Best way to choose RE Agent - Posted by Marie

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Best way to choose RE Agent - Posted by Marie

Posted by Marie on July 02, 2005 at 02:55:08:

  1. How do you find a Real Estate Agent who is really willing to work as a “Buyer’s Broker” and help you find those deeply discounted deals?
    I tried working with Agents in the past, and even disclosed upfront that I was an Investor looking for 20% or more discount on value, and ended up wasting my time until the Agent finally admitted she wasn’t going to make that kind of offer for me!
  2. If you’re a “Newbie” and don’t have a single R.E. Investment under your belt, how do you prove to the R.E. Agent that you “mean business” and that you are worth their time?

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Re: Best way to choose RE Agent - Posted by Anne_ND

Posted by Anne_ND on July 02, 2005 at 12:22:05:


The best way to start investing is to buy your own house- it really helps to have gone through the buying process at least once.

When you are buying your own house you should interview several agents to find one you like.

I do not recommend signing up for buyer’s agency. Whenever I’ve bought a home through a realtor I will only sign buyer’s agency for that one home, not for a set period of time. I have other marketing out there to find homes FSBO and I’m not going to pay a buyer’s agent a commission for houses I find myself.

It’s important to understand what a realtor does and for whom they work before you get started. Personally I don’t need them so much for buying but I love having a realtor for selling- my realtor has been incredibly helpful to me in selling some houses lately. And she’s been helpful because she’s experienced. If you get a new realtor who knows less than nothing then it will be the blind leading the blind.

good luck,


Re: Best way to choose RE Agent - Posted by Barbara Bryan

Posted by Barbara Bryan on July 02, 2005 at 11:57:48:

Marie - I am a Real Estate agent in Texas and work with investors as a buyers representative. I will work with those who come to me with financing in place and can walk through a property, estimate repairs and send me their offer in the next day or so. There are reams of paperwork to be done as well as addendums on foreclosures just to submit an offer. I don’t have time and don’t consider myself qualified to make decisions on offer price, but have no qualms about submitting a low “offer” on a property.

Re: Best way to choose RE Agent - Posted by Chyna

Posted by Chyna on July 02, 2005 at 07:43:58:

I think agents, like most people, are motivated more by money than good intentions. Some people suggest promising the agent that you’ll refer listing to them if and when you find any but that’s probably a waste of time. If you actually DO refer listings to them, that’s a different story. The problem is that it’s hard to do that in the beginning.

I also agree that it would help to find a new, “hungry” agent. I’d talk with that agent outside his or her office, maybe having lunch if you can organize it. I’d have your criteria written down and give it to her becuase it’s a lot to remember. But most important I’d pay her for her help. You could pay her a certain (small) amount per lead, regardless of whether you actually are able to use it. More importantly, pay her a decent chunk for each lead that actually helps you get a property…a percentage or a flat fee, depending on the deal. If you can swing $500 to 1,000 I think that’s pretty motivating for most people (but in some markets that’s not a lot of money). Then the other stuff, like pulling comps, she’d do for free. Another way would be to put her on “retainer” where you pay her a few hundred a month for all her work but I don’t like doing this as much as the “per deal” way.

Just remember that if it’s an active listing, brokers and agents (other than the one you’re working with) must get paid by someone and if you’re able to get the property at a deeply discounted amount, that someone probably will be you.

Good luck,

Re: Best way to choose RE Agent - Posted by Mike-OH

Posted by Mike-OH on July 02, 2005 at 05:39:38:


I would suggest looking in the newspaper for a newly licensed real estate agent. Often there will be a little announcement in the real estate ads talking about their new agents. These new agents are often hungry and really, really want to get a deal.

Once you find an agent that agrees to work with you, then you’ve got to be serious about buying a property. Tell the agent that you are looking for desperate sellers which will include: houses that have been on the market for a long time; REOs; people getting a divorce; people that have bought a house but still have their old ones; and sales by estates. Give the agent any formulas that you are using such as: max purchase price = .7 X ARV - repairs. Tell them to search for owners that really, really need to sell NOW.

When the agent brings you a house that fits your criteria - MAKE AN OFFER RIGHT THERE ON THE SPOT. Don’t go home to think about it. Don’t discuss it with an imaginary partner. Don’t start looking for a loan (you should already have the money lined up). Don’t wait for a better deal. Don’t delay. BUY IT! The agent will quickly label you a wannabe if she brings you the deals that you’re asking for and you don’t pull the trigger. At that point, your credibility will be shot (and rightfully so) and you’ve lost a valuable member of your team.

