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Is there such a thing as too much due diligence

CJ2008

Ideal_Rock
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OK - so DH and I are looking into possibly buying a house.

I am a very detailed person and have been doing tons of research on every aspect of what's involved - mortgage, home inspections, lawyers, etc.

For that reason, I'm not easy to work with. I'm nice, but I ask a lot of questions. A lot.

And I'm not super quick to grasp things so sometimes I need to ask the same question a few different ways or need to absorb and then come up with more questions or realize I'm still confused. :confused:

And I don't really trust anyone fully, ever - in the sense that I wouldn't just let them do their thing without making sure that I have a good grasp on what I should be asking/looking out for. I feel that nobody is going to look out for us the way we're going to look out for us and that they could miss something. Except maybe for the people that I hire on an independent basis (e.g., the home inspector) and even then I am doing my due diligence before hiring them.

So yeah I'm not an easy client. Pleasant but not easy. :/

And in the back of my mind I'm saying - tons of people buy houses year after year. They probably didn't even ask or were aware of half these things you're asking, and they are fine.

I also realize that the education you get from the Internet - even if the sources are reliable - are not always "real life." It's the ideal if you could control and be on top of every aspect / detail.

Perfect example - one article says you should interview the mortgage broker/lender as to how they pick their appraisers and who they will send out to appraise. This makes perfect sense to me since the appraisal is so important - but I bet hardly anybody actually ever does this so it's likely I'll get ridiculed for even asking.

The home inspector, I asked him for a sample of his residential report and for any contracts I may need to sign to work with him - he agreed to do it but seemed a little annoyed.

Calling mortgage brokers I have one that talks in circles and seems annoyed that I am asking questions before agreeing to let him run a credit report - and I get what he's saying - our conversation is conceptual until he has real #s in front of him. But first, it costs $ to run the report (it's not a lot, but still) and what he's missing is that I'm trying to figure out whether I even want to work with him. And I don't need the preapproval just yet. The other broker I spoke to was much more clear in his explanations and he ran some sample scenarios based on the #s I gave him - I liked him, although at one point in the conversation I did feel he was being a little condescending about how detailed I am. It bothered me a bit because I know that when you've been doing this for years and you know the ins and outs of everything it all seems so easy and when you know what you're doing it must get frustrating to get questions you know the person read somewhere on the internet. But how else does a layperson even begin to figure things out, you know?

The realtor...well, I take everything he says with a grain of salt, even though I like him. I of course looked at the comps he sent me but pulled my own sales too, to the best of my ability. Again, here, he's experienced and knows the area - but I don't feel like I can 100% trust the advice on what to offer.

I feel like everyone has something to gain from the deal going forward so the only way to protect myself is to be as clear as possible about potential problems or things that could go wrong.

But I'm doubting myself. It seems that it's a fine line between doing as much due diligence as you feel you should do and then finding people who are willing to work with you. Not that anybody has said they won't work with me - at all - but I can tell they get a little impatient or they think I'm just...well getting too detailed. And as much as I'd like to tell myself well then keep looking for the right people it's not that easy to find qualified people so I feel like the pool is limited.

How do you judge for yourself what's "enough" due diligence/information or when you're getting too deep into the details? How do you balance looking out for yourself but then letting people do their thing? Or is this an example of an instance where trying to control as much as you can is OK and you shouldn't care what people think?
 

liaerfbv

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DH is an attorney and I am a paralegal... so we are a nightmare. When we bought our house a few years ago, I was very upfront with everyone that we wanted the details and would be reviewing everything with a fine tooth comb. There is a point where you do have to trust people to do their jobs, but there's nothing wrong with asking questions and getting comfortable with the details. I wouldn't try to duplicate the work of everyone though, particularly your agent in pulling comps and making offer recommendations because they have access to information you do not - and at the end of the day they are getting paid to do a job. Make them earn their money. You will drive yourself crazy otherwise! IMO buying is much easier than selling (which are doing now, and yikes).
 

telephone89

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There is due diligence and then there is over complicating every detail! Yes, sometimes you do have to put a bit of trust into the people you work with. But that doesn't mean you leave them unchecked and give free reign of your bank account! Very rarely there are going to be people who are a perfect fit for you. But you go with your best bet, trust your gut, and make sure your checks and balances are in place.

If you honestly feel like your realtor is lying to you about sales then get a new one. But if he isn't, then why are you worried about it?
I think you're fair in asking for contracts and the sample form from the home inspector. But if you look at it from his POV, he probably gets people coming to him think they are Mike Holms (if you have him in the states :lol: ) and know better than he.
Mortgage brokers - this I feel slightly different about. Mortgages are pretty major contracts, and there is A LOT that goes into them. Having someone that you like that can explain it well is important IMO. I go over every line of a contract and if someone is pushing me to hurry up and sign it, I'm out. That's not smart, that's dangerous.

There are some instances where you CAN control everything yourself. But it's a lot harder when so many people are involved. You can't be a professional realtor, home inspector, appraiser and mortgage broker. Eventually you gotta let people do their jobs to help you!
 

PintoBean

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I would draft you onto my dream team! :love: :love: :love:

Your team is really important. If you can find one good player, they will usually have good referrals for like minded people. When we bought our current house last year, as soon as I met the realtor and started chatting with her, I knew I wanted to work with her, whether it was for purchasing this home or another home. She knew her stuff. A) it was in her DNA - her 90+ year old father kicked off one of the bigger RE agencies in the area. B) She used to work for a large construction company doing contracts, and had also worked for other miscellaneous architectural/engineering firms prior to going into real estate full time 25 years ago. C) She liked that I had a lot of questions and asked me if I was a lawyer :lol: - nope, I DO have a JD, but I've worked in procurement, proposals, and project management for engineering firms.

We clicked. She was a bit of a blabbermouth though, but I learned that I could just interrupt her and redirect her to the issue I needed addressed - blabbermouth as in - her health, her parents' health, etc. :lol: :lol: :lol: But man, the professional stuff - she was fantastic. She had a mortgage guy who could get us 30 day mortgage - and he got us approved faster than that. I liked her attorney better, and ended up using him when we went to sell our apartment (after buying the house). She even helped me with my renovations. She came with me to the house and setup appointments with a couple GCs, a painter, a couple floor guys, and an electrician. We decided that I could GC the project myself and we cherry picked the tradespeople. She saved me tens of thousands of dollars!!!

Since everyone she referred was like-minded, they WELCOMED my questions. :lol:
 

ame

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I do not trust home inspectors at all. We learned the hard way that they do not have your best interests in mind, no matter what they say, no matter that they're supposedly independent. We got hosed by two of them, and another friend of mine just got hosed by one as well, and both of us for the same reason: they missed glaringly obvious cases of mold infestations and coverup jobs.
 

