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Finding The Right Real Estate Agent For Reston Home Buying Or Selling
I was reading my Costco monthly magazine this evening and there is an article in there about finding the right real estate agent. The article talks about finding someone that is full time and knows your area well. They recommend finding someone reputable, that you should interview 3 agents before hiring one. That you should get along with the agent, you should not feel pressured or railroaded by.
They also mention a list of what to watch out for:
1.. someone who says they can get you an exceptional price, above market value. This agent will take any listing at any price, once you sign they are all about getting price reductions.
2. part time agents, real estate is a full time, 24/7 business. A part time agent may not be available to show you houses in a hot market and you will miss opportunities.
3. agents who charge a lower commission. The seller pays the commission, which is split between the buying and listing agents.
I wanted to spend some time focused on #2: part time agents. This is a real example of a relative working for the buyer, the mom of the buyer is a part time realtor. She is trying to be helpful to her client, her son. This is what happened. The buyer found a home (house 1) , they wrote an offer but have a house to sell. The seller was not interested in a contract contingent on the sale of the buyers home (house 2) and the buyer cannot purchase without selling their current home. So the mom puts the son's house (house 2) on the market and receives an offer, sounds great right. The mom/son go back to the house they like (house 1) and resubmit an offer, not contingent on the home sale. The buyers house ( house 2) is fully under contract, all terms agreed to, no changes can be made unless all parties agree, the mom/son did not include a Home of Choice Contingency Clause. This Clause protects the seller, if the seller cannot find a home within a specified timeframe the seller can void the contract and stay in their home, not sell. This clause would have allowed the buyer of house 1 to negotiate and if unable to come to terms on the house they wanted, they would not have to sell their house.
The mom/son return to house 1 and their non offer is countered. The seller knows the mom/son do not have another house to buy, they want HIS house. So he is fairly firm in his negotiations and not wigging much on price. The buyer ends up paying nearly list price. The mom/son really had no choice as they did not have an alternative house identified and they have to move, as they have sold their house, no outs. Doesn't sound too bad because they got house 1, but that move cost them money. Now time for the home inspection on house 1. They mom/son do the home inspection in time for the contract terms BUT do not submit the required paperwork in time- so the contingency expires without the buyer having the opportunity to request any repairs. So the buyer is in effect taking the property as is, no repairs needed from the seller of house 1. It may sound harsh but the buyer let the contingency expire and the seller has no requirement to make any repairs. ANOTHER costly error for this buyer.
Don't let this happen to you, hire a full time experienced agent!!