Things You Shouldn't Hear From Your Agent

This blog has discussed before the important role of a real estate agent in a home/condo purchase. Chicago is blessed to have some of the nation's top agents helping homebuyers find a suitable property. There are, however, some distinct warning signs that your agent isn't right for you. Here are five statements you don't want to hear from your real estate agent:
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"I've never done a short sale, but..." 
At this point in the real estate game, just about everyone is familiar with the short sale process. It's long and painful, but it should be carefully navigated, preferably by an agent who knows the process. If you're buying a property that's listed as a short sale, it is preferable that you have an agent (or attorney) who can stay on top of the lender and make sure no time is wasted.
"Let me find out, and I'll get back to you at the end of the week."
There are certainly many busy agents in Chicago, even in this time of overall low sales figures. But there is no place for lengthy delays in the home purchasing/selling proves. Your agent should respond to you within 24-48 hours (via email or telephone) on just about every inquiry. Most large brokerages, in fact, train agents to dutifully respond to client needs within a matter of hours, not days. Make sure you agent does the same.
"I haven't heard back from the other agent, but I'm going to assume..."
Today's real estate market does not allow for assumptions. Closings in Chicago are contentious affairs, with sellers who have likely lost money (or at least feel as if they have been shorted) sit across from buyers who know that it's a buyer's market and have probably benefited from it. If it hasn't been negotiated as part of the contract, do not expect the other side to give you any breaks.
"Since you're under contract now, it's smooth sailing from here."
The vast majority of deals in Chicago fall apart after the attorney-review and inspection period these days. Issues with lenders, appraisers and other closing hang ups are delaying or derailing real estate transactions. It's a far cry from the days of old, when the statement above was relatively accurate. Today, your agent should help you throughout the process, making sure that you are aware of possible troubles securing your mortgage, through closing, and even beyond.
"Well, I'm glad the closing went well. Good luck!"
Most real estate agents assist the client beyond the day of closing. This is important for many reasons, and you'll want to make sure you stay in touch with your real estate agent because there undoubtedly will be questions that arise once you move in.  

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  • While I haven't received an answer to my last one, I'll share this anecdote:

    Someone I know is supposedly trying to get her house ready to sell, even though it has not been lived in for about 4 years and the person has hoarding syndrome and also claims that there was some sort of conspiracy that she couldn't market hers until 3 other houses on the block sold.

    In any event, I happened to mention something about Chicago Title and Trust, and she said that she was paying them $90 a year to protect her title. Turns out that she had a bill for a trust, but didn't know if it was a land trust or an active trust. I told her that at least it would be worth her while to find out who had the power of direction and get it out of trust. Her response was basically that the buyer would run the title search and then someone would take care of it.

    If that closing ever occurs, I'm sure it won't be smooth.

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