CJ2008

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liaerfbv|1458139564|4006104 said:
DH is an attorney and I am a paralegal... so we are a nightmare. When we bought our house a few years ago, I was very upfront with everyone that we wanted the details and would be reviewing everything with a fine tooth comb. There is a point where you do have to trust people to do their jobs, but there's nothing wrong with asking questions and getting comfortable with the details. I wouldn't try to duplicate the work of everyone though, particularly your agent in pulling comps and making offer recommendations because they have access to information you do not - and at the end of the day they are getting paid to do a job. Make them earn their money. You will drive yourself crazy otherwise! IMO buying is much easier than selling (which are doing now, and yikes).
Well I wanted to be an attorney at one time in my life so there you go ::) I am not an attorney but are wired to be one for sure.

I hear you on the duplication that's a good tip because I had never thought of it in that way.

I think my reasoning for running the comps is because I figured if I came to somewhat the same conclusion as the realtor did then I could feel a little more comfortable with his advice in general. And if I didn't I could hear his rationale, also helpful. And I did run into a pending sale - that he did not include - that is for the same type of house but an extra bathroom, better view, and in better shape than the one I'm looking at - for about 4K more than the low end of the offer "range" he suggested. So if that pending goes through I feel like that's valuable info. especially because there were only 2 sales w/in the last 6 months of homes w similar square footage, etc.

But seriously - you make a good point about "duplication" of effort and I will keep that in mind as a way to judge what's worth spending time on or not.
 

marymm

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I'd still do my research and due diligence as a way of self-education about an important transaction, but I'd trust in my selection of a good team.

I'd have checked to make sure each person's license is active and in good standing, and I'd have checked BBB (or similar) as well as Googling for reviews. If I know of people in my circle who had recently bought/sold a home, I'd also have asked them for referrals. Part of my selection process would be to confirm each team member was interested in making the transaction as transparent as possible for me. Once I had people in place that were appropriately credentialed with solid testimonials, I'd let them do their job(s). And I would read contracts carefully, and continue to ask questions.

Yeah, my approach to most things in life is "trust but verify."
 

CJ2008

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telephone89|1458139830|4006106 said:
There is due diligence and then there is over complicating every detail! Yes, sometimes you do have to put a bit of trust into the people you work with. But that doesn't mean you leave them unchecked and give free reign of your bank account! Very rarely there are going to be people who are a perfect fit for you. But you go with your best bet, trust your gut, and make sure your checks and balances are in place.

If you honestly feel like your realtor is lying to you about sales then get a new one. But if he isn't, then why are you worried about it?
I think you're fair in asking for contracts and the sample form from the home inspector. But if you look at it from his POV, he probably gets people coming to him think they are Mike Holms (if you have him in the states :lol: ) and know better than he.
Mortgage brokers - this I feel slightly different about. Mortgages are pretty major contracts, and there is A LOT that goes into them. Having someone that you like that can explain it well is important IMO. I go over every line of a contract and if someone is pushing me to hurry up and sign it, I'm out. That's not smart, that's dangerous.

There are some instances where you CAN control everything yourself. But it's a lot harder when so many people are involved. You can't be a professional realtor, home inspector, appraiser and mortgage broker. Eventually you gotta let people do their jobs to help you!
Right - I need to tell myself this:

Trust, but trust doesn't mean you leave them UNCHECKED.

Right.

I think where I have a hard time with that - is that sometimes once something is put into motion it is TOO late. (e.g. - I read situations where people didn't realize the lender had ordered the appraisal immediately and it ends up happening BEFORE they were able to schedule their home inspection. So if there ends up being a problem with the appraisal now they're out that $ plus the home inspection cost. So I think it's these details that just knowing about what could happen helps).

BUT - the key is - the contracts. If I make sure that each and every contract is solid then that is a big step in the right direction.

I really really do get it from each vendor's POV - although I feel that clarity on the front end means happier everybody later. It may be a PITA to give me that now (home inspector) - but if we move forward, no surprises later. But I do really understand that from his perspective he might "know" he's going to do a great job so this is just extra work.

ETA: realtor. It's not that I think he's lying necessarily. He just seems...tight lipped. And careful about what he says so I feel like if I don't understand his thinking behind a recommendation it's harder for me to trust it.
 

CJ2008

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PintoBean|1458140124|4006108 said:
I would draft you onto my dream team! :love: :love: :love:

Your team is really important. If you can find one good player, they will usually have good referrals for like minded people. When we bought our current house last year, as soon as I met the realtor and started chatting with her, I knew I wanted to work with her, whether it was for purchasing this home or another home. She knew her stuff. A) it was in her DNA - her 90+ year old father kicked off one of the bigger RE agencies in the area. B) She used to work for a large construction company doing contracts, and had also worked for other miscellaneous architectural/engineering firms prior to going into real estate full time 25 years ago. C) She liked that I had a lot of questions and asked me if I was a lawyer :lol: - nope, I DO have a JD, but I've worked in procurement, proposals, and project management for engineering firms.

We clicked. She was a bit of a blabbermouth though, but I learned that I could just interrupt her and redirect her to the issue I needed addressed - blabbermouth as in - her health, her parents' health, etc. :lol: :lol: :lol: But man, the professional stuff - she was fantastic. She had a mortgage guy who could get us 30 day mortgage - and he got us approved faster than that. I liked her attorney better, and ended up using him when we went to sell our apartment (after buying the house). She even helped me with my renovations. She came with me to the house and setup appointments with a couple GCs, a painter, a couple floor guys, and an electrician. We decided that I could GC the project myself and we cherry picked the tradespeople. She saved me tens of thousands of dollars!!!

Since everyone she referred was like-minded, they WELCOMED my questions. :lol:
Pinto, as soon as I'm done with this, I'll be for hire! :lol:

And yes, that's what I feel I've been doing (or trying to do) - hand picking each member of the team. And you're right that similar minded people tend to like to work with similar minded people. That's why I didn't ask a very good friend of mine for referrals - she's super smart and I love her but she's not detailed and it is unlikely that who she likes to work with would be someone I would feel comfortable with.

That's awesome that you found someone you could trust in so many ways - maybe I'll be able to say the same at the end of this too.
 

CJ2008

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ame|1458140261|4006110 said:
I do not trust home inspectors at all. We learned the hard way that they do not have your best interests in mind, no matter what they say, no matter that they're supposedly independent. We got hosed by two of them, and another friend of mine just got hosed by one as well, and both of us for the same reason: they missed glaringly obvious cases of mold infestations and coverup jobs.
ame - I feel fairly confident about this home inspector because he was recommended to me by someone I really trust a long time ago, and he's very experienced.

But still - that's one of the reasons I asked to see his contract...I want to see what the policy is if he makes a mistake or misses something.

Were you present during the home inspection or was it something that they went out to do on their own?
 

CJ2008

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marymm|1458140721|4006114 said:
I'd still do my research and due diligence as a way of self-education about an important transaction, but I'd trust in my selection of a good team.

I'd have checked to make sure each person's license is active and in good standing, and I'd have checked BBB (or similar) as well as Googling for reviews. If I know of people in my circle who had recently bought/sold a home, I'd also have asked them for referrals. Part of my selection process would be to confirm each team member was interested in making the transaction as transparent as possible for me. Once I had people in place that were appropriately credentialed with solid testimonials, I'd let them do their job(s). And I would read contracts carefully, and continue to ask questions.

