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Snoody Realtor Help...?


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For those of us going Pro Se - is there anything you can do when a seller's agent refuses to show you a home because you don't have a Realtor?

We've had 2 or 3 people pretty much say hire a Realtor or too bad (i.e. call centralized showing because I'm not showing it to you).

Seems they are doing a HUGE dis-service to their client?

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For those of us going Pro Se - is there anything you can do when a seller's agent refuses to show you a home because you don't have a Realtor?

We've had 2 or 3 people pretty much say hire a Realtor or too bad (i.e. call centralized showing because I'm not showing it to you).

Seems they are doing a HUGE dis-service to their client?

Call their broker and ask them to show it to you. Should get the agents attention.

flipper

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For those of us going Pro Se - is there anything you can do when a seller's agent refuses to show you a home because you don't have a Realtor?

We've had 2 or 3 people pretty much say hire a Realtor or too bad (i.e. call centralized showing because I'm not showing it to you).

Seems they are doing a HUGE dis-service to their client?

To be clear you are offering the usual 3% fee for the buyer's agent, right?

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If you are an attorney in Texas, can't you act as your own buying agent and claim 3% for yourself on the purchase of your primary residence?

NO! The Realtors have carved that piece of practicing law out for themselves

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Does that mean I have to give my fees back on the 3 properties that I have done this on? :huh:

We've found a lot of agents said flat out no, or said their broker said no. A few, ESPECIALLY when the builder is the broker, are very willing.

Of course, when we make an offer, it'll be contingent on us getting the 3%. Thanks flipper, we'll call the broker.

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I guess you could wait until the BLE calls you...

It's done often, and I have researched it. If you are the principal, you can get the 3%. If you're acting as an attorney/agent for someone else, then that is fee sharing and not allowed.

(someone please correct me if I am wrong by citing the proper code sections?)

Edited by Yankee_in_TX
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It's done often, and I have researched it. If you are the principal, you can get the 3%. If you're acting as an attorney/agent for someone else, then that is fee sharing and not allowed.

(someone please correct me if I am wrong by citing the proper code sections?)

Taht's pretty ,uch what the FAQ on the TREC website said. I think the code is section 652 of the Occupations Code.

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It's done often, and I have researched it. If you are the principal, you can get the 3%. If you're acting as an attorney/agent for someone else, then that is fee sharing and not allowed.

(someone please correct me if I am wrong by citing the proper code sections?)

You are correct. It used to be that an attorney could act as a broker as well. I got the 3% for my secretaries when they bought homes. About 6 or 8 years ago, the realtors wined enough that the legislature changed the law to allow attorneys to only act as their own agent. I've never even had an agent question me about it. They simply asked for my EIN number, so that they could send me a 1099 for the fee. I once had an agent in Glaveston pay me a referral fee instead of the 3%. I never asked why he wanted to do it that way. The check was the same amount.

Now, if an agent did get goofy about it, I might just have one of my real estate agent friends sign as my agent. Then at the closing, my friend would hand me the check in front of the seller's agent while I tell the agent that it would have been SO much easier to simply do what the law allows. More likely though, I would probably just walk away from the sale altogether. Depends on how bad I wanted the property, and how much I wanted to screw over the seller's agent.

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Now, if an agent did get goofy about it, I might just have one of my real estate agent friends sign as my agent. Then at the closing, my friend would hand me the check in front of the seller's agent while I tell the agent that it would have been SO much easier to simply do what the law allows. More likely though, I would probably just walk away from the sale altogether. Depends on how bad I wanted the property, and how much I wanted to screw over the seller's agent.

Unfortunately it seems like everyone we know with their real estate license in Texas' broker wants a cut of the pie. IE they'll do it, but for 1%...

Should we submit an offer contingent on the seller's broker agreeing to cut us the 3% or is that unprofessional? This could end up being a deal killer for us, and I want the seller to know what is going on. The agent said he asked the broker several times and the broker is not budging.

