
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Dottie57
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by Dottie57 »

spm301 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:29 am
adestefan wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:24 am Do you need to buy or is this just FOMO? If it’s bothering you just sit on the sidelines until you’re ready.
I do need to buy. I'm not going to be homeless, but apartment living is not working out. I am having difficulty matching my expectations to market realities. It's difficult to a convince myself I'm making a 'good decision' when prices have increased $20K, $30K over last year's market in many instances.
You can’t compare this year’s prices to last year. Only compare houses from the current market to each other. You could wait years and then pay 100k more for a house.
Walkure
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by Walkure »

fortunefavored wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:09 am
spm301 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:22 am Writing down requirements is an excellent idea and something I should go about doing. I think under a 'normal market' this would function quite well, but the real estate market I am in is absolutely crazy. A so-so home in a good neighborhood came on the market yesterday and already has multiple offers on it. In addition, the realtor suspects it will go around (5% over asking price) - while this home needs quite a bit of upgrading. It's a very frustrating environment to work in.
I'm in the same boat and the buyer's agents don't have any more information than you do. Waiting on them to "screen" a house right now means the house is gone already. And you will not find anything that meets all your requirements, so it really does require seeing it and deciding if the compromises are worth it. I looked at a house over the weekend that was listed last Tuesday that probably needed $100K of work, several offers over list yesterday, with counter offers requested by end of week. I passed.

"making a checklist" might work if you're willing to wait several years.

So I have no advice other than agreeing not to feel bad about the "agent" - they're going to get 3% on the sale for basically doing nothing in this market.
Sounds a lot like my recent experience. East Coast metro burbs, made offers on two fixer uppers needing 40-80k of work, in both cases offering 10-15% over asking price, and lost both to all-cash offers. Most recent one was listed Sunday evening, and seller was evaluating best and finals by noon Friday. It's almost impossible to compete as a borrower; paradoxically, you would have to deliberately overpay to beat out a comparable cash offer, but no seller wants to take the chance that it won't appraise at your offer, so instead they go with a sure thing and take the cash offer. :annoyed
Nowizard
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by Nowizard »

Just think of the variation in sales. Some show many houses, but the same Realtor may show one time, something that happened with us and led to a 30K+ commission, though she did not get it all. It averages out with many businesses where some clients are pains, some are demanding but nice, some are very easy and quick, a few are lost causes. If a Realtor deals in houses priced at reasonable levels or volume with lower priced houses, the 5-6% fee in our area supports very nice homes and automobiles for the Realtor. A gift at closing might be appropriate, though those are typically to the purchaser by the Realtor.

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SmallCityDave
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by SmallCityDave »

bampf wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:12 am To me this is a terrible idea. Agents are very well compensated when you buy.
IF you buy.
egrets
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by egrets »

Am I the only person who went around looking at houses at open houses by herself? Then I knew what was available, what prices were really, and what I wanted. Yes, it was a hot housing market, but there is always another house on the horizon, and nobody was pushing me to make a decision or hurry up.
Trism
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by Trism »

When I was working with a Redfin agent a couple of years ago I expressed a similar concern.

He first made it clear that it was part of his job, and then when I didn't immediately relent he mentioned that he received a fee from Redfin for every showing.
Walkure
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by Walkure »

egrets wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:05 am Am I the only person who went around looking at houses at open houses by herself? Then I knew what was available, what prices were really, and what I wanted. Yes, it was a hot housing market, but there is always another house on the horizon, and nobody was pushing me to make a decision or hurry up.
Except that in the age of COVID no one hosts open houses, because there's no good way to regulate the number of bodies traipsing through the property at one time, so you have to schedule an appointment through a realtor if you want to get inside.
kaudrey
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by kaudrey »

We just bought a house in a hot market (closing in a few weeks).

My real estate agent made us a "portal" that had our big criteria in it - price range and location - and then we could look at the pictures and flag ones we thought were worth viewing. The first weekend, she took us to everything we flagged, but then she started weeding them out for us due to revised criteria based on seeing about 12 houses - kitchen too small, no double vanity in the master bath, etc. We made an offer on a house after seeing probably 20 houses, and only got it because we upped our offer at the last minute to outbid someone else (5% over list price).

