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By Tara-Nicholle Nelson | Broker in San Francisco, CA

3 Ways Real Estate Goes Rogue - and How to Weigh the Risks and Rewards of Rogue Behavior

Sometimes in life, going rogue is what you do when you have an independent spirit or when coloring inside the lines isn’t getting good results.  Other times, to go rogue is to veer into the danger zone, beyond the boundaries of what is safe or will get you to your desired objective.

Some things are so high stakes, the potential for massive rewards motivates people to go rogue, but the potential for massive risk cautions the wise person not to. Things that fall into this high stakes category, in my humble opinion, include cosmetic surgery, base jumping and, yes, real estate.

Let’s take a deep dive into some of the ways real estate can and does go rogue, and help you understand just when the risk is worth taking - and when safety is the better bet.

1.  The “rogue” buyer’s agent.  The rogue agent is the one who is constantly going entirely off the charts from what you’ve laid out as your criteria for a home. The one who shows you a house in Parkview when you said you wanted to live in Oakview; the one who shows you a 2 bedroom when you insist you need 3; the agent who shows you condos when you’ve asked to see single family homes - and vice versa.

Sometimes, a rogue agent can frustrate a buyer, especially when there is urgency to finding a new home, when your time for house hunting is tight, or when the homes they are showing appear to have nothing that would cause the agent to reasonably expect that you might be inclined to make a compromise. Working with a rogue agent can also be frustrating when you feel like you’re simply not being heard.

But in my experience, more often than not, there’s method to a so-called “rogue” agent’s madness.  Some agents go rogue when there’s a real disconnect between a client’s asks and their budgets, in which case they aren’t going rogue at all but, rather, reality-checking you on what you can get for your money in your market (whether or not you are inclined to shoot the messenger).  Other agents go rogue when they’ve really listened deeply to the picture you’re painting of the lifestyle you want to live ‘after’ you buy, and they have reason to believe the homes they are showing you can create that better than what you’ve asked for.  Still others go rogue when they come across a unique opportunity they think you might love -  frankly, part of the advantage of working with an agent in the first place is to have someone watching aggressively for opportunities that come on the market that you might miss for one reason or another.

Risk vs. Reward:
 The risk of working with a truly rogue real estate agent is really the opportunity cost - all the homes you might be missing out on if your agent just won’t listen to what you have to say. But there is incredible potential upside to working with a “rogue” agent if they fall into the following categories:
    •    who is willing to break the truth to you, no matter how hard;
    •    who is willing to think creatively and draw on their own experience to bring you creative solutions to your housing needs; and
    •    who always has you in mind as they see unique opportunities in the market and will surface them to you when they come up.
Before you get upset with an agent you think has gone rogue, make sure they’re not actually just trying to do one of these things.

2.  Disclosure debacles.
  Some sellers, given the traumatic nature of the market over the past few years, get worried that a laundry list of little fixes, nicks and all the “minor” repairs that have been done over the years they’ve owned the home will scare off a good buyer or will otherwise ruin the deal.  Occasionally, one of these sellers goes “rogue” by deciding not to mention a few “little issues” they have had with the home.

Reality check: a disclosure you might see as minor could be the trigger that makes a buyer’s inspector dig deeper into a particular item - it could even cause the buyer to order an inspection they wouldn’t have otherwise. And, yes - this does increase the chances that a buyer will find something wrong with the place during escrow, and maybe even increase the chances that they will ask for a price reduction or repair credit to close the deal. But most buyers just want full information so they can make a decision about whether and how to move forward - so, chances are also good that the buyer will find nothing wrong at all, or will find something wrong with the place and move forward on the original terms - or maybe will offer to split the difference on the repair costs; the potential outcomes are many.
But you know what? Giving a buyer true, full disclosure also vastly decreases the chances that they will come back and sue you years down the road, when something goes wrong that they might have been able to find if you had disclosed your little plumbing peccdilloes up front. What’s way more expensive than splitting the difference with your buyer on a sewer line replacement?  Paying court fees, arbitrators and attorneys to sