1. Showing you bad houses to buy before showing you the target house.
Your Real Estate will first show you a series of houses in terrible condition and is overpriced. Then, after you see your terrible selection and you believe these houses are what you after to work with. Once that belief is set in, then your Real Estate Agent will show you a nice house.
By the Law of Contrast, a valuable house looks even more valuable when it comes after a worthless house.
If you find yourself viewing houses that are just rip offs, be careful when you see a decent house. It is actually less valuable than you believe. You Real Estate Agent may even try to compliment those worthless houses so that when decent house shows up, you believe it’s your perfect home!
2. Making you travel to look at the houses you want to buy first.
This is a very common practice and it would seem to make sense. You would need to look at the houses before buying it, correct? Well, there is reason behind the Real Estate Agent wanting you to travel and spend your valuable time staring at these houses. By spending so much time on one house, it becomes too much of an effort to find your perfect house. You end up settling for your less than desired house.
What should be happening is that before looking at the house, you should request a comparable analysis. Your Real Estate Agent has statistical information about the houses you are looking at and houses similar to what you are looking at. This statistical information reveals the market value of the home and whether the home is worth you TIME. By not showing you the comparable analysis, the time, effort and pain it takes for you to search for a home causes you to make a decision faster. If the Real Estate Agent shows you the comparable analysis first, it reduces the pain and you would wait longer to decide. Also, the Real Estate agent has to spend time to create the comparable analysis report where most likely, they would not want to do.
Rule of thumb: Find a Real Estate Agent that will give you the comparable analysis first.
Now, this isn’t to say you should never look for the house first.
There is one exception.
When you first meet your new Real Estate Agent, there is some level of concern on the agent’s side. The agent is spending valuable free time on you, gambling that you would buy a house through him. So if you start off by requesting comparable analysis, he will not do it. Any honest Real Estate Agent would not do it. A comparable analysis is valuable information that the Real Estate Agent gets for being a Real Estate Agent. They need to pay a fee to be a Real Estate Agent.
What the Real Estate Agent needs to know, is that you need to provide some “level of comfort” that you will certainly buy the house through him in order to get the comparable analysis. To me, this is fair because if the Real Estate Agent is going to spend the time on you to help you find a home, then it would only be fair that you buy through him and let him get the commission.
The legal way to show this “level of comfort” is to sign the 90-day commitment contract that indicates you would only work with him and no other agent for 90 days. This legal way is by no means the only way nor is this a bad way, either. It is only a matter of preference and your relationship with your Real Estate Agent that determines the best approach.
3. Encouraging you to put a high security deposit when writing up a contract to purchase your desired home.
A security deposit informs the seller you are interested in purchasing the property and the amount lets the seller know how serious you are. The higher the amount, the more serious you are.
The moment the contract is agreed upon by both parties and signed, you must provide the security deposit within the set time specified in the contract. This security deposit is suppose to be returned to you if the contract becomes null and void, if the conditions (usually financing and inspection) specified in the contract fails.
Now, this procedure seems to be fair. Here is where the problem lies:
If the contract becomes null and void and you want your money back, all parties must sign a form called a Mutual Release. This signature must include the buyer, buyer’s agent, seller and seller’s agent. If any one party does not sign, you will not get your money even if the contract has been null and void. If anyone party refuses to sign, you have to go through court, most likely small claims court, to settle your dispute and if you know anything about the court system in Canada, you know your court date could be as long as two years away!
You should never be serious in buying house. It is poor negotiating tactics. If your Real Estate Agent encourages you to put a high security deposit, it is because your Real Estate Agent wants you to be serious about purchasing the property even though it is poor negotiating tactics.
The reality is your security deposit can be very difficult to get back. Sadly, this is the general process in most home buying transactions and it is a very poor process.
And did you know…
IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO PUT A SECURITY DEPOSIT AT ALL!
There are no limitations to a contract. It is only a matter of agreement. You can write anything you want on the contract as long as both party agrees. My suggestion is to encourage your Real Estate Agent to only provide the deposit after the contract passes the conditions. This is possible, but only if your Real Estate Agent is willing.
Once again, I cannot stress this enough, to find a Real Estate Agent do not search through the Internet and pick the first one you see. Good salesmen do not make good Real Estate Agents.
More to Come!