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#375456 - 05/11/11 09:03 AM Are Gas Prices leading agents to the poor house?
Devil's Advocate Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 538
Loc: Ontario, Canada
The increased cost of driving buyers to view properties has an adverse effect on buyer agents and has raised some interesting questions, such as

* Should buyers be asked for a retainer? if so,

* How much of a retainer?

* Should the retainer be non-refundable?

* Should retainerís be credited to the buyer if and when they buy a property?

* If no retainer, should the buyer drive the agent around to view properties?

What is your solution?

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#375488 - 05/11/11 01:33 PM Re: Are Gas Prices leading agents to the poor house? [Re: Devil's Advocate]
Greg Phillips Offline
Mortgage Professional
Veteran Member

Registered: 01/26/05
Posts: 1372
Loc: Lancaster, Ohio
It should stay the same. Agents that let gas prices affect their ability and capacity to help buyers should re-think whether they should continue to be a Realtor.

Last week, I heard an agent complain about this. They drive a sub 20 mpg vehicle. You would think they would cut costs like most others have by getting rid of it and buying something more efficient on gas. Nope, I made the suggestion and they were not willing to give up their truck and continued to complain about the process and how flawed they feel it is.

It is what it is. Accept it, make smart decisions, maximize your opportunities, and do what you have to do. Complaining sideways resolves nothing.

Realtors should drive their clients around, when fesible, and build rapport while also building upon the agents knowledge of the buyers wants and needs. They should maximize the opportunity to gain trust and respect. Doing so can lead to referals right away, or over a longer term if you effectively maximize the opportunity.

I do feel an agent should make a decision to do this based on how serious the buyer is, and whether the buyer is qualified to do what they say they want to do.

Some agents who take their prospective buyers to 50 houses may not be doing a good enough job finding out what the buyers wants and needs really are. Although, upon occassion, it happens no matter what.



Edited by Greg Phillips (05/11/11 01:37 PM)

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#375900 - 05/15/11 09:21 PM Re: Are Gas Prices leading agents to the poor house? [Re: Devil's Advocate]
Maui Offline
Moderator
Veteran Member

Registered: 01/13/10
Posts: 759
Loc: Maui, HI
I haven't asked for a retainer, nor will I (too many issues involved with that). I'd say that if gas prices are increasingly becoming a concern/issue for an agent, then perhaps they can either: a) more closely scrutinize with their clients properties BEFORE going to view them (eliminating some in the process) or b) forming a partnership with other agents who specialize in other areas (so can tag-team buyers, instead of driving them to areas far removed from your own). Personally, I prefer to drive my clients as it gives us an excellent opportunity to get to know each other much better. My 2 cents.
_________________________
Visit our Maui RE Blog, then view our listings of Maui Condos For sale and Andaz Maui at Wailea site for information on this luxury property. View one of the hottest micro-markets in the luxury Kaanapali Honua Kai Condos For Sale.

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#376064 - 05/17/11 07:19 PM Re: Are Gas Prices leading agents to the poor house? [Re: Devil's Advocate]
Andy Perkins Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/10
Posts: 317
Loc: Los Angeles
This is coming from a guy whose Realtor-mobile is 47 years old, has a 7-liter engine, chugs high-octane fuel, and gets somewhere around 9 mpg in the city:

My solution is to simply keep doing what I've been doing. Which is to provide excellent service, get lots of deals done, and to make sure I have enough of a financial cushion that an increase in fuel prices makes no impact whatsoever in my business. I will never charge a retainer simply because my traveling costs go up a bit.

(I do feel thankful, though, that I live in an area with expensive housing. I don't envy the guys who are forced to put in the same amount of effort to make a $90,000 sale; I know how rough that is!)

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#377722 - 06/02/11 08:20 AM Re: Are Gas Prices leading agents to the poor house? [Re: Devil's Advocate]
jducey Offline
Member

Registered: 05/17/11
Posts: 79
Loc: New York
I don't think a retainer is feasible, at least not in my market. There are too many agents who are more than willing to show without charging a thing. I agree with the above poster. Just be smart about it, and work with good qualified buyers, and it will still work out.

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#378025 - 06/04/11 01:45 PM Re: Are Gas Prices leading agents to the poor house? [Re: Devil's Advocate]
barb43 Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 07/31/08
Posts: 1156
Loc: SW Okla
Around here, many brokers charge a transaction fee to buyers (not sure what everyone charges, but I've seen $125-$395), but that is not a new thing, and it doesn't have anything to do with the gas prices having gone up.
_________________________
Remodeling houses & helping tenants get ahead in life since 1983. Licensed Realtor since 2005.