Also, opinions wanted - home was purchased by the current owner in 2005 for $240,500. He added granite in the kitchen and master bath. I don't think he fixed the minor slopes in the floor or the water intrusion issues around the windows (see above). It has been suggested he will want $255,000 if we want him to pay closing costs (by a Realtor friend). Home has been up for sale for 210+ days (homeowner rents to tenant). We're not in a hurry, but I think don't he is either because of the tenant.

Brick construction in a day and age of the stucco townhome. Also, cabinets are pretty outdated. Unit in the same 'complex' sold recently for $257,000 + $5,000 closing costs.

We're thinking $245,000 + closing costs as first offer. Too low or ok first bid?

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Unfortunately it seems like everyone we know with their real estate license in Texas' broker wants a cut of the pie. IE they'll do it, but for 1%...

Should we submit an offer contingent on the seller's broker agreeing to cut us the 3% or is that unprofessional? This could end up being a deal killer for us, and I want the seller to know what is going on. The agent said he asked the broker several times and the broker is not budging.

Also, opinions wanted - home was purchased by the current owner in 2005 for $240,500. He added granite in the kitchen and master bath. I don't think he fixed the minor slopes in the floor or the water intrusion issues around the windows (see above). It has been suggested he will want $255,000 if we want him to pay closing costs (by a Realtor friend). Home has been up for sale for 210+ days (homeowner rents to tenant). We're not in a hurry, but I think don't he is either because of the tenant.

Brick construction in a day and age of the stucco townhome. Also, cabinets are pretty outdated. Unit in the same 'complex' sold recently for $257,000 + $5,000 closing costs.

We're thinking $245,000 + closing costs as first offer. Too low or ok first bid?

Unprofessional by whom? The seller should absolutely know that the realtor with a fiduciary duty to them is refusing potential buyers. I would definitely make an offer and insist on your 3%. Period. What's to lose? Sure, you may not get a Christmas card from her, but that's a bonus! If the realtor says no dice, remind her of her duty to pass all offers to the client. If it is still no, then tell them to subtract it from the sales price. I cannot imagine this not going through, if the client knows that the 3% comes out of the 6% that he is already paying.

Let me repeat. DO NOT GIVE UP YOUR FEE. It is legal and it is yours. Let the deal fall through otherwise.

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Now that I think about it, isn't their a spot on the offer sheet for the buyer's agent? Just fill it in and don't worry about it. The title company will cut you a check at closing.

That's a REALLY good idea. I'm going to check with TREC about the current law (only thing I could find online was a TREC article that references the old laws) then that's the path we will take!

Edited by Yankee_in_TX
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As luck would have it, my house paperwork was sitting right on my desk. I pulled out the sales contract (TREC Form 20-6) to see what I did. On page 8 of the contract is the 'Broker Information and Ratfication of Fee' block. Simply fill in your name as 'Other Broker', put your SBN for license nunber and check the box for 'Buyer Only as Buyer's Agent'. To accept the contract they must also accept your demand for 3% of the commission.

I never noticed this before, but on my house, the realtor agreed to a 5.5% commission. So, when I got my 3% I ended up with more of the commission than the realtor.

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I'm not a lawyer so I can't represent myself. But I've ran into many issues just wanting to see a house. When they ask if I have an agent and I tell them no, they direct me to another agent at their brokerage to act as my agent. When I tell them I'm not interested in hiring one yet (or at all) they tell me no dice. Can't see the house.

Maybe they figure their job as the seller's broker is to just work with the seller and showings are for the buying broker?

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I'm not a lawyer so I can't represent myself. But I've ran into many issues just wanting to see a house. When they ask if I have an agent and I tell them no, they direct me to another agent at their brokerage to act as my agent. When I tell them I'm not interested in hiring one yet (or at all) they tell me no dice. Can't see the house.

Maybe they figure their job as the seller's broker is to just work with the seller and showings are for the buying broker?

Or maybe they'll figure you want the 3% as a discount on sale price, which makes their 3% cut even smaller. Or most realtors are annoying. My history with realtors involves 2 ignorant ones that only made things more expensive and more difficult.