Yeah, my approach to most things in life is "trust but verify."
Along the lines of telephone's advice. Thank you. It's helpful.

Yes self-education (I enjoy learning too so this is not a burden) but trust once I've picked the team (I have not hired anybody yet really - in the process of selecting the team).

1.Licenses active/good standing (have done for the home inspector and mortgage people/brokers)
2.Reviews/testimonials (yes, have done this for all)
3.Check for transparency (I like this term - this is exactly it - this is what I want. Will use this in my further conversation with the mortgage brokers and any other vendors. And even though i haven't used this word I think subconsciously this is what I look for. And maybe this is why the realtor has me hesitating - tight lipped feels like lack of transparency. Although I realize he's not really working for me in that sense and has to be careful with certain things (like telling me to stay away from a particular neighborhood, etc.)
4. Read the heck out of contracts :bigsmile: and continue to ask questions

This is an awesome high-level checklist marymm. Thank you.
 

Dee*Jay

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CJ, I am a realtor so feel free to take everything I say here with a grain of salt! :cheeky:

I can understand why your realtor is being "cautious" at this point if he feels you don't trust him or his information. In this litigious society he may be concerned around being sued. Yes, I've seen it happen. That being said, relationships go both ways; if he decides you are not a good fit for him as a client he should move on from the relationship just as much as you should find a new realtor if this one isn't meeting your needs.

Regarding your mortgage person, if he or she isn't willing to run numbers based on hypothetical scenarios then move on. To a point. If you want to talk about two or maybe three different possible circumstances that seems reasonable to me, but beyond that... not so much... As for being condescending; that's of course not appropriate. If the mortgage guys doesn't answer your questions in a way/tone that you find acceptable I would tell him that and give him a chance to modify his behavior, but then find someone else to talk to. I have a mortgage guy that I offer to my buyers and he has never in 12 years failed to get a deal closed. Even one deal that in retrospect maybe should not have closed... but that is a different matter.

Appraisers are by definition independent, and are now much more on the hook for producing more valid numbers are the mortgage crisis. But let's be honest here, lenders send out appraisers that get the job done, which from a practical standpoint means comes back with a number that is supportable but still going to work. I'm not sure how the interaction works in your area between the appraisers and the realtors but in my area when an appraiser shows up to look at one of my listings I hand them comps that show why the contract number is a reasonable one. They are free to do whatever they want with those pieces of paper, including throw them right out the window, but I have never had an appraiser who didn't go through them with me. And I can't think of a single listing I've sold where the appraiser didn't get to a number that was also supported by my comps.

Inspectors aren't omnipotent. I have been working with one consistently for about 10 years now (and another one for about 2 years before that, but he left the industry). My guy is REASONABLY thorough, I have found him to be very honest and up front about problems, but also not alarmist. I emphasize REASONABLY here because there are limits, and you should be told what those limits are. For instance, there are a lot of older properties in Chicago and he will say that he does not in the course of a regular inspection test for the presence of lead paint, but if he sees evidence of it (it cracks in a distinctive way) he will point that out and suggest that you consider whether you want to have someone who is a specialist in that are come in and conduct further investigation. Or there are some areas around Chicago that have radon issues. My inspector doesn't test for radon but if you are in one of the areas where it commonly occurs in levels that are considered elevated he will point out the geography and state that you may want to consider having an expert test for any issues.

I don't the details of ame being hosed by her inspector, but I don't know what an inspector has to gain by doing that. He gets paid whether the transaction closes or not so he might as well tell you if something is wrong. If "hosed" in this scenario means that he missed something that he reasonably should not have missed, well that's a different matter.

Back to the realtor aspect -- my goal is not to help you but THIS house, it's to help you buy EVERY house. If I screw you on this deal somehow or don't go a good job, you're certainly not coming back to me, and you're not recommending me to anyone either. After 12 years my entire business is built on repeat clients and referrals. I do no advertising. (To be 100% transparent I should say that I have in the past few months picked up two new buyers, one of whom closed yesterday, from people who walked through open houses I was conducting on my listings. Those are exceptions but I want to be up-front that they were outside the normal referral or past client realm. And the reason those buyers chose to go with me is because I give them a ton of information--including a write up I've done called "The Home Buyer Process In A Nutshell"-- and I'm very honest. If we go to see something I point out the negatives that people might not otherwise see since they don't do what I do all the time.)

Whew -- sorry for the novel here! If you have specific questions I will be happy to answer them, with the caveat that I of course don't know your personal scenario and things may work differently in different locations so feel free to ask away!
 

CJ2008

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Dee*Jay said:
CJ, I am a realtor so feel free to take everything I say here with a grain of salt! :cheeky:

I can understand why your realtor is being "cautious" at this point if he feels you don't trust him or his information. In this litigious society he may be concerned around being sued. Yes, I've seen it happen. That being said, relationships go both ways; if he decides you are not a good fit for him as a client he should move on from the relationship just as much as you should find a new realtor if this one isn't meeting your needs.

Regarding your mortgage person, if he or she isn't willing to run numbers based on hypothetical scenarios then move on. To a point. If you want to talk about two or maybe three different possible circumstances that seems reasonable to me, but beyond that... not so much... As for being condescending; that's of course not appropriate. If the mortgage guys doesn't answer your questions in a way/tone that you find acceptable I would tell him that and give him a chance to modify his behavior, but then find someone else to talk to. I have a mortgage guy that I offer to my buyers and he has never in 12 years failed to get a deal closed. Even one deal that in retrospect maybe should not have closed... but that is a different matter.

Appraisers are by definition independent, and are now much more on the hook for producing more valid numbers are the mortgage crisis. But let's be honest here, lenders send out appraisers that get the job done, which from a practical standpoint means comes back with a number that is supportable but still going to work. I'm not sure how the interaction works in your area between the appraisers and the realtors but in my area when an appraiser shows up to look at one of my listings I hand them comps that show why the contract number is a reasonable one. They are free to do whatever they want with those pieces of paper, including throw them right out the window, but I have never had an appraiser who didn't go through them with me. And I can't think of a single listing I've sold where the appraiser didn't get to a number that was also supported by my comps.

Inspectors aren't omnipotent. I have been working with one consistently for about 10 years now (and another one for about 2 years before that, but he left the industry). My guy is REASONABLY thorough, I have found him to be very honest and up front about problems, but also not alarmist. I emphasize REASONABLY here because there are limits, and you should be told what those limits are. For instance, there are a lot of older properties in Chicago and he will say that he does not in the course of a regular inspection test for the presence of lead paint, but if he sees evidence of it (it cracks in a distinctive way) he will point that out and suggest that you consider whether you want to have someone who is a specialist in that are come in and conduct further investigation. Or there are some areas around Chicago that have radon issues. My inspector doesn't test for radon but if you are in one of the areas where it commonly occurs in levels that are considered elevated he will point out the geography and state that you may want to consider having an expert test for any issues.

I don't the details of ame being hosed by her inspector, but I don't know what an inspector has to gain by doing that. He gets paid whether the transaction closes or not so he might as well tell you if something is wrong. If "hosed" in this scenario means that he missed something that he reasonably should not have missed, well that's a different matter.

