Post # 1
What kind of information do you WISH that your realtor had told you, or guided you about? What kind of information would you have liked to have access to? If your realtor has a website or blog, what did you find helpful or what do you wish was there?
Post # 3
I wish we had known to check the local utility rates … Or the tax rates for that matter… It’s more than just a principle and interest payment!!!
Post # 4
@mrshoneybee: That they are not necessary and their commission is a waste of my money 😛
Post # 5
Oil heat sucks big time, and try to see if there’s anything with gas available. Or at least in the area that you can connect to.
Post # 6
@mrshoneybee: Everything. My realtor is useless. We did all the work, she just opened doors and shuffled the paperwork. She didn’t even know how to get to the houses, she would follow me from house to house and ask me questions about them like she was the buyer. She even asks me to check her work when she sends me contracts. She was nice, we chose her from an open house, now we’re stuck with her until we close. Thankfully that’s only about 30 days away.
Post # 7
@mrshoneybee: I wish the MLS (or a realtor’s website, or a realtor’s information sheets) had the Great School’s ratings right next to the names of the schools the house is zoned for. Also, I wish it listed whether there’s a better school zone nearby, or the ranking of the zoned school within the district. (For example – the website might say, “this house is zoned for School X, a Great School 6 rated school. It’s the 2nd-best high school in the school distrist / county / city. The highest-ranked high school in the district, School Y with GreatSchool rating 9, is located 15 miles north.”)
Also, I wish realtors gave good information on crime rates.
And commutes!! They should say how much, on average, traffic time increases during peak-commute hours to certain landmarks (i.e., “during normal hours, the commute between this house and the nearest highway is 7 minutes. During peak commuting times, the commute between the house and the highway is 22 minutes”.) Since google gives traffic-specific estimates, this data should be possible to harvest (you’d have to capture and average it out across multiple days at different times) – but I bet this type of data analysis is going to become more mainstream someday.
Post # 8
I think Redfin or Zillow give you school information.
Post # 9
Redfin gives you the Great School scores (but Redfin isn’t in all cities). Real estate agents aren’t allowed to comment on crime stats, but there are a lot of great summary websites out there that overlay stats over maps so you can really get an idea of neighborhood crime.
OP: I think our real estate agent did a really good job of giving us a reality check on how brutal the market was, did a great job helping us form our offer, etc. She harrassed everyone that needed harrassing etc. I don’t feel like she missed helping us or telling us anything.
Post # 10
I am a realtor..if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask! 🙂
Sorry some of you bees have had bad experiences!
Post # 11
Huh! That’s interesting – why can’t they comment on crime stats? Is it a liability issue (in case the client is later victimized), or can they not comment on any broader types of socioeconomic or demographic information (unemployment in the area, % below poverty line, age of residents, etc)?
Post # 12
Thanks! I should check out Redfin.
Post # 13
In our area I think by law or ethics they cant tell you if a school or area is good or bad. You have to do your own homeowrk. On top of looking at school rating sites, find out the Free and Reduced Lunch %. It gives you a better idea of the poverty level of a school. Typically the more low income, the more $ spent getting the students to perform just up to average (and pass those stupid tests).
Here is a good site for crime info
Post # 14
Taxes sux and it pays to know what the local rates are.
Go to the county or city (and sometimes even stat) web site to find out what the local rates are. My friend bought just over the county line. That little bit of difference cost her over $400/year.
Post # 15
Our realtor told us everything, but the difference is we asked the questions. They tell you things if they dont know you want to know them.
We have worked with many different realtors and this last one when we bought was the best we have ever encountered. She really new her stuff. She even helped us in which communities were best for appreciation etc (We moved across country so we didnt know the area real well other than our online research)
Be sure to ask anything and everything.
Post # 16
We used the sellers agent as our buyers agent and I would never do that again. I really felt like we didn’t have proper representation and that she wasn’t looking out for our best interests. We had several issues with our realtor that I think could have been avoided if we had a buyers agent representing us.
First problem: the sellers had to push back closing because of some title problems. Fine with us. Home was already vacant as they had already moved into their new home, which meant current house was no longer homesteaded. Realtor failed to tell us that by agreeing to push back closing, we would miss the deadline to homestead the house and would end up paying twice as much property tax the first year in the home. Had she informed us this, I would have negotiated the tax issue before agreeing to delay closing. To make matters worse, the realtor had enough sense to tell the underwriter, who called and told me, and when I called the realtor to ask her about it, she acted like she didn’t know the real estate/ tax laws. This is a realtor who has been selling homes for over 20 years. She should know by now. We were new to the area and unfamiliar with the tax laws.
Second problem: I fell in love with the neighborhood that we bought in. I actually chose the neighborhood over the house. The home is nice and we love it, but we saw other homes that we liked better that were in neighborhoods that we didn’t love. The realtor failed to tell us that a new Wal-Mart was being built right outside the neighborhood entrance. I found out when construction started 6 months after we moved in. The Wal-Mart is still under construction so I can’t comment on any negative effects its had on traffic or home values.
Other small problems: the realtor couldn’t tell us about school districts and wouldn’t look up the information. She told me to look it up myself. When we had the inspection, there were some things that needed fixing. Contractor (who is related to the realtor) came out to do the work. Our inspector wasn’t able to approve the work until the day before closing and he found some minor problems. On closing day, realtor promised that the contractor would be back to finish the work. Of course he never showed up and it’s been over a year. Since they were very minor improvements, I just let it go so I wouldn’t have to deal with the realtor anymore.