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Or maybe they'll figure you want the 3% as a discount on sale price, which makes their 3% cut even smaller. Or most realtors are annoying. My history with realtors involves 2 ignorant ones that only made things more expensive and more difficult.

Well yeah, that's pretty much the plan. Hahah. But I'm sure they could work it out with the seller to make sure they get the full 3%. Or they could see that 3% of 97% of the price is better than 0% of nothing.

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That's a REALLY good idea. I'm going to check with TREC about the current law (only thing I could find online was a TREC article that references the old laws) then that's the path we will take!

Thanks TX legislature, what is 'an act of a broker?' lol

(1) “Broker”:

(A) means a person who, in exchange for a commission or other valuable consideration or with the expectation

of receiving a commission or other valuable consideration, performs for another person one of the following

acts:

(i) sells, exchanges, purchases, or leases real estate;

(ii) offers to sell, exchange, purchase, or lease real estate;

(iii) negotiates or attempts to negotiate the listing, sale, exchange, purchase, or lease of real estate;

(iv) lists or offers, attempts, or agrees to list real estate for sale, lease, or exchange;

(v) appraises or offers, attempts, or agrees to appraise real estate;

(vi) auctions or offers, attempts, or agrees to auction real estate;

(vii) deals in options on real estate, including buying, selling, or offering to buy or sell options on real estate;

(viii) aids or offers or attempts to aid in locating or obtaining real estate for purchase or lease;

(ix ) procures or assists in procuring a prospect to effect the sale, exchange, or lease of real estate; or

(x) procures or assists in procuring property to effect the sale, exchange, or lease of real estate; and

(B ) includes a person who:

(i ) is employed by or for an owner of real estate

to sell any portion of the real estate; or

(ii) engages in the business of charging an advance

fee or contracting to collect a fee under

a contract that requires the person primarily

to promote the sale of real estate by:

(a) listing the real estate in a publication primarily

used for listing real estate; or

(B ) referring information about the real estate

to brokers.

Edited by rbarz
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You are correct. It used to be that an attorney could act as a broker as well. I got the 3% for my secretaries when they bought homes. About 6 or 8 years ago, the realtors wined enough that the legislature changed the law to allow attorneys to only act as their own agent. I've never even had an agent question me about it. They simply asked for my EIN number, so that they could send me a 1099 for the fee. I once had an agent in Glaveston pay me a referral fee instead of the 3%. I never asked why he wanted to do it that way. The check was the same amount.

Now, if an agent did get goofy about it, I might just have one of my real estate agent friends sign as my agent. Then at the closing, my friend would hand me the check in front of the seller's agent while I tell the agent that it would have been SO much easier to simply do what the law allows. More likely though, I would probably just walk away from the sale altogether. Depends on how bad I wanted the property, and how much I wanted to screw over the seller's agent.

Lawyers and Real Estate Agents have been separated and defined since the introduction of TRELA in 1939

You receiving that fee is illegal and it is also illegal for the broker to give you the fee.

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That's a REALLY good idea. I'm going to check with TREC about the current law (only thing I could find online was a TREC article that references the old laws) then that's the path we will take!

Thanks TX legislature, what is 'an act of a broker?' lol

That is illegal and it is illegal for the Broker to give you the commission.

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Thanks rbarz - this is a very silly debate, IMHO. TREC needs to put it under their FAQ site because everyone has a different opinion.

It seems like the law and FAQ's say as an attorney I can act as a broker, but I can't get paid for it? Also, no where specifically addresses when the attorney is also the principal.

*edit* rbarz - I agree with your interpretation of the law (I just read your posts); but still doesn't necessarily address the old exemption of when an atty is the prinicpal.

The following seem contradictory to me...

Q: Is a licensed attorney required to hold a real estate license to act as a broker?

A: No. A licensed attorney is exempt from the licensure requirements pursuant to Section 1101.005(1) of the Real Estate License Act. The licensed attorney can do everything a broker can do except sponsor salespersons or act as the designated officer for a corporation or designated manager for a limited liability company. [Rule 535.31]

Q: I am the listing broker. An attorney has presented an offer from a buyer that the attorney is representing and wants me to share my commission. Can I do this?