Back to the realtor aspect -- my goal is not to help you but THIS house, it's to help you buy EVERY house. If I screw you on this deal somehow or don't go a good job, you're certainly not coming back to me, and you're not recommending me to anyone either. After 12 years my entire business is built on repeat clients and referrals. I do no advertising. (To be 100% transparent I should say that I have in the past few months picked up two new buyers, one of whom closed yesterday, from people who walked through open houses I was conducting on my listings. Those are exceptions but I want to be up-front that they were outside the normal referral or past client realm. And the reason those buyers chose to go with me is because I give them a ton of information--including a write up I've done called "The Home Buyer Process In A Nutshell"-- and I'm very honest. If we go to see something I point out the negatives that people might not otherwise see since they don't do what I do all the time.)

Whew -- sorry for the novel here! If you have specific questions I will be happy to answer them, with the caveat that I of course don't know your personal scenario and things may work differently in different locations so feel free to ask away!
I don't know that I've given him the impression that I don't trust him. I don't even ask him that many questions, actually.

Any questions that go on are more in my mind / behind the scenes than to his face.

He was very hands off the few times we went to look at houses. On the one hand I really appreciated that he let me walk around without bothering me. On the other hand I feel like when I do ask questions the answers were kind of broad for my taste without getting into any detail. I don't know if I ask you if the bedrooms are smallish don't just say yeah tell me what the average size bedroom is compared to this one. That might just be communication style, I get that. It's just that if you just kind of sit there then it's harder to ask follow-up questions.

When I asked how old the roof and the AC is etc he said that the inspection is where we'll get the real truth - when I asked again, he said that we can ask the sellers but the inspection is the truth. I get that - but isn't it helpful to know these things? And should he be getting this info for me? I don't even mind finding out myself if that's something I can easily do. Plus inspection is something I am going to need to pay several hundred dollars for (and will happen only after the offer is made...) So a general age might give me an indication of what might need to be done. When I told him I wanted to take these things into consideration when making an offer he said that really the offer should be based on square footage only compared to other homes. That it's what the appraiser is going to look at - not what updates or work the house needs too much. This may all be true but I feel it's not going deep enough to make me feel comfortable that it's how it should be done. I don't know. I figured I want to make an offer taking these things into consideration. But if that's not the custom in real estate or in the area I feel like the explanation could be better. And only when I asked a few more questions and sounded confused he threw something out there about "asking for credits at closing." Which I then learned it's kind of a different way to go about it than asking for the house for less $. But I am still learning about what that means.

So what happens is I start to feel uncomfortable. That maybe I shouldn't be asking for the age of the ac and the roof etc. That I shouldn't be asking for an explanation on how he arrived at the comps. That I shouldn't be worried about anything because he's going to ask for credits.

For the mortgage guy, he actually threw the scenarios out at me, after I answered a few of his questions...he just gave me an idea what the monthly payment might be. The only questions I asked were about how things work, what the process is. I did think of that - actually calling him and telling him what I felt during parts of the conversation - that I think we could work well together and I think I'd like to work with him but there has to be respect there. And if he thinks he won't have the patience to work with me that I will respect that and move on. At the same time I recognize I'm sensitive to this perception of me because I *know* I am more detailed than most.

Gotcha re the appraisers. Have no idea how it works around here. So it sounds like questioning which appraiser they will send and what his qualifications are might be overkill on my part, right?

Granted - all of these things I am doing are for the following reason and following reason only: I don't want to overpay for the house (heck if possible I'd love to find something I'm underpaying for, especially a house that will need repairs which this one looks like it does). And I know that initial offer and the appraisal are key components in that.

Home inspector: this is the one I'm least worried about. I feel pretty confident the guy I spoke with and I'm waiting on is pretty competent and honest and I do plan to be present so I plan to ask a lot of questions. That said I will still call another 2 inspectors in case this one does not want to work with me because I asked him for the stuff I did (he said he'd get it to me, but who knows - he may change his mind).

Dee*Jay you sound like a wonderful realtor and if you were in my area I'd jump at the chance to work with you. (although you may not want to work with me! :lol: )
 

azstonie

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:lol: I think we're sisters, CJ, no minutiae too insignificant for us on these big phrchases.

Re home inspector: Mistakes happen, so you want an inspector WITH INSURANCE to protect you against errors and omissions. He makes a mistake that incurs costs to you? He claims it on his insurance and you pay nothing.

Every home I've bought or sold I've asked for/provided a warranty for 1-3 years, for things big and small---electrical, plumbing, appliances, etc. I've paid for a year's warranty when I've sold the house so if something went toes up I never had toeven know about it.
 

Dee*Jay

Super_Ideal_Rock
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CJ, I only have a few minutes to comment on a couple of your points so forgive me for not addressing everything.

The conversation about the bedroom sizes seems odd to me; from your realtor's perspective you're making a subjective statement (small is an opinion whereas dimensions are a fact), but his response seems defensive (?). Keep in mind of course I'm commenting on a discussion I was not present for, but that is what I'm taking away from it and it leans toward the rude in my mind.

Regarding the age of things; it would be highly unlikely for the realtor to know the age of components like the roof unless a listing specifically said something like "new roof in 2014" or that sort of thing, and therefore those factors wouldn't come into play when looking at comps for an offer. I disagree that you can't ask before making the offer however, and I think the seller is in the best position to know those facts (unless things were done to the house before THEY bought it and then they may not know) because an inspector is likely going to tell you something "looks to be about 10 years old and it's in good condition" (just an example of course).

As for credits, in my geography once an inspection is done and the buyer has more/better info about a property they can go back to the seller in the course of attorney review and request either that things be done or that a credit be given, but that occurs long before anyone gets to the closing table. And maybe that's what you're actually saying and I just misunderstand you to mean the credit would be negotiated AT closing.

Attorney involvement is a critical question that I didn't bring up in my initial response because you didn't mention using an attorney, but is there a lawyer involved in closing a transaction in your location?
 

ame

Super_Ideal_Rock
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10,718
CJ2008|1458142238|4006132 said:
ame|1458140261|4006110 said:
I do not trust home inspectors at all. We learned the hard way that they do not have your best interests in mind, no matter what they say, no matter that they're supposedly independent. We got hosed by two of them, and another friend of mine just got hosed by one as well, and both of us for the same reason: they missed glaringly obvious cases of mold infestations and coverup jobs.
ame - I feel fairly confident about this home inspector because he was recommended to me by someone I really trust a long time ago, and he's very experienced.

But still - that's one of the reasons I asked to see his contract...I want to see what the policy is if he makes a mistake or misses something.

Were you present during the home inspection or was it something that they went out to do on their own?
Yes we were present. And this was something that was right there, something we even asked about, and he still missed. And something that cost us more than 1/3 of the house's cost to repair and we now have to disclose in the future which will likely prevent the house from ever being able to be sold again.

