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January 3, 2013 at 7:27 pm #606112
My husband and I are looking to buy a house in West Seattle. As first time home buyers, we have a meager budget and lots of questions. I’d love your recommendations for a trustworthy real estate agent. Thanks.January 3, 2013 at 7:32 pm #781665
Dale Ross – Prudential – 206-465-2640.
Lifetime West Seattle Resident and excellent resource for new home buyers. He is very strong listener…responsive and reliable and sensitive to budgetary considerations!January 3, 2013 at 9:09 pm #781666
dhgParticipantJanuary 3, 2013 at 10:35 pm #781667
conduct your own research, buying without an agent provides opportunity to reduce cost by at least 3%. On a $200k home this is $6K.January 3, 2013 at 11:11 pm #781668
I purchased a home (townhome) in West Seattle without using a buyer’s agent. I believe it put us in a better negotiating position because it meant the seller could “keep” more of the sales proceeds.
If you are familiar with the neighborhood then I’m not convinced of the value of a buyer’s agent.
Buyer’s agents will tell you “It’s a no-brainer to use a buyer’s agent. The seller pays the fees/commission.” That is a very, very misleading statement. There is only one person who writes a check – and that is the buyer. So the buyer is paying all the fees and commissions.January 3, 2013 at 11:17 pm #781669
Tonya Hennen with Windermere, 206 228 4638. She has done a bunch of transactions for me, and is the best I have worked with over many years.January 4, 2013 at 12:29 am #781670
@skeeter Thank you for that feedback. I guess what we are looking for is just a real estate agent, anybody. I do not feel qualified to buy a home on my own, but I also don’t know what to look for in an agent. Trustworthiness is a hard thing to gauge.
Thank you all for the recommendations. I appreciate it!January 4, 2013 at 12:46 am #781671
Sounds good Lindsey. You know your comfort level better than I do :-) Good luck in your search for a new home!January 4, 2013 at 12:54 am #781672January 4, 2013 at 1:15 am #781673
Lindsey– I can’t recommend Scott Monroe highly enough for a buyer OR seller… 206-406-9388.
And it’s not just me who thinks so either!:
Good Luck –it’s a GREAT time to buy with rates as low as they are!January 4, 2013 at 1:17 am #781674January 4, 2013 at 1:41 am #781675
I was a first time home buyer 16 months ago. My choice for an agent was Michael Mallagh with Prudential. I had questions galore and was extremely apprehensive about the whole buying process. Since I had no one to turn to for advice, Michael stepped up and gave me the support I needed when I needed it. He also instinctively knew when to back up and let me have time to absorb everything so I didn’t become overwhelmed.
If you have a moment, give him a call at 206-501-5600 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.January 4, 2013 at 2:16 am #781676
Compelled to weigh in here: After using the same realtor for the purchase and sale of our four West Seattle homes over 19 years, our always professional and dependable realtor retired. Faced with finding a new one, we asked around, did our research, and then set up interviews with five realtors. We found all to be competent and professional but decided to go with Craig Roberts @ Prudential Northwest Realty
based on his many years of experience and detailed knowledge of West Seattle. We couldn’t recommend him enough as he was available, professional, and communicative during the whole process. Frankly, beyond our expectation. Even though our sale was in an upper bracket, he specializes in all price ranges. You would not go wrong by this man. He lives and breathes West Seattle. Good luck, it’s an exciting, albeit scary, time for you.January 4, 2013 at 3:46 am #781677
Use Redfin if you don’t need a bunch of hand holding. If you dont like them, you can switch to someone else. As a first time buyer, the Redfin rebate will probably come in handy. Also i was quite happy with them.January 4, 2013 at 7:51 am #781678
There’s a number of good agents out there. Ultimately it comes down to being able to close the deal that YOU want. You should interview a number of agents before settling on one. I suggest speaking with Alex Eckhardt. He’s knowledgable, professional, and takes the time to look after the details. Here’s his website:
He was amazing for us and I could not recommend anyone else higher. (I have bought and sold homes around the country in very different real estate climates. He’s worth speaking with sooner rather than later.)January 4, 2013 at 4:29 pm #781679
Hi Lindsey – that is correct, I did not use an agent at all. We just made the offer directly to the selling agent. The selling agent wrote it up for us. I just didn’t want an additional person in the transaction.
It’s really just a matter of preference. Some buyers prefer to work with a buying agent and some buyers prefer to work with the selling agent directly (or with the seller directly if there is no selling agent.)
I’m skeptical. Supposedly, the buying agent is looking out for the buyer. But in my experience the buying agent is looking out for the buying agent.January 4, 2013 at 6:54 pm #781680
I would not recommend making an offer directly to the seller’s agent. It opens up all sorts of conflicts of interest. And besides, the selling agent will just pocket both commissions. There are plenty of low costs agents that will put in an offer and rebate part of the commission.
Example coflict of interest: The seller agent lists the property at $200k but knows the owner will take $180k. You, as the buyer, tell the selling agent you want to make an offer and want their advice and help. They cant effectively represent you both.January 4, 2013 at 9:32 pm #781681
Just to clarify – I understand the seller’s agent was representing the seller. I was representing myself as the buyer. I didn’t see a conflict of interest.
Folks might want to read Freakonomics sometime. Interesting data on real estate agents. The best interests of the selling agent rarely line up with the best interest of the seller and the best interests of the buying agent rarely line up with the best interest of the buyer.January 5, 2013 at 12:20 am #781682
I know you’ve got a lot of recommendations here but I thought I’d throw our hat in the ring…
I, along with friend and fellow West Seattleite, Roger Steiner, are the West Seattle-focused real estate team of “I Heart West Seattle” (www.iheartwestseattle.com) As our name suggests, we specialize in West Seattle real estate AND if we represent you as the buyer we give back 5% of our commission to a West Seattle charity of your choice. We also sponsor the West Seattle Blog- see our sidebar ad.
Please feel free to get in touch!
Dale WamplerJanuary 5, 2013 at 12:59 am #781683January 5, 2013 at 1:38 am #781684
HI Lindsey – i have brought six different properties (I am the major breadwinner so hubby has not been part of the deals – houses are in my name). I agree with skeeter, save more than a few $$. Talk to your friends (and family) about their experiences. Ask questions here on the blog. I have used a buyer’s agent twice, and at the deal end, questioned what they did for me that I couldn’t do myself. I have found the sellers agents just as helpful.
Here are a couple of suggestions: 1-Above all, get a house inspection – one that is comprehensive. Know what you are getting into on the house’s condition, including sewer and roof, as those could be very costly. 2- Know your $$, the market, and be very clear to yourself about your max. There are many web sites to help on understanding $$. 3-Be prepared (not offended) to negotiate. Learn from your friends about what they negotiated in/out and talk to the sellers agent what might work for the seller. My experience is there is a lot that is negotiable. 4- don’t be afraid to walk away. When it doesn’t feel right, it’s not.
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