We did also go to open houses - in our area, open houses are definitely happening! Houses go on the market on Thursday or Friday, open house Saturday or Sunday, bids due Monday morning. Many houses are under contract by Monday afternoon.

As I looked at Zillow and realtor.com and her portal, I learned that pictures definitely can deceiving. Google Earth helped show layouts of properties - how close to a major road, is there any privacy between you and the neighbors, etc.

After seeing a bunch of houses, your realtor should know by now what you might like and not like. That saved my realtor and us a lot of time - we trusted her to show us ones that might actually work, and skip others without FOMO.
kaudrey
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by kaudrey »

Walkure wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:24 am
egrets wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:05 am Am I the only person who went around looking at houses at open houses by herself? Then I knew what was available, what prices were really, and what I wanted. Yes, it was a hot housing market, but there is always another house on the horizon, and nobody was pushing me to make a decision or hurry up.
Except that in the age of COVID no one hosts open houses, because there's no good way to regulate the number of bodies traipsing through the property at one time, so you have to schedule an appointment through a realtor if you want to get inside.
That is region specific. Our area has lots of open houses; you just have to wear a mask and they space people out.
fortunefavored
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by fortunefavored »

livesoft wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:14 am Is this how real estate bubbles start?
Definitely wondering too, is it a bubble or just reallocation of assets/risk? Bonds are pointless, cash is pointless, the fed is giving away money for nearly free on a 30 year mortgage, "much" nicer places to live 1+ hour away from job centers with the new work-from-home paradigm that are now exploding in price with very limited supply..

I am particularly annoyed as this was part of my 10 year plan to FIRE and now everybody else has the same idea.
rich126
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by rich126 »

I think I saw ~30 homes over a month before I bought. Part of it was understanding the area (at that time I was semi-new to it), traffic patterns and what you got for your money. I usually tried to scan the listing before asking to see the house since there were certain things I would not want to deal with. And also to let the agent know I didn't want a busy street, etc.

Sometimes you can't control certain things. Once we went to the house, opened the door, took one smell and left. Certain things are not going to be easily fixable or stuff I want to deal with.

I'm feeling a little guilty now because I have a buyer for my house but made it clear to the agent the buyer can do a home inspection (which I would want as well as a buyer) but with the state of the market and with the fact I have no urgent need to move, the bottom line is the buyer will have to take the house as is since I will not fix anything. Buyers sometimes think an older house should be in pristine condition but that doesn't happen and if the house is good enough for me to live in (e.g., no leaks, appliances working) then I'm not fixing stuff in this market.

With agents just like finance advisors, insurance agents, etc. people often get too connected with the person and can't make difficult decisions objectively and instead let emotions guide them.

It is your money so as long as you aren't misleading the agent it isn't your problem. If the agent has an issue I'm sure they will let you know.
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celia
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by celia »

kaudrey wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:55 am My real estate agent made us a "portal" that had our big criteria in it - price range and location - and then we could look at the pictures and flag ones we thought were worth viewing. The first weekend, she took us to everything we flagged, but then she started weeding them out for us due to revised criteria based on seeing about 12 houses - kitchen too small, no double vanity in the master bath, etc. We made an offer on a house after seeing probably 20 houses, and only got it because we upped our offer at the last minute to outbid someone else (5% over list price).
....

After seeing a bunch of houses, your realtor should know by now what you might like and not like. That saved my realtor and us a lot of time - we trusted her to show us ones that might actually work, and skip others without FOMO.
+1. This what a good realtor should be doing. After each showing they should be asking what you liked and didn’t. If they don’t ask, go ahead and say it yourself and make a note for yourself. If a realtor showed you 2 houses with small kitchens (to you), and you told them that twice, when the third house with a small kitchen is shown, they are not listening and are wasting your time.

In effect, you are building a list like livesoft did, but in real time.
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by Big Dog »

if you are unsure of what you are looking for, and just want to scope out a bunch of places to gets some ideas of value, then don't drag the realtor around if you don't want to. You can always drop into an open house -- at least pre-COVID -- and tell the agent onsite that you are currently working with a broker, but was just passing by and saw the open house sign so you thought you'd stop in if that's ok. Most on-site agents will say 'fine, take my card and have your broker call me if you have any interest'.
adamthesmythe
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by adamthesmythe »

Most of us have to see a number of houses to find out what is in the market and what it costs. Showing enough houses to educate the buyer is something (almost all?) agents expect to do.