This is exactly how I did it.


Re: Best way to choose RE Agent - Posted by Marie

Posted by Marie on July 03, 2005 at 21:36:09:

Dear Anne
Thank you ever so much for your response.
You have educated me, as I assumed that an agreement with a Buyer’s Broker was on a deal to deal basis, and not necessarily needing to be set for a certain period of time.
I don’t wish to waste a Real Estate person’s time, or any person for that matter. I need to get my ducks in a row. I’m self-employed, and I don’t think my income would make buying my first home (other than the one I already own and live in) a good option. Our income is limited, although my credit is good and I still have some cash and equity I could tap in an emergency.
I don’t want to get “greedy” and risk all I have for an elusive deal. I’m trying to figure out the proper order to do things in. I thought that finding a Real Estate professional, along with other people for my “team” was a place to start, but I’ve been burned in the past. I don’t want to spin my wheels, or anyone else’s.
What would you suggest?
I want to go look for deal, knowing that I have the knowledge and resourses in place to pounce on it once I find it.
What should I do FIRST?
I have a couple of ideas to start with.
Thank you so much!

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Re: Best way to choose RE Agent - Posted by Marie

Posted by Marie on July 03, 2005 at 22:04:59:

Dear Barbara
Thank you so very much for taking the time to respond!

I do not wish to waste anyone’s time. I need advice on how to get my ducks in a row. What order should I be working? I need to obtain either financing, or a team of Investors. I need to obtain access to a way to accurately comp out a property. Any websites that are good?
I need to go find deals and work out the details.
As far as the comps go, the resourses I used to have are no longer available. The website that I was told was good for comps was as much as $80 per month, and that was years ago.
I’m starting over.
Any suggestions?
Thank you so much!
(I have good credit, some cash, and equity in my home, but I’m self-employed.) I don’t want to put everything on the line alone and being self-employed makes it harder to qualify. I think I want to find partners, or be very very sure of my deal before I take dings on my credit by applying for a new loan. I’ve been told that every inquiry lowers your score.

Re: Best way to choose RE Agent - Posted by Marie

Posted by Marie on July 03, 2005 at 20:04:18:

Thanks for all of the advice.
It sounds as if I need to get my other ducks in a row before I search for a Real Estate Agent to work with. I have some money and good credit, but don’t feel I can or should do my first deal on my own. I live in So. Calif., where Real Estate is still hot, and where finding deep discounts is very very difficult, even in a slow market.
Years ago, I made some offers, and counter offers, but didn’t clinch anything worthwhile, then had to put things on the back burner when I started our business.
At that time, I had an Appraiser I could call to verify values for me, but I no longer have that contact.
I am self-employed, which makes getting pre-qualified more difficult. I’m afraid of running my credit too many times, as I’ve heard that it lowers your score.
What would you suggest as a progression of steps to get ready? I’ve always heard that finding the deal should come first, but it sounds like I need to have my network of Investors first, and be ready to commit if I find one. I’m confused as to what I should do first.

Re: Best way to choose RE Agent - Posted by Will

Posted by Will on July 02, 2005 at 09:11:29:

Mike, as soon as I saw this question, I was HOPING you might answer.

Once again, you’ve given EXCELLENT advice. THANKS!!! Over the last few days, you’ve helped me more than you could know.

Re: Best way to choose RE Agent - Posted by docniss

Posted by docniss on July 02, 2005 at 07:35:14:

Mike hs some great advice, also though I have found if you deal with a realtor that either invests or has worked with other investors they are more willing to help you. I had several laugh at me and tell me I would never find that deal. Well, then I found a realtor that has rentals and it’s been much easier, she has given me a lot of good info. Guess who’s lauging now…

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Re: Best way to choose RE Agent - Posted by Barb_TX

Posted by Barb_TX on July 04, 2005 at 13:23:53:

Marie - Realtors pay (through the nose) for access and use of the MLS system. I send comps with every property I send my investors. I have 2 new investors that are working through an investment group that loans them the money for 6 months in order to buy and rehab a property. All the investor has to do is show that the deal will work. If you are interested, I will send you that information. I have a Mortgage broker that I send clients to and have learned a lot from him over time. You can use “stated Income” to apply for a loan when you are self employed and inquiries to your credit for a mortgage don’t count against you (as far as a lender is concerned) like revolving credit inquiries do.