Dee*Jay|1458143548|4006144 said:
=

Inspectors aren't omnipotent. I have been working with one consistently for about 10 years now (and another one for about 2 years before that, but he left the industry). My guy is REASONABLY thorough, I have found him to be very honest and up front about problems, but also not alarmist. I emphasize REASONABLY here because there are limits, and you should be told what those limits are. For instance, there are a lot of older properties in Chicago and he will say that he does not in the course of a regular inspection test for the presence of lead paint, but if he sees evidence of it (it cracks in a distinctive way) he will point that out and suggest that you consider whether you want to have someone who is a specialist in that are come in and conduct further investigation. Or there are some areas around Chicago that have radon issues. My inspector doesn't test for radon but if you are in one of the areas where it commonly occurs in levels that are considered elevated he will point out the geography and state that you may want to consider having an expert test for any issues.

I don't the details of ame being hosed by her inspector, but I don't know what an inspector has to gain by doing that. He gets paid whether the transaction closes or not so he might as well tell you if something is wrong. If "hosed" in this scenario means that he missed something that he reasonably should not have missed, well that's a different matter.
And this is something that he absolutely should NOT have missed. Like, at all. And our realtor had been using him for over 15 years, and had "never had a situation like this, ever." Til ours. Apparently after our situation, it turns out there were several situations where he missed pretty serious issues, just like ours.
 

D_

Shiny_Rock
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Will you be OK if you are providing a service and a potential client ask as many questions to you?
If yes then go for it. You're right, no one will look for our best interest as much as we ourselves do.
Of course vendors may be annoyed, but it may be easier to cross them off the list, unless they have seller's power.
Due diligence is important, I find that you "pay" for it before or after the purchase.
I personally prefer before (but secretly envy those who can give a little damn about things and still be perfectly happy).
 

ponder

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CJ2008|1458148861|4006169 said:
Dee*Jay said:
CJ, I am a realtor so feel free to take everything I say here with a grain of salt! :cheeky:

I can understand why your realtor is being "cautious" at this point if he feels you don't trust him or his information. In this litigious society he may be concerned around being sued. Yes, I've seen it happen. That being said, relationships go both ways; if he decides you are not a good fit for him as a client he should move on from the relationship just as much as you should find a new realtor if this one isn't meeting your needs.

Regarding your mortgage person, if he or she isn't willing to run numbers based on hypothetical scenarios then move on. To a point. If you want to talk about two or maybe three different possible circumstances that seems reasonable to me, but beyond that... not so much... As for being condescending; that's of course not appropriate. If the mortgage guys doesn't answer your questions in a way/tone that you find acceptable I would tell him that and give him a chance to modify his behavior, but then find someone else to talk to. I have a mortgage guy that I offer to my buyers and he has never in 12 years failed to get a deal closed. Even one deal that in retrospect maybe should not have closed... but that is a different matter.

Appraisers are by definition independent, and are now much more on the hook for producing more valid numbers are the mortgage crisis. But let's be honest here, lenders send out appraisers that get the job done, which from a practical standpoint means comes back with a number that is supportable but still going to work. I'm not sure how the interaction works in your area between the appraisers and the realtors but in my area when an appraiser shows up to look at one of my listings I hand them comps that show why the contract number is a reasonable one. They are free to do whatever they want with those pieces of paper, including throw them right out the window, but I have never had an appraiser who didn't go through them with me. And I can't think of a single listing I've sold where the appraiser didn't get to a number that was also supported by my comps.

Inspectors aren't omnipotent. I have been working with one consistently for about 10 years now (and another one for about 2 years before that, but he left the industry). My guy is REASONABLY thorough, I have found him to be very honest and up front about problems, but also not alarmist. I emphasize REASONABLY here because there are limits, and you should be told what those limits are. For instance, there are a lot of older properties in Chicago and he will say that he does not in the course of a regular inspection test for the presence of lead paint, but if he sees evidence of it (it cracks in a distinctive way) he will point that out and suggest that you consider whether you want to have someone who is a specialist in that are come in and conduct further investigation. Or there are some areas around Chicago that have radon issues. My inspector doesn't test for radon but if you are in one of the areas where it commonly occurs in levels that are considered elevated he will point out the geography and state that you may want to consider having an expert test for any issues.

I don't the details of ame being hosed by her inspector, but I don't know what an inspector has to gain by doing that. He gets paid whether the transaction closes or not so he might as well tell you if something is wrong. If "hosed" in this scenario means that he missed something that he reasonably should not have missed, well that's a different matter.

Back to the realtor aspect -- my goal is not to help you but THIS house, it's to help you buy EVERY house. If I screw you on this deal somehow or don't go a good job, you're certainly not coming back to me, and you're not recommending me to anyone either. After 12 years my entire business is built on repeat clients and referrals. I do no advertising. (To be 100% transparent I should say that I have in the past few months picked up two new buyers, one of whom closed yesterday, from people who walked through open houses I was conducting on my listings. Those are exceptions but I want to be up-front that they were outside the normal referral or past client realm. And the reason those buyers chose to go with me is because I give them a ton of information--including a write up I've done called "The Home Buyer Process In A Nutshell"-- and I'm very honest. If we go to see something I point out the negatives that people might not otherwise see since they don't do what I do all the time.)

Whew -- sorry for the novel here! If you have specific questions I will be happy to answer them, with the caveat that I of course don't know your personal scenario and things may work differently in different locations so feel free to ask away!
I don't know that I've given him the impression that I don't trust him. I don't even ask him that many questions, actually.

Any questions that go on are more in my mind / behind the scenes than to his face.

He was very hands off the few times we went to look at houses. On the one hand I really appreciated that he let me walk around without bothering me. On the other hand I feel like when I do ask questions the answers were kind of broad for my taste without getting into any detail. I don't know if I ask you if the bedrooms are smallish don't just say yeah tell me what the average size bedroom is compared to this one. That might just be communication style, I get that. It's just that if you just kind of sit there then it's harder to ask follow-up questions.

When I asked how old the roof and the AC is etc he said that the inspection is where we'll get the real truth - when I asked again, he said that we can ask the sellers but the inspection is the truth. I get that - but isn't it helpful to know these things? And should he be getting this info for me? I don't even mind finding out myself if that's something I can easily do. Plus inspection is something I am going to need to pay several hundred dollars for (and will happen only after the offer is made...) So a general age might give me an indication of what might need to be done. When I told him I wanted to take these things into consideration when making an offer he said that really the offer should be based on square footage only compared to other homes. That it's what the appraiser is going to look at - not what updates or work the house needs too much. This may all be true but I feel it's not going deep enough to make me feel comfortable that it's how it should be done. I don't know. I figured I want to make an offer taking these things into consideration. But if that's not the custom in real estate or in the area I feel like the explanation could be better. And only when I asked a few more questions and sounded confused he threw something out there about "asking for credits at closing." Which I then learned it's kind of a different way to go about it than asking for the house for less $. But I am still learning about what that means.

So what happens is I start to feel uncomfortable. That maybe I shouldn't be asking for the age of the ac and the roof etc. That I shouldn't be asking for an explanation on how he arrived at the comps. That I shouldn't be worried about anything because he's going to ask for credits.