You can use the agent most effectively if you do some serious thinking about your needs and some downselecting on your own. To start I looked at what was available in the listings, picked out the likely prospects, and did a drive-by before asking for a viewing. This also saved my time. Open houses are also a good way to get educated (be sure to note you are represented, though).

I would have dumped an agent who showed unreasonable impatience. However- giving you a sense of urgency in a strong market is something you want.

So no, no need to pay per showing if you do your part.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by SmileyFace »

Your heart is in the right place but if the realtor is patient with you they have a big score coming when you do buy. If you never buy they know they are taking that risk so that doesn't matter either (not every prospective customer pays off in sales).
If you go to a car dealership and end up test-driving 5 cars before buying one (or leave the lot with buying none) I assume you wouldn't pay them a fee per car. This is really no different other than it being a much larger scale (in both time and dollars).
surfstar
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by surfstar »

egrets wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:05 am Am I the only person who went around looking at houses at open houses by herself? Then I knew what was available, what prices were really, and what I wanted. Yes, it was a hot housing market, but there is always another house on the horizon, and nobody was pushing me to make a decision or hurry up.
DW and I knew about all the homes actually on the market that we were interested in. The Agent would know about upcoming ones. Otherwise we knew more about the homes we wanted to see. Similar to car buying - I go in knowing more about the vehicle and the competition than the sales person. They're just someone who's there to get a paycheck b/c that's how the system is setup and don't actually add value to our buying process.
atikovi
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by atikovi »

spm301 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:09 am Would it be reasonable, or acceptable to offer to pay the realtor a 'per showing fee'? This would be in addition to the realtor's commission. If so how much? $50?
Got to assume there is some stupid regulation that makes this transaction illegal in some jurisdictions. Would be an incentive for agents just to show many houses, most of which you wouldn't buy, to make an extra $200 or $300 in an afternoon.
boglerdude
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by boglerdude »

Any agents here? How much would you want to be paid for various components of your job (a la carte) if you were dealing with someone not sure if they'll buy?

edit: ill also do some googling later https://trsmag.com/unbundling-services/
DesertDiva
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by DesertDiva »

When I was a realtor, it was illegal to receive compensation from anyone other than my broker. Laws vary by state, so YMMV.
michaeljc70
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by michaeljc70 »

Your realtor should be honing what they show you based on feedback from prior showings. If you haven't narrowed down what you want in a home much I would do what livesoft suggested and make a detailed list. Add/subtract to it based on the realities of the market and your price range.

When buying I ignored listings that had no or one or two photos. That is just irresponsible of the selling agent and usually indicates there isn't much good to show or the agent is extremely lazy.

The times I bought (vs built), I don't think I looked at more than 20 places. If you are looking at hundreds of places you probably don't have realistic expectations or know what you want. The location, description and photos should give you a good idea of what the place is like. Things you often don't get from that is a bad layout, neighbors that neglect their properties and noise/undesirability issues (train tracks, school, power plant, etc).
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alpenglow
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by alpenglow »

I would never pay a realtor per viewing. The suggestion to make a list of requirements is excellent. If a realtor knows exactly what you are looking for, they might be able to alert you to properties that meet your criteria before/just as they come to market.

I do agree that the market is a little crazy in certain areas right now. I was starting to get interested in some Upstate NY areas for a possible vacation property. Covid came along and previously sleepy areas are now booming. A property I had some interest in was already expensive (to me anyway) and sold in a couple of days with multiple offers over ask (according to the realtor). It looks the same with areas I follow in VT. Just like a stock rally, I don't think anyone knows where this will go. Realtors told me there was a similar boom after 9-11 but things eventually settled down. Good luck.
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AAA
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by AAA »

