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January 23, 2008


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Your first realtor was not willing to step outside of her comfort zone, a common problem in that industry.

As for the MLS itself, the fact that it is the private property of the National Association of Realtors is the ONLY reason that realtors are able to stick us with their 6% commissions.

Realtors, in the modern, internet-driven world, perform no socially useful function, outside of the fact that they own and operate the MLS.

I think that the market, in its "wisdom," recognizes the social uselessness of realtors, and if I am right, then that alone could account for at least 6% of the decline in average real property values nationwide.

Wouldn't it be nice if the National Association of Realtors just went away, and if the MLS were simply appropriated by some other search entity, such as Google? If that were ever to occur, then there would be no longer be any compelling, profit-based reason to exclude foreclosures and FSBO's from the database, as there is now.

Good luck with your ongoing search & thanks for letting me post on this site!

In your situation I would buy the house in the sweet spot with the size of lot and mature trees/shade that take years to grow and not worry so much about the house. If you could get that combination for a killer deal, then put the money you didn't spend on the house into the house. Then you REALLY get what you want. I have noticed that new homes have acres of floor space but often scrimp on details. If you create the home you want you can invest in super nice, expensive windows, hardwood floors, custom cabinets, extra exterior doors, french doors, huge overhangs, wonderful outdoor patios or porches, etc. etc. You own your current home free and clear so you have the ultimate luxury to take the time you need to remodel just how you want your dream home to be. Find a fantastic contractor and it will be a blast.

Sounds like you made the right move switching agents. I'm looking forward to next summer when we are planning on moving.

I am not sure why you had to switch agents. I personally thought it was the right move for the 1st agent, not to pretend she knew how to locate then subsequently close on a property outside her "comfort zone." Just like an ENT Doctor can't practice orthepidcs, or a real estate attorney shouldn't practice crim law (without the right training), or it is unlikely for you to start blogging about the mating habits of local squirrils - she was professional enough to say (not in so many words) - I can't provide that service.

Regardless, if everyone is open and honest, there is no harm (other than time) in allowing both buying agents to work for you. One for the straight sales and One for the foreclosures; unless you were unsatisfied with her work in general?

Evan --

We're actually using both of them -- as you suggest -- one for MLS homes and the other for deals not readily available to the general public.

I would worry about stepping on toes, unless you have been open with both realtors that you are using one for MLS and one for non-MLS listings (new homes, tax foreclosures, etc). A licensed agent can help you close on either deal.

Most prefer that you sign an agreement to work with them exclusively, which can protect them from a property that you may purchase with another realtor - introduced to you by the other.

Sounds like my experience last year in buying a house -

We originally hired a realtor who insisted that we looked in the areas she wanted to sell houses in - all MLS listings. We kept telling her that we wanted to stay in the same area we were living in. She was a discount realtor - so I guess you get what you pay for.

So we dismissed her and hired the top real estate agent in the area - full 6% commission but found us many more houses in our area - including foreclosures, MLS listings and others. We ended up buying a foreclosure at a price 20,000 below market value so it was a great deal for us. The house was sold at 137,000 in a neighborhood where houses were selling 230,000 or more - plus I have much more acreage (2 acres of land) to boot!

Something to ponder about : get a good realtor that will look aggressively at good deals;

FMF: the first realtor sounds like the first realtor I had in the first place... Stick with the second realtor!

FMF - did you see the video on Yahoo! today about the real estate agents that are taking their clients on bus tours of foreclosures? Maybe your guy will do that for you.

Kevin --

I didn't, but I'm going to look for it now. Thanks for the tip.

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