For the mortgage guy, he actually threw the scenarios out at me, after I answered a few of his questions...he just gave me an idea what the monthly payment might be. The only questions I asked were about how things work, what the process is. I did think of that - actually calling him and telling him what I felt during parts of the conversation - that I think we could work well together and I think I'd like to work with him but there has to be respect there. And if he thinks he won't have the patience to work with me that I will respect that and move on. At the same time I recognize I'm sensitive to this perception of me because I *know* I am more detailed than most.

Gotcha re the appraisers. Have no idea how it works around here. So it sounds like questioning which appraiser they will send and what his qualifications are might be overkill on my part, right?

Granted - all of these things I am doing are for the following reason and following reason only: I don't want to overpay for the house (heck if possible I'd love to find something I'm underpaying for, especially a house that will need repairs which this one looks like it does). And I know that initial offer and the appraisal are key components in that.

Home inspector: this is the one I'm least worried about. I feel pretty confident the guy I spoke with and I'm waiting on is pretty competent and honest and I do plan to be present so I plan to ask a lot of questions. That said I will still call another 2 inspectors in case this one does not want to work with me because I asked him for the stuff I did (he said he'd get it to me, but who knows - he may change his mind).

Dee*Jay you sound like a wonderful realtor and if you were in my area I'd jump at the chance to work with you. (although you may not want to work with me! :lol: )
Are sellers disclosures not utilized in your area? As a seller we are required to furnish a legally binding document with this type of information upon request. If it's not correct you can get your pants sued off. We would usually request it before scheduling a second showing on our preferred properties and wayyyy before placing an offer.
 

blingbunny10

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CJ2008|1458139108|4006100 said:
OK - so DH and I are looking into possibly buying a house.

I feel like everyone has something to gain from the deal going forward so the only way to protect myself is to be as clear as possible about potential problems or things that could go wrong.

But I'm doubting myself. It seems that it's a fine line between doing as much due diligence as you feel you should do and then finding people who are willing to work with you. Not that anybody has said they won't work with me - at all - but I can tell they get a little impatient or they think I'm just...well getting too detailed. And as much as I'd like to tell myself well then keep looking for the right people it's not that easy to find qualified people so I feel like the pool is limited.

How do you judge for yourself what's "enough" due diligence/information or when you're getting too deep into the details? How do you balance looking out for yourself but then letting people do their thing? Or is this an example of an instance where trying to control as much as you can is OK and you shouldn't care what people think?
CJ2008 - I totally get where you are coming from because I am the same way. You are right that you are going above and beyond what people typically do, but I also think 1) People often don't do enough research/due diligence, and 2) In the end, YOU have to be comfortable, especially with a major decision like purchasing a home. And if people don't respond well to your questions, maybe you don't want to be working with them. ::) Yes, the pool is limited, but you need to find someone who will be receptive to your concerns... even if they may not be thrilled with them.

I try to balance it out by being very hands-on in the beginning, but then letting people work to gain my trust. I am relatively young and both my husband and I can look young/"nice," so I actually begin by presenting a bit pushy and ask a lot of questions early on. I do this nicely and I'm never rude, but do push back when I think I'm being told inaccurate info or when I'm not getting the info/support I need. I've done this with my realtor and contractor, for example. Both thought they were going to take the lead and guide a young homeowner.... Well, I fired back with a lot of research and info, and now they know I am well informed and have really high standards. Now that they know me, they know to work to meet a certain level of expectation. I don't mean to suggest that other people don't have high standards, but both my guys now know I'm very detail oriented, so they will not come to me without having all their info researched, prepped, and ready to go, and I will not be one of their clients they can "wing it" with.

I did the same thing you did with comps and considering opening bids and it paid off. Because I pushed back with my own info and knowledge of the market, we sold our old house for significantly more than the realtor thought and on awesome terms, and we bought our home for lower than what our realtor thought our initial offer should be! Realtors (and any service professional, really) do have your interests in mind for the most part, but only you can devote 100% of your research time and house-hunting energy to YOUR situation.
 

liaerfbv

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ponder|1458173167|4006411 said:
Are sellers disclosures not utilized in your area? As a seller we are required to furnish a legally binding document with this type of information upon request. If it's not correct you can get your pants sued off. We would usually request it before scheduling a second showing on our preferred properties and wayyyy before placing an offer.
Same here. I didn't realize this wasn't universal? DH and I are selling our house now and we had to fill that out before our house was even listed.
 

Gypsy

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I'd hire you.

I'm naturally suspicious too. I have a JD and that means I research the heck out of everything and ask LOTS of questions. And I'm the same way, I research everything too.

I don't trust people who have a stake either.

I'm the same way. Yes, people get irritated, but to me that usually means they aren't the right people for me to work with.

When I was planning our wedding, I used to work as floral designer, and I was very picky and sent out a sheet with specs of what I wanted to get quotes. And some the florists were really taken a back. And that was okay, because that just meant they weren't the right vendor for me. So I moved on until I found a few that were flexible and understanding, and I was able to chose among them. And that was FLOWERS.

If I was buying a house? Forgetaboutit.

You are fine. You just need to find people who are flexible enough to work with you and provide you what you need. You aren't doing anything wrong. Just because MOST people don't do what you are doing doesn't mean they are right and you are wrong. Majority doesn't rule in this case.
 

CJ2008

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azstonie Minutiae? No such thing! Minutiae is information and knowledge is FUN! :D

Yes I look forward to seeing what his policy is on this and whether he carries insurance.

Home warranty - really. Never occurred to me. That is worthy of looking into.

Dee*Jay no worries - respond to what you can / want to respond to. I know it's a lot of stuff.

I didn't get "rude" from the realtor - but maybe just like not interested in educating me? I guess I would have liked if he took any of my questions as an opportunity to educate me. But again this is just my style preference. (it would save him time in the end though - the more I know the less he has to explain of the same thing).

Makes perfect sense that in comparing homes it would be impossible to know the roof age, AC age, etc. of every home - thank you for pointing that out because it had not clicked for me in this way. So I could see how it becomes somewhat irrelevant. But still, for the one house I'm looking at, I still feel like it must be relevant at least on some level to know these things. And even if it isn't too much, if I ask you for this information directly, why not just get it for me? Or clearly explain why it's not necessary - but here again, it may be he feels he IS explaining why I don't need it. Communication.

Credits: no these would be negotiated during the offer/counteroffer period.

I'm not required to use an attorney but I am considering using one to look over the offer since that is the CONTRACT you know? (even though again I feel like most people out there probably do just fine without an attorney, and the contingencies are probably just fine). But I'm thinking this may be the only way for me to make sure that my interests are represented. I did call one potential attorney so far. In general when do you recommend someone use an attorney? (aside from peace of mind).

ame you must have been so livid. I can't even imagine that happening.

D_ I *love* this question. Yes, I would be. I would feel that it's my chance to prove how much I know, how transparent I'm going to be, and how much I will act on the client's best interest. I would see it as my chance to shine, to gain the client's trust. I mean this 1000%.

And like you, I have totally found out in life that everything is OK in the beginning and everyone promises you the world. But when things go wrong everyone passes the ball. And then the only person you have to blame is you.

