Ten Signs You Hired the Wrong Buyers Agent

portland buyers agent

The Portland real estate market is tough! Your buyer’s agent has the power to make – or break – the deal when you’re buying a home. Loan officers can stall it, sellers can change their mind, but the buyer’s agent is the one who is there with you from start to finish, and their ability to perform is a crucial ingredient in getting you into the home of your dreams.

Ten signs you hired the wrong buyer’s agent:

1. They don’t know how to negotiate well on your behalf.

Multiple offer situations are the norm in Portland, particularly in the spring and summer months. I’ve heard of buyers losing out on deals 12, even 20 times! Sure, there is lots of competition, but if your real estate buyers agent can’t close the deal eventually, there is a problem. Our buyer’s agent, Kami Price, a top 1% buyer’s agent in Portland, closed about 50% of her offers in 2016. At first glance, that doesn’t sound great, but when you realize she typically competed against multiple offers and sometimes a dozen or more offers at once, and still won 50% of the time, we’ll that is pretty good – batting .500. Of course, getting your offer accepted is only half the battle. The second half is negotiating repairs and concessions. Kami is certified as a Strategic Pricing Specialist, SPS and a Certified Negotiation Master, MCNE!

2. It’s your old buddy from school, your ex’s former roommate, your brother’s girlfriend’s mom.

Just because someone is a great person and you happen to already know them, doesn’t mean they’re the right real estate agent for you! Experience counts. The general public often fails to realize that the average agent in Portland closes 3 – 6 deals a year. That is not a lot of experience! Often, the public fails to ask the buyer’s agent about their experience, and then when they do ask, the public often fails to verify that sales record (highly recommend you type their name into Zillow which will show you their last 12 months of transactions, plus reviews). There is a chance your real estate agent friend or relative is good, but don’t take your friend’s word for it – verify!

3. They’re using an umbrella.

Okay – it’s an Oregon inside joke. It rains a lot here, and for some reason locals don’t bother with umbrellas! What I’m trying to say is that if the real estate agent is new to the area, they’re simply not going to be able to help you as well as someone with more experience. Kami Price is a 4th generation native Oregonian, she knows her neighborhoods! A Portland-experienced real estate agent will not only know Hawthorne from Hillsdale, they’ll have connections with the local lenders, title agencies, contractors, stagers, and more.

4. They’re not busy.

Many Portland real estate agents don’t seem to have anything happening at all — no other clients to meet with, no closings to attend. Like a restaurant with no patrons downtown on a Friday night, there’s probably a good reason they’re so available! On the other hand, it is tough to be both busy and available. Kami Price has solved this dilemma but hiring (she has a master’s degree in business) showing agents who are there to make sure you can get into any home – any day! Kami will meet with you, negotiate on your behalf, but let’s face it, she can’t be everywhere at once, but her team can! We want to ensure all of our clients experience 100% availability, meaning they can get into any house any day, and honestly, our buyer’s team is able to provide just that.

5. They haven’t gotten back to you because you’re “just looking”.

Here’s the market advantage that most buyers just don’t employ because they don’t think they’re ready: finding a buyer’s agent sooner rather than later. I always tell people that they should find a real estate agent as soon as they can, even if they won’t be ready to buy for another year! Having that established relationship means you can fast act when your dream home pops on the market. Kami meets with all her clients in person to make sure they are a good fit and that they understand what Kami can provide them in the home buying process (among many other things… access to off-market pocket listings).

6. They don’t ask any questions.

Touring homes is fun, but do you want to spend weeks doing it? Kami and her team meets with you first to understand what exactly you’re looking for. Then when you’re on tour with them they debrief you after each home showing. Here are some questions you might hear: What did you like about the home? What didn’t you like? Too many square feet, or not enough? Did you notice the gap between the wall and the ceiling? After showing you a few homes, your real estate agent should be able to make some pretty good recommendations for refining your search, helping you find the home of your dreams faster.

7. They don’t work with a good listing agent.

What does it matter to you if they work with a good listing agent? Well, many clients buy and sell at the same time and want seamless professional representation on both sides of the transaction. Kami and I can provide that. We’ve worked together on numerous buy sell situations and are able to focus 100% of our efforts respectively. Kami is a much better buyer’s agent then I will ever be – she lives and breathes buyer’s representation. For the same reason, you’d want me to be your listing agent and not Kami. The truth about most real estate agents is that when they do both, help you buy and sell, they are not fantastic at either because they are stretch too thin. While they should be at the office reviewing offers for their seller, they are out showing dozens of homes to their own buyers. When they should be showing a buyer that latest home that hit the market, they are meeting with their seller to review inspection results. When these “non-specialized” real estate agents get busy – all bets are off. Can you get ahold of them?

8. They say, “Call me at my office phone anytime between 9 and 5.”

This is Portland! Real estate transactions happen quickly. I recommend one of the first questions you ask of your potential real estate agent is how they plan on communicating with you, and how quickly they typically respond to questions. If there aren’t at least three ways getting ahold of your real estate agent – phone, text and email – you might want to move along because there are plenty of us who do go the extra mile to be available to our clients!

9. They don’t have a powerful search program for you to use.

Hey, go ahead and use Zillow if you want, but let me warn you that Zillow is slow and sometimes that home on Zillow is on the RMLS and then sold before it even makes it to Zillow! Hey, go ahead and use our local RMLS (where all the Realtor listings originate) – if you can. Unfortunately, I do not find the site to be at all user friendly. So what to do? Local real estate websites (as opposed to national) feed quicker from RMLS and many are easy to use. We love PortlandHomesforSale.com. The site updates every few minutes from our local MLS and you can save your favorites. As an extra bonus, saving your favorites instantly notifies our buyer’s team. So if you use it, you’ll have an instant connection to your agent. Now, I understand everyone has their favorite real estate website, and while there is no requirement for our clients to use ours, I’d encourage them to try it out.

10. They say, “Anytime is a good time to buy a home in Portland.”

B.S. alert! The Portland market is very seasonal. Parts of the year are much easier to buy and parts are much harder. You can read my month by month analysis here to find out when is the best time to buy (and sell) in Portland. A good buyers real estate agent watches the market closely, and helps their client know when they should start looking.

Like Portland homes, buyers’ agents come in all shapes, sizes and varieties! Be sure you know what you’re looking for in an agent and don’t be afraid to shop around — it will pay off in the long run. We’d love to meet you. Call Kami’s team direct at 503-773-0000. Find out more about them here.

November 9, 2016
AUTHOR

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

4% max to sell a home in Portland and SW Washington.
4.25% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.