We are in the initial stages of looking to move. We were advised by someone in the business to first do basic research on our own before engaging a realtor. A lot of the information is online. If we find something of interest that we want to visit, we contact the selling agent and arrange for a tour of the house. So it's a different agent each time. This approach was partly decided on by our not wanting to be pressured to buy and partly by not wanting to waste a realtor's time so early in the process as we are not yet sure even where we would want to relocate.
michaeljc70
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by michaeljc70 »

AAA wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:56 am We are in the initial stages of looking to move. We were advised by someone in the business to first do basic research on our own before engaging a realtor. A lot of the information is online. If we find something of interest that we want to visit, we contact the selling agent and arrange for a tour of the house. So it's a different agent each time. This approach was partly decided on by our not wanting to be pressured to buy and partly by not wanting to waste a realtor's time so early in the process as we are not yet sure even where we would want to relocate.
Aren't you just wasting the selling agents time instead of the buying agents time? Assuming you continue to do this one agent that showed you one house will get the commission. With a buyer's agent one agent that showed you x houses will get the commission. Meaning, I think you are distorting the commission structure since 1 seller's agent that spent 20 minutes with you might make $40k (or whatever) vs. a buyer's agent that took you to 30 houses making $20k.
Last edited by michaeljc70 on Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Elsebet
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by Elsebet »

livesoft wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:14 am You should give your realtor specifications and they should screen homes for you. I only looked at two homes: The first one my spouse tricked me into looking at and did not meet my specifications. The other home: we bought it.
This made me smile because our story is so similar, though I did not trick my spouse. We had been looking for a few months on zillow before we were ready to buy so we had a good idea of what was available and what we wanted. The first house we looked at was beautiful on the outside and in the pictures but was a totally different story in person (the pictures tricked us). The second house we saw and bought was the first one my husband ever saved in Zillow.
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca
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AAA
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by AAA »

michaeljc70 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:02 am
AAA wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:56 am We are in the initial stages of looking to move. We were advised by someone in the business to first do basic research on our own before engaging a realtor. A lot of the information is online. If we find something of interest that we want to visit, we contact the selling agent and arrange for a tour of the house. So it's a different agent each time. This approach was partly decided on by our not wanting to be pressured to buy and partly by not wanting to waste a realtor's time so early in the process as we are not yet sure even where we would want to relocate.
Aren't you just wasting the selling agents time instead of the buying agents time? Assuming you continue to do this one agent that showed you one house will get the commission. With a buyer's agent one agent that showed you x houses will get the commission. Meaning, I think you are distorting the commission structure since 1 seller's agent that spent 20 minutes with you might make $20k (or whatever) vs. a buyer's agent that took you to 30 houses making $20k.
I'm not really following you here as the "selling agent" is different each time hence minimal waste of their time for a one-time walk around with us and they are usually already there at the open house (which now requires scheduling due to Covid). And as I mentioned, once we focus in on the location of interest, we would engage a realtor to help us find a home and sell our current one.
Last edited by AAA on Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
unstartable
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by unstartable »

Mr.Chlorine wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:41 am My realtor and I went to 5-8 homes a weekend (usually all on the same day) for close to 2 months before I made an offer. Any that I thought about making an offer on I asked to view twice.

To put it another way, if you bought the first house the realtor showed you, would you expect them to discount their services?
This is how I did things as well. I can't imagine making a purchase as large as a home without a thorough understanding of the market and a careful inspection of the home you plan on buying. Overlooking some problem could cost 10s of thousands of dollars.

Edit to add: I also gave a list of about 4 houses a weekend that I wanted to see, and the realtor knew what I was looking for and would give me a list of a few house before we would head out. I would cross them off the list if I wasn't interested. No point in wasting anyone's time.
egrets wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:05 am Am I the only person who went around looking at houses at open houses by herself? Then I knew what was available, what prices were really, and what I wanted. Yes, it was a hot housing market, but there is always another house on the horizon, and nobody was pushing me to make a decision or hurry up.
When I was looking I did this on Sunday, after looking at houses with my realtor on Saturday.
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by alil »

Dragging a realtor to a showing I am not interested increases the 'pressure to buy' for future showings (in my mind). Would it be reasonable, or acceptable to offer to pay the realtor a 'per showing fee'? This would be in addition to the realtor's commission. If so how much? $50?
Not necessary, but if you do feel the pressure already and are worried about making the wrong decision because of that, maybe offer a symbolic gift for his/her "patience"; or if that will make you feel better offer 50$ with the understanding that the money will be deducted from the commission and returned to you after you buy...
Keenobserver
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by Keenobserver »