If nothing goes wrong, then the due diligence never comes into play. It's the rare times when things do go wrong where it makes a difference.

And like you, I do secretly envy people who are just easier going and things just turn out OK for them most of the time.

ponder I believe in my area the disclosures come at the time you make the offer/during the due diligence/contingency period. I did ask the realtor straight out if I could see them BEFORE I make the offer, but he ignored the question. So I never got a direct answer yes, no, you'll upset the sellers, that's not customary, etc. He just didn't answer.
 

CJ2008

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What starts to happen to me blingbunny (and I'm afraid of saying this because then Gypsy won't hire me) :lol: is that I start to feel funny about pushing back. I start to feel that if I question information I'm basically implying that they're lying to me. It starts to feel draining.

This is especially true if overall I get along with the person. I want my dealings to be somewhat pleasant if possible.

I really love your suggestion / strategy to be very hands on (aka difficult haha) in the beginning but then letting go. A little. And let people do their thing. And just check on them.

This is what's becoming really clear to me from this thread.

And yes to me the opening bid/offer is crucial - that's going to determine so many things in the negotiation. And the comps are part of coming to that figure so I don't want to leave it 100% to someone else, unless I trust them completely both in knowledge and ethics and everything else.

And I love what you say about trust - even if they have the best of intentions and my interests mind I am not their only client. Nobody will ever have the time to dedicate and understand my situation the way I do.

liaerfbv I'm pretty sure the sellers are required to fill one out when they list the house. But I don't think I'm "entitled" to see it until an offer is made.

Gypsy I should have a JD. I love research. I mean if I could get paid to do research that would be my dream job. Analyzing the findings, well, that's not always as fun, but it can be if it doesn't get overwhelming.

If you have a stake in the game it is less likely you will be 100% objective. It can happen - I really do feel there are people who can do that - but I don't think it's easy to find.

hahaha you had people fill out an RFP for flowers. I love it. And yes, I totally get it.

Thank you for actually saying the words that you don't think I'm doing anything wrong - feels good to hear.
 

ponder

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Sorry but I am really getting the feeling that you just may not be the right fit with your agent. Anyone who doesn't answer a direct question is no longer going work for me. I need someone who is going to work with me and communicate with me. I have used the same real estate agent for the past 13 years in 5 different transactions. Our first meeting she was a little tight lipped, we were strangers, but we found our first house on the very first day. By the end of that day we clicked. I trust her implicitly and she was able to navigate us through some very sticky real estate legalities with our last sale. That being said real estate contracts in my area are standardized with very little wiggle room. I realize the more I pay the more she makes, but I have always been the one to set my selling price and my offer price after careful review of the comps.
 

Dee*Jay

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Ponder raises an interesting point about the realtor making more the more you pay. I obviously can speak for how anybody else's compensation work, but *in general* in a 5% deal both the buyer's brokerage and the seller's brokerage split it 2.5% each, and then the agent gets his "split" from the company (in my case 75% to me, 25% to the brokerage). So I end up with 1.875% of a deal. Simple math:

$100,000
2.5% = $2,500
75% of the 2.5% = 1.875%
So I get $1,875 on that deal

For extra $1,000 you spend I get an extra $18.75, and that is before federal and state tax, both the employee and employer portion of Social Security (since agents are typically independent contractors they have to pay both sides) and any expenses.

If you pay $10,000 more for a property I get $187.50 more.

What I'm trying to demonstrate here is that it is more important from a compensation standpoint that a deal gets DONE, not necessary that it get done at a higher number because the additional income is virtually irrelevant.

That being said, I have to put out there in the interest of full disclosure that I only do real estate part time because I love it, and I have another job that pays me six figures and provides benefits. My motivation in my real estate business is not earning a living, it's doing something I enjoy. There are absolutely agents out there who feed themselves and their families by doing transactions, and I suppose to them it's *possible* they could care about the incremental increase in comp based on an increase in transaction price, but again, it's more important to get the deal closed than to get it closed for $XX,XXX more.
 

ponder

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Dee*Jay|1458185015|4006565 said:
Ponder raises an interesting point about the realtor making more the more you pay. I obviously can speak for how anybody else's compensation work, but *in general* in a 5% deal both the buyer's brokerage and the seller's brokerage split it 2.5% each, and then the agent gets his "split" from the company (in my case 75% to me, 25% to the brokerage). So I end up with 1.875% of a deal. Simple math:

$100,000
2.5% = $2,500
75% of the 2.5% = 1.875%
So I get $1,875 on that deal

For extra $1,000 you spend I get an extra $18.75, and that is before federal and state tax, both the employee and employer portion of Social Security (since agents are typically independent contractors they have to pay both sides) and any expenses.

If you pay $10,000 more for a property I get $187.50 more.

What I'm trying to demonstrate here is that it is more important from a compensation standpoint that a deal gets DONE, not necessary that it get done at a higher number because the additional income is virtually irrelevant.

That being said, I have to put out there in the interest of full disclosure that I only do real estate part time because I love it, and I have another job that pays me six figures and provides benefits. My motivation in my real estate business is not earning a living, it's doing something I enjoy. There are absolutely agents out there who feed themselves and their families by doing transactions, and I suppose to them it's *possible* they could care about the incremental increase in comp based on an increase in transaction price, but again, it's more important to get the deal closed than to get it closed for $XX,XXX more.

That is a great point DeeJay and one that I completely agree with. My agent has even decreased her percentage to get the deal done (my agent is completely independent). But on the flip side, I paid her entire commission during one transaction as the seller refused to pay anything towards agent fees. CJ, I do think it comes down to trust, and for me actions speak louder than words. A mortgage broker who will call me back on Saturday and produce paperwork because I'm in a heated bidding war... Yeah I'm probably going to go with that guy. A real estate agent who calls and texts me back at 10pm because a second buyer wants to pay the first buyer $20k to withdraw their contract and walk away. Yeah, I really appreciate the communication. Btw, I really love my real estate agent, she has walked us through some really tough transactions. I always say that if I were ever to get a tattoo, I would get my kids names along with my real estate agent and my accountant.
 

sonnyjane

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
2,471
Dee*Jay|1458185015|4006565 said:
Ponder raises an interesting point about the realtor making more the more you pay. I obviously can speak for how anybody else's compensation work, but *in general* in a 5% deal both the buyer's brokerage and the seller's brokerage split it 2.5% each, and then the agent gets his "split" from the company (in my case 75% to me, 25% to the brokerage). So I end up with 1.875% of a deal. Simple math:

$100,000
2.5% = $2,500
75% of the 2.5% = 1.875%
So I get $1,875 on that deal

For extra $1,000 you spend I get an extra $18.75, and that is before federal and state tax, both the employee and employer portion of Social Security (since agents are typically independent contractors they have to pay both sides) and any expenses.

If you pay $10,000 more for a property I get $187.50 more.

What I'm trying to demonstrate here is that it is more important from a compensation standpoint that a deal gets DONE, not necessary that it get done at a higher number because the additional income is virtually irrelevant.