A: No. Section 1101.651(a) and Section 1101.652(B)(11) of the License Act prohibit a licensed broker from sharing a commission with anyone who was acting in the capacity of a broker but was not licensed as a broker. In cases such as this, the listing broker still needs to present the offer to the seller. The listing broker should inform the seller that the broker is prohibited from sharing the commission with the attorney and that the attorney and the seller need to work something out between themselves regarding any commission to be paid to the attorney. The listing broker can agree to reduce the commission if requested by the seller without violating the prohibition on splitting.

(however, our lender suggested we simply lower our offer 3% and ask the seller to negotiate with his broker to only take 3% - avoids tax consequences and fee splitting; unsure whether they will go for this or how to present it)

Edited by Yankee_in_TX
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Thanks rbarz - this is a very silly debate, IMHO. TREC needs to put it under their FAQ site because everyone has a different opinion.

It seems like the law and FAQ's say as an attorney I can act as a broker, but I can't get paid for it? Also, no where specifically addresses when the attorney is also the principal. The following seem contradictory to me...

(however, our lender suggested we simply lower our offer 3% and ask the seller to negotiate with his broker to only take 3% - avoids tax consequences and fee splitting; unsure whether they will go for this or how to present it)

The goofy part about it is the commission split for the attorney. An attorney is allowed to practice law and a Real Estate agent is allowed to practice a very tiny piece of the law while being highly regulated. An attorney can bill 10 different ways to get the same amount as 3% but he just can't split the commission... its really just semantics unless you are in front of a judge.

I was looking for a place to respond to suggest you just lower your offer 3%. The Seller can always ask his broker to give up some of the commission to let the deal go through. I don't understand why any seller would give a Realtor 6% anyway (especially in the current environment). The 6% is always on the listing contract, but you can change it. When I use to use Realtors I would change the 6% to 3% if they are the seller's agent only and 4% if they represented both parties. It is more work for them if the buyer's do not have an agent, but unless the house is really cheap it doesnt come close to doubling the commission.

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If there was a house I wanted to look at, and the listing broker/agent said no, I would knock on the door and tell the seller that his agent refused to show me the house, but I'm interested. Then let the seller give the agent a hard time.

We have an agent we've used several times, and he's happy to act on our behalf and rebate at least half the commission.

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Lawyers and Real Estate Agents have been separated and defined since the introduction of TRELA in 1939

You receiving that fee is illegal and it is also illegal for the broker to give you the fee.

If it were illegal, the title company, agent and agent's broker would not have done it. Sorry, but you are wrong. I have the check to prove it. I also verified it with other attorneys when I did so. I also have a copy of my sales contract with me listed as buyer's agent and the seller's agent signing off on it. I also still have my 1099 for the proceeds.

Not that I care what your opinion is. I already spent the money.

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If there was a house I wanted to look at, and the listing broker/agent said no, I would knock on the door and tell the seller that his agent refused to show me the house, but I'm interested. Then let the seller give the agent a hard time.

That's a good idea.

I am a real estate agent and I will be the first to tell you there are a lot of lazy, greedy, stupid and unethical agents in our business.

If an agent is refusing to show you a home they are not delivering on their fiduciary duties to their client.

It may be a pain in the butt to deal with attorneys, but my primary goal is to sell the damn house.

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I hope all is well. ______ and I have an offer that we should be ready to submit to you for your client's review tomorrow. After speaking with -our mortgage agent- and several Houston Realtors it sounds like the best situation for everyone is that the broker renegotiates his commission with the seller to lower it 3% and we offer a 3% lower purchase price (to avoid tax issues). Otherwise we will put me in the contract pursuant to Rule 535.147 and RELA 1101/ TOC 1101.005 and deal with a 1099 as needed. Please speak with your broker and let us know which method he prefers. Thanks for your help,

Here's what I sent. (BTW, I hope neither the broker or the agent are on here, lol). I guess we wait and see now.

And in case they are, they need to read the whole thread (that I self-derailed); they're not the Realtors being referenced as 'snoody.'