They are over compnesated to begin with. Dont understand why they must charge percentage vs a flat fee when they are taking no risks, or have any investments involved.
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AAA
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by AAA »

spm301 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:22 am...the real estate market I am in is absolutely crazy. A so-so home in a good neighborhood came on the market yesterday and already has multiple offers on it. In addition, the realtor suspects it will go around (5% over asking price) - while this home needs quite a bit of upgrading. It's a very frustrating environment to work in.
I thought I posted this already but it didn't seem to go through, so here I go again...

I had a question about the buying process in a market where offers are made on houses in one day. Are offers always made subject to an inspection or if you insist on an inspection and offers are made without such a stipulation could it put you at a disadvantage? I assume it would take several days just to schedule an inspection but I can't imagine purchasing a home without one.

Also, what does an "offer" entail? Does it require upfront money?
fortunefavored
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by fortunefavored »

AAA wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:35 am
spm301 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:22 am...the real estate market I am in is absolutely crazy. A so-so home in a good neighborhood came on the market yesterday and already has multiple offers on it. In addition, the realtor suspects it will go around (5% over asking price) - while this home needs quite a bit of upgrading. It's a very frustrating environment to work in.
I thought I posted this already but it didn't seem to go through, so here I go again...

I had a question about the buying process in a market where offers are made on houses in one day. Are offers always made subject to an inspection or if you insist on an inspection and offers are made without such a stipulation could it put you at a disadvantage? I assume it would take several days just to schedule an inspection but I can't imagine purchasing a home without one.

Also, what does an "offer" entail? Does it require upfront money?
Around here the seller is providing an inspection (of varying quality/detail) and you go off that.. you can try to add a contingency for further inspection, but your offer will not be considered. And yes, typically you have to immediately provide a non-refundable deposit (3% or so seems normal.) In a normal market, you get to add various contingencies (inspection, finance, etc) and if they don't pan out, you can get your deposit back. But definitely not right now in "hot" areas.
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Watty
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by Watty »

atikovi wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:36 pm
spm301 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:09 am Would it be reasonable, or acceptable to offer to pay the realtor a 'per showing fee'? This would be in addition to the realtor's commission. If so how much? $50?
Got to assume there is some stupid regulation that makes this transaction illegal in some jurisdictions.
I don't know about stupid but that was sort of my thought too.

One of the things that many people do not realize is that normally when you are buying a house and a buyer's agent takes you to see a dozen houses is that if you buy one them they will be technically be paid by the seller at closing so there are restrictions(at least in theory) on how they can act since they are being paid by the seller. When "your" real estate agent takes you to see multiple houses they may not really be "your" agent as much as you think.

If they are also taking a fee from a buyer to show the house then that would be a conflict of interest since they would be paid by both the buyer and seller.

It is also also possible to hire a buyer's broker instead of using a buyer's agent(these may be called different things in different states) who will be paid by the buyer to only represent their interest.

The buyer's broker will be paid a fee even if you buy a FSBO house where the seller is not willing to pay a commission. I live in a popular subdivision and I frequently get calls or letters from people that want to buy my house. Most of these are by people looking to buy the house inexpensively to flip it but often they are from real estate agents who I assume are buyer brokers who have a client that wants to buy a house in this neighborhood.

In practice this does not mean that you pay more for the house because you just make a lower offer so that the seller would net out the same amount.

You may need more cash to buy a house though since at closing you would not only need a 20% downpayment to avoid PMI but also another 3% to pay your buyers broker.

I have actually used a buyer's broker when I have bought a house but that is relatively uncommon. I would guess that well less than 5% of buyers use a buyer's broker and the other 95%+ of buyers who use a real estate agent use the typical buyer's agent who is paid by the seller.
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spm301
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Re: Pay Realtor Per Showing

Post by spm301 »

Thank you for the responses! I appreciate the insight given and have read all responses. I'm thankful for the advice I have received in this frustrating time.
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