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The The Layman's Guide to Buying Real Estate in Chapel Hill-
A Quick guide to get you started!

Agent vs. FSBO

My friend tells the story of how the attorneys fighting each other in the nasty divorce settlement bleed the clients for all they have and are enemies in the court room, but best of friends on the golf course. When they think their clients have reached the limit of their ability to pay attorney's fees, the attorneys agree it's time to settle. It may not be the case, but sometimes I get the feeling the agents for the buyer and seller are working with each other first, and with their clients best interest secondly.

Remember, I was a very serious and qualified client who was within 5% of their asking price and still negotiating. Why in the world would either of the agents break off negotiations? It is now 4 months later, the owner who wanted to have the house sold by August(I made the bid in May) but still live in it( I agreed to allow them to stay in it until August) still has his house and the agents have not sold it, therefore made no commission. It could have been a done closed deal. Were the buyer and seller being well represented and advised?

With that in mind, I like to talk directly to the seller. If the seller and I don't agree on a price, at least I know everything that was said and done and why the negotiations failed. Only God knows what agents talk about "off the record".

Remember that 50% of the agents are in the bottom half of their profession. Don't assume that just because they look and sound good that they are. I know that a lot of you are new to the area and the agent you choose will undoubtedly know more about the area than you do, but you are also at the disadvantage of having to believe what they say because you don't have the first hand knowledge to counter it. I don't know how many times I've heard the lines "this is a hot property, there's a lot of interest in it and won't last", or "I'm expecting an offer today(or tonight or tomorrow)". Maybe it's true sometimes (but I think I hear it way to much for it to be true all the time!), but I look at it as a little tactic to get you moving on making an offer.

That said, there are good and even great agents out there(just like in everything), just remember they are not all great. Ask around, but be careful about agents that are recommended by friends…most of the agents are great friends, but that won't make them a great agent…

Damn, I don't know how I do that, but I keep trying to say something positive and then have to add a caution to it…. So let me just finish this section by saying simply that an agent can save you a lot of time if they are able to determine what it is you want. If you can go to an agent having a good idea of what you're looking for(location, size, price range, property size, design etc…) they'll know what's available and take you there.".






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