Edited by Yankee_in_TX
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Here's what I sent. (BTW, I hope neither the broker or the agent are on here, lol). I guess we wait and see now.

And in case they are, they need to read the whole thread (that I self-derailed); they're not the Realtors being referenced as 'snoody.'

I can't stand it anymore! The word is 'snooty', or in the alternative, 'snotty'. :D

Oh, and hope it works out for ya.

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Hahah. I wanted to say something too but I wanted to keep it on topic. I'm vicariously venting through you now :)

backout.gif

Their first offer: lower their side to 4% and agent will cut me .5%. We're ALMOST there.

That gets us 2% off our offer/purchase price (i.e. no taxes) and only taxed on .5% (still lose .5%). Will have to do thinking tonight with the wife.

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Still debating on the Home Warranty - the numerous horror stories are scaring me away.

The seller typically pays for the first year of the home warranty. Did you not request one?

If not, I wouldn't bother purchasing one. I only recommend them when someone else is paying.

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You have to realize that not all seller's are very sophisticated and they may be confused about the arrangement.

If I were you, I would put together a spreadsheet showing the seller's what they would net with your offer.

Also, I know these numbers are hypothetical, but it you did low ball the seller's to the tune of ~85%, they may not think you're serious and aren't giving you a serious counter.

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So, let's play the hypothetical game:

Buyer Bob negotiates Seller's Broker to lower his fee to 4% from 6%.

List price of the home is $100,000. Assume for this that 2% of $100,000 is $5,000 (becaise I said so).

Buyer Bob offers $85,000 (which he feels is equivalent to a $90,000 offer) and asks for $5,000 closing costs.

Sam Seller counters $98,000 and no closing costs.

Buyer Bob feels that this offer, in light of the brokerage reduction is actually HIGHER than the list price. Is Buyer Bob crazy in thinking Seller Sam is crazy?

Using your basic numbers:

1) If no negotiation had been done on your part then the owner would have gotten $100k for the house but paid out 3% to the Listing Broker and 3% to the Buyer's Agent with a net of $94k.

2) With the broker fee lowered to 4% then the counter offer would have gotten the owner $98k but he has to pay 4% to the Listing Broker with a net of $94,080. As you can see, the owner only gets an additional $80 whereas the Listing Broker gets an extra $920.

3) Your offer would have gotten the owner $85k but he would have paid 4% to the Listing Broker and $5k of closing costs with a net of $76,600.

So, with the counter offer they gave you you'd still come out ahead compared to the original list price... the big winner is not you or the owner but the Listing Broker.

On the other hand, your offer is way lower than the original list price. The owner would be giving up $17,400.

And I don't quite understand why you said 2% is equal to $5k and why you think your $85k offer is equal to $90k. You lost me there.

Edited by Yonkers
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We have a contract, despite attorney buyer, attorney seller, and attorney tenant. We had threaten to walk away twice to get to a deal.

Inspections are Wednesday, fingers crossed. Thanks for everyone's help!

So what part of town is 25th W of Durham? Still Shady Acres?

Edited by Yankee_in_TX
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  • 3 weeks later...

One reason an agent my not show the house is because they are lazy. But it could also be due to liabilty and the broker. With two agents you have one agent legally working for the buyer and one for the seller. When there is one agent involved they are a dual agent and have to be unbiased. Deals with only one agent are more likely to end up in lawsuits. Insurance companies will have higher fees to companies that engage more frequently in dual agency.

Edited by insidehouston
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Ok so one reason an agent my not show the house is because they are lazy. But it could also be due to liabilty and the broker. With two agents you have one agent legally working for the buyer and one for the seller. When there is one agent involved they are a dual agent and have to be unbiased. Deals with only one agent are more likely to end up in lawsuits. Insurance companies will have higher fees to companies that engage more frequently in dual agency.

We found agents were REALLY willing to be intermediaries - because then they grab the full 6%.

I was referring to telling them we are representing ourselves and that we want to see property X. The response, several times, was pretty much, too bad, hire an agent.

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