LIMITATIONS: Until You Spread Your Wings, You'll Have No Idea How Far You Can Walk. - despair.com

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#379275 - 06/14/11 01:37 AM Re: Are Gas Prices leading agents to the poor house? [Re: Devil's Advocate]
Alabama Homes Offline
Member

Registered: 06/05/11
Posts: 146
Loc: Alabama
If I could get away with it I would gladly charge a retainer, but on y lease purchase people I do charge $200 upfront, which is a credit if an when they buy.
_________________________
For all your Alabama Real Estate needs contact Barry Lynn Miller or use links below:
Alabama Homes | Birmingham Real Estate| Alabama Mortgage Lender

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#382036 - 07/06/11 03:06 AM Re: Are Gas Prices leading agents to the poor house? [Re: Devil's Advocate]
Florida Girl Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/11
Posts: 10
Loc: Florida
If my buyer-client is taking too long to make up their mind and we've been to dozens of properties... the next time we're scheduled to go out... I tell them it's their turn to drive.

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#382316 - 07/08/11 02:01 PM Re: Are Gas Prices leading agents to the poor house? [Re: Devil's Advocate]
Zach Sikes Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/11
Posts: 40
Loc: Edmond, OK
I drive a pickup that gets between 13 and 14 MPG. However, with it being paid off it evens out. IMHO, focus on lead generation instead of worrying about gas prices. If your margins are that slim, then you need to look at your business model.
_________________________
Check out Homes for Sale in Edmond and OKC

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#384518 - 07/26/11 09:58 PM Re: Are Gas Prices leading agents to the poor house? [Re: Zach Sikes]
John King Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/26/11
Posts: 3
Loc: Texas
I have invested in docusign. Sure it cost nearly $200....I will save that in the 1st 30 days alone! Wish I had done it sooner.

I work in Bexar County (San Antonio, TX), and it is a huge place. I can drive to the other side of S.A. for a showing appoinment and straight back. Easily a 100 mile trip, and I don't even leave the county....

With docusign, I send over buyer rep agreements, brokerage disclosures, offers, amendments, etc. All from my home office.

I even soldsome land to a Soldier in Kuwait. I used zipForms to fill out an offer, sent it to docusign for review, and when I woke up the next moring, there was an offer to purchase, signed and ready for delivery.

If gas prices are an issue, look into it, it wil be the best $$$$ you can spend.

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#384790 - 07/29/11 09:30 AM Re: Are Gas Prices leading agents to the poor house? [Re: Devil's Advocate]
shana Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 1602
Loc: Nevada
I have NEVER asked a buyer for a "retainer." and as a potential buyer, I would NEVER pay an agent a retainer for that purpose.

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#384826 - 07/29/11 02:31 PM Re: Are Gas Prices leading agents to the poor house? [Re: Devil's Advocate]
VABroker Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 11/02/10
Posts: 1042
Loc: Virginia
There could be certain circumstances where a retainer would make sense. Any buyer who is reasonable and understanding will be agreeable to one. Reasonable and understanding is probably the key here. But, lawyers take on retainers (with no guarantees of winning your case unless it's on contingency). So, that's probably where we're at - we're on contingency - only get paid if we win; but then there's that buyer who qualifies under all your rules but his "urgency" to purchase was not truly disclosed. After a good number of homes, it would make sense to ask for a retainer. Odds are he'll drop you and go to another (suspecting) agent. How to protect oneself? Ask for a retainer that covers, at least, your gas expenses - unless the buyer is willing to share half the load on driving. It can be credited at settlement.

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#384827 - 07/29/11 03:02 PM Re: Are Gas Prices leading agents to the poor house? [Re: Devil's Advocate]
Devil's Advocate Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 538
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Necessity is the mother of invention

Mamy years ago a young female agent just starting out in real estate was devastated when her one and only car broke down and she didnít have the money for the necessary repairs.

She was forced, out of necessity to have her prospects pick her up and drive her to the homes she had scheduled for viewing and she managed this without objection and with great success.

So much so, that later when her car had been repaired she continued to have prospects meet her at the office and then drive her to view the properties selected.

She said this was beneficial as when driving her back to the office it permitted to her to discuss the properties viewed and arrange for the drafting of an offer when they got back to her office.

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#384838 - 07/29/11 03:48 PM Re: Are Gas Prices leading agents to the poor house? [Re: Devil's Advocate]
VABroker Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 11/02/10
Posts: 1042
Loc: Virginia
I ALWAYS ask the buyers if they'd like to do the driving...never hurts to ask.

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#384852 - 07/29/11 05:30 PM Re: Are Gas Prices leading agents to the poor house? [Re: Devil's Advocate]
Vermont Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 04/12/08
Posts: 7717
Loc: Vermont's North-East Kingdom
When they don't have Children or Dogs in the car, I have willingly accepted the offer of a ride . . . . especially if I need to pick their brains while I'm the captor.

I have also even allowed Buyers to buy me Ice Cream and Chinese Food . . . . sometimes Pizza, even if it has Anchovies.

And almost always, they have returned me to my car or to my Office. I try not to be argumentive when they are doing the driving.
_________________________
Dale C. Hittle of GOLDEN RULE PROPERTIES in Glover, Vermont
Where We're Always Striving To Put Together "THE FAIR DEAL"

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