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Unhappy home buyer, feeling misled on price, sues agent!!!

Hello – thanks for dropping by my blog. For the past 24 years, I’ve been in the fast paced, up and down world of real estate. I’ve sold Raleigh real estate and Cary real estate and thousands of homes from Chatham County to Johnson County and beyond.

I also own one of the most productive real estate offices in Wake County , Remax One Realty. Also, I am very proud that the team I lead, The Marti Hampton team is the #1 team for Remax on the entire East Coast and #4 in the US. Remember, no one sells more real estate than Remax – so it’s fair to say that I’ve been roaming with the “big dogs” in my industry for quite a few years now.

This week, we’ve got news from California (article link attached at the bottom) that a home buyer is going to sue their agent because they bought a home and the home promptly “depreciated” in value. When reading this article, I felt, the most serious accusation made against the agent was that they “hid information that similar homes in the neighborhood were selling for less”.

While not ready to pass judgment on a case I know so little about, I do agree that withholding information pertaining to the value of a property is a serious matter. This article prompted me to write 5 things that I would look for when hiring a real estate professional. In putting these ideas together, I imagined that I have moved to another town (forbid the thought) and I knew little to “zero” about the area. So here are the top 5 things I would look for in choosing an agent.

#1. I want an agent on a team who’s Team Leader has been successful for over 10 years. In other words, I want some “tenure”. I don’t have anything against rookies, but I don’t want a doctor fresh out of med school doing my heart surgery and I don’t want a rookie agent giving me advice on neighborhoods or homes. A buyers agent that is under an experienced Team Leader will have much more knowledge, insight and resources at easy disposal. Of course, I do know some facts that help me form my opinion.
Fact: Over 58% of all agents have been in real estate for less than 5 years.
Fact: The average career life of a newly licensed agent is 18 months.
Fact: The average agent in the Triangle or anywhere else in US sells less than 8 homes per year!!
Fact: An agent that is too hungry for a sale (as rookie agents often are) is likely to tell me what I want to hear rather than what I need to hear. I want an agent that will tell me the hard stuff. Here is a rule I live by, “What you don’t know won’t hurt you – it will kill you”. Whether maintaining your health or a healthy portfolio of real estate – get the facts by seeking out expert advice.

#2: I will pick an agent that does not need my business. Why? Success comes with a price and I want a successful agent on my side. An agent that has knowledge about the real estate market where I’m getting ready to invest my hard earned money will be worth the wait and I will wait for the best agent in town.

#3. I will sit down and go over my goals with the agent and ask them to represent me, either as a buyer’s agent or a seller’s agent. That does not mean that I would refuse to view homes that would entail the agent acting as dual agent. If the agent is successful, I would expect them to have a large number of properties for me to consider. I will hire the agent and sign a buyer’s agency agreement. By doing so, I will to take away the threat of my buying elsewhere – therefore if I show loyalty – the agent will go the distance with me, even if I’m not the fastest buyer in town. In advance, we will go over my expectation of their service and they will give me guideline for being their client.

#4. I will ask a lot of questions and expect my agent to give me a “crash course” on local appreciation, top neighborhoods, top schools districts, local trends, and I will ask point blank where they would buy a property for the money I plan to spend. I will take their recommendations and warnings seriously. I will want to know what homes sell the fastest and are most popular.

#5. I will look for an agent that is backed by a team. If I choose an agent, I want their full attention when I need it and don’t want them distracted by another “transaction” when we are together. When we close out the property, I’ll be sifted to the expert on their team that will guide me through the inspection process with more detail and accuracy than any exceptional agent could possibly provide. (A “Jack of all trades is master of none”)

These are my tips and I hope they are helpful. This is what I would do if I moved to another town. I would not represent myself – I would seek a professional. Here’s another hint. Even if I lived in the town and thought I knew exactly what I wanted, I would still seek a great agent to help me achieve my goals.

Now, you may think, sure Marti – you are in the real estate business, that’s why you think this way. Would it surprise you to know that the most successful people believe that the right agent makes all the difference in your bottom line?

Anyway, enjoy the article. After I read it, I wondered if I could sue the girl that sold me the “age eraser” cosmetics that did not work! I’ve also considered suing the minister that married me and my husband (joke honey, just a joke).

Have a great day – and remember buy Raleigh and Cary real estate today, because by the time you hear that the prices are going up – it will be too late to get some of the extraordinary bargains that are available in today’s market.

Thanks for stopping by. God Bless you and yours. Please stop by again very soon when real estate is on your mind.

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