That being said, I have to put out there in the interest of full disclosure that I only do real estate part time because I love it, and I have another job that pays me six figures and provides benefits. My motivation in my real estate business is not earning a living, it's doing something I enjoy. There are absolutely agents out there who feed themselves and their families by doing transactions, and I suppose to them it's *possible* they could care about the incremental increase in comp based on an increase in transaction price, but again, it's more important to get the deal closed than to get it closed for $XX,XXX more.
Thanks for break that down in that manner. That's something I've always been curious about, because you basically are sending your realtor in to negotiate for you, but the better job they do "for you", the less they make!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
40,198
CJ2008|1458179657|4006506 said:
What starts to happen to me blingbunny (and I'm afraid of saying this because then Gypsy won't hire me) :lol: is that I start to feel funny about pushing back. I start to feel that if I question information I'm basically implying that they're lying to me. It starts to feel draining.
''''

Thank you for actually saying the words that you don't think I'm doing anything wrong - feels good to hear.
You are welcome but you don't have to thank me for the TRUTH. And it is true.

It's draining for most people. It's also much easier when it's not YOUR money and YOUR house to push back and be confident. Because you aren't personally invested. When you are working on behalf of someone else, it is easy. IMO, it takes training, a certain personality, and experience to be able to do it and not feel drained when you are personally invested. DH, when he tries to negotiate things, has the same issue as you do. I'm very stubborn and negotiation is something I've been doing for YEARS. So instead of getting drained, MOST of the time, I get more energized as the process of back and forth goes on. I consider it problem solving to find a compromise situation that works for both parties, but meets all my needs. Cause that's key. However that only works if the other party is willing to play ball and negotiate back. If you have someone that is being disrespectful or not negotiating, it just becomes a giant pain in the neck for anyone. Especially when they are subtly (or not so subtly) trying to bully you into silence because they are 'experts' and you aren't. That's when it's just time to say: you aren't the only "X" out there, I am going to find someone who doesn't want me to be someone I am not for the sake of their ease. It's called Customer Service for a reason. YOU are the buyer. YOU have the power. Don't let them take it from you.

As for feeling like you are calling them a liar. It's a balance and again, takes practice. So you learn to say things like, "that's really interesting information, because I was under the impression that X. Can you tell me why that's not true."

And you make them defend their position, but you are framing it as wanting more information from them, as experts. So it's not as offensive.

You really are not doing anything wrong. You have to keep that in mind and hold on to your confidence. That's 90% of the battle. And yes, I REALLY did send out an RFP for flowers. :lol: Finding the right 'partner' in any vendor, agent, etc. is key. It's easy to just think that they are interchangeable, but they aren't. If your agent isn't meeting your needs, just move on and find one that can. And be upfront with them and tell them what you expect. If they can't give that to you, move on.
 

rainwood

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 29, 2005
Messages
1,472
CJ

I'm going to be blunt and say you are a bit of a nightmare client. First-time buyers often are a special kind of PITA and it takes a special kind of patience to work with them. If you're asking a lot of questions, and then re-asking them because you don't understand, there are lots of folks (some of them great) who will decide representing you is not worth the amount of time it will take. Time is money for these people. So be aware that not everyone is going to like the approach you've decided to take, and that doesn't necessarily mean they are bad at their jobs.

I don't know if you've put together a good team or not, but you're not going to be able to tell from what their contracts look like. And I say that as a lawyer. There are good realtors out there, bad realtors, and ones in between. The most in-demand realtors aren't going to negotiate commissions, etc. because they don't need to. My MIL hired a realtor to sell her house and he turned out to be a terrible negotiator, so terrible that my DH and I stepped in to prevent her from accepting a really lowball offer. We were surprised how terrible he was, and got her a sale that was at least $15,000 more than what her realtor told her to take. Find someone who comes highly recommended, and see if you can get comfortable with him or her. If you need to research comps to feel comfortable, you can do that but you may or may not have enough info to know if what you're finding is useful data. And if your realtor feels like you're second-guessing them, they may not be thrilled to be working with you.

And there are good, bad, and in between inspectors out there too, probably more bad than good because it doesn't take much to become an inspector in many places. There are lots of horror stories about what inspectors didn't find. But at least where I live, there isn't an inspector alive who would sign a contract that gives them liability for whatever they missed when all they get is $500-$700 as an inspection fee. It just doesn't make financial sense for them to do that (and even if they're insured, they won't be for long if claims are made and paid against their policy). So you need to find a good inspector, but the contract terms won't tell you who that is.

Where I live, the appraiser is hired by your lender, not you, so you don't get to decide who the appraiser is even though you end up paying the appraisal fee. And mortgage brokers need to be someone who will survey the entire field to find the best loan terms for you, and there are mortgage brokers who steer clients to the same lenders over and over again, regardless of whether they offer the best terms. This is probably where I'd try to duplicate efforts. Get your financial info together and call some lenders to see what kind of terms they'd offer. Then you have a way of comparing whether what the mortgage broker brings you is better than what you can find on your own. If not, that broker shouldn't be earning a broker's fee.

And just so you know, YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO NEGOTIATE YOUR LOAN DOCUMENTS. Read them all you want, ask all the questions you want, but you won't be able to negotiate boilerplate terms you don't like. Some of the fees might be negotiable, maybe, but not the rest of it. All you can do is make sure the financial terms in the documents are what you were told. So be ready for that.

And just because it's a real sticking point for me, good lawyers don't chase after every little detail. Good lawyers figure out what matters and what doesn't, and differentiate between what is and isn't negotiable. Chasing after something that isn't important or trying to negotiate something that isn't negotiable is a waste of time.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
I do not agree that you are a nightmare client.

That said Rainwood gave you a lot of good advice. Especially the last couple paragraphs.

We had a brand new contract manager I was training once at a small company I worked at who wanted to try to negotiate Microsoft software boilerplate. No. There are somethings you can't negotiate because you don't have the power as an individual or small company versus Microsoft or a big bank.

In any negotiations you have 'have to haves', 'like to haves' and 'probably not going to get/ not worth the.time." Your 'have to haves' must be reasonable and should be what you ask for when you agree to give up 'like to haves' or 'probably not going to get.' As for the "not worth the time" it is exactly that. And even then you may need to rank your 'must haves' and be ready to sacrifice one or two in order to get higher ranking must haves. It's a dance. If everything is a 'have to have' no one will partner you. It's about give and take, and realizing what the other side's have to haves nd so forth are, so you can make educated guesses as to how much they want something and what they are willing to give up to get it.

Also.important is to know and understand WHY something is a have to have for the other side. For example, I.was negotiating an equipment purchase with someone and tbey wanted pictures of the stuff as it waz being built. We couldn't do pictures for them and that was my 'have to have. But I understood why they wanted the pictures. Why? Because they wanted proof that their stuff would be on time. But I knew I could agree to formal weekly status updates. So I explained to them that pictures wouldn't really give them the security they expected as they would not know one piece of equipment from a other, and offered them status updates instead and they accepted. Win/win.

When you understand your opponent and spend time understanding their POV you find that you can problem solve to a compromise.
 
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