Homebuyer's bill of rights?

Myth propagated by bitter ignorant renters, or statistical reality ignored by real estate professionals?

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Homebuyer's bill of rights?

Postby david_mcmanus » Mon May 05, 2008 12:07 pm

Am I the only one that would like a "Homebuyer's Bill of Rights"? One of the things I would like to see in something like this is when a Realtor tells you something like "If you do X, then you can sell this for Y" (in writing, of course), there would be some financial penalty involved to them if it doesn't happen. For example, if your Realtor tells you that putting in granite countertops in your 300K home will increase the value by 100K and that you can sell it in no time for 400K and it sits on the market for 300 days, there could be a clause that says they will pay Z for every week it sits over a certain agreed upon limit. I'm sure you could somehow work this into the agreement with the agent, but I don't know a realtor out there aside from maybe Ira that would sign something like that.

That brings up another question, since I'm someone who has never sold a house before (but I have purchased one and I'm still living in it). Is the idea of what I have proposed reasonable in a soft market or for that matter, a hot one? If Sally Realtor tells me my house is worth 800K (2005 numbers) and I don't want her to list it at this, if she talks me into list at 800K today, is it unreasonable to ask her to agree to something like that?
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Re: Homebuyer's bill of rights?

Postby sniglet » Mon May 05, 2008 1:42 pm

Having bought and sold homes in the past, my experience has been that realtors are about as honest as the home-owners want them to be. If the home-owners have their heads in the clouds, seriously hoping that they can get peak prices, then the realtor will humour them and build up their confidence.

However, if the sellers are very down to earth and just want to "price to sell", then the most realtors will be pretty open about what is realistic.

I doubt that any realtor would sign the kind of contract David proposes. In boom times realtors don't have to agree to any kind of unconventional terms since business is just falling in their lap all the time anyway. In downturns such agreements are likely unecessary since realtors won't want to be wasting their time with people who have unrealistic expectations.

This raises an interesting point: all the talk we often hear about "getting good contracts" is usually a crock. If you don't have any leverage then you can't be demanding lots of custom verbiage or conditions in the contract. In booming markets, for example, it is virtually impossible to get sellers or landlords to agree to any kinds of contractual terms that are out of the ordinary. By contrast, in buyer's markets the purchasers can get sellers to agree to all manner of onerous contingencies. If we were to only sign contracts that had all the terms we liked, we would likely be resigning ourselves to just stay out of particular markets for long periods of time as the conditions gave too much power to the counterparties.
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Re: Homebuyer's bill of rights?

Postby david_mcmanus » Mon May 05, 2008 1:55 pm

It would just be nice if the playing field between realtors and fsbo's was a little more level. Right now, they have exclusive access to info (see MLS) and also the power to steer their clients away from homes where they may lose their commission, although they will not admit to the latter because it's supposely against their code of ethics. I just don't feel like I should have to pay 30K to someone for just listing my house, making me throw some nice furniture and a coat of paint up, and filling out some forms. Any attorney can file the paperwork on a sale. Do attorneys charge that much? Nope.
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