Posted by Carmen on September 30, 1999 at 08:08:11:
I would go straight to the listing agent. If you’ve already found the house, there’s no need to go to another realtor. The listing agent will be more motivated, because now they can get the ENTIRE commission, instead of splitting it. Don’t be stingy with commissions, though - everyone seems to forget that Realtors are people too, and need to make a buck just like we do. Most really make a measly living (e.g. they end up making about $1,500 minus broker’s fees on each home, out of which they have to pay all their costs, telephone, advertising, gas, computer access to the MLS, Board of Realtor fees ($650 for me this year!) etc. They are NOT employees, they are independent contractors and do not get a salary. A good realtor may close 2 of these a month. Not exactly a king’s ransom.)
By the way, you don’t usually pay a realtor anything for finding the house for you. They get paid when you close. Maybe they smell “investor” on you, and that’s why they shy away. I had a long post earlier about why realtors do this. Most so-called investor wannabes waste a lot of realtors’ time, and they get gunshy. As a realtor, I spent hours, days, weeks working with investors, and never got a single commission out of it. If things get desperate, you may need to cultivate one realtor/friend who you can go to and offer to pay them for their time in doing very specific searches for you. Tell them EXACTLY what you want them to look for. Realtors are not genies, nor geniuses, so do not tell them “I want you to find me a good deal” or “I want to buy houses for under market value”. Duh. Everybody does. Tell them: I want you to find all the 3 or more bedroom houses, with more than 2 bathrooms, in this neighborhood, which are listed for less than $40,000. Or search for all the foreclosed properties; or all the “handyman” or “needs TLC” houses on the MLS in a certain county. The more specific you can be, the more help the realtor can be, and the easier it will be to find someone. They need diretion, though. You have to project that you know what you’re doing.
Oh, and by the way - if you do find someone to work with, NOW would be the time to start putting in offers through them. If you have someone work 10 hours finding you stuff, and they find out that you bought a house without going through them, or never buy a house at all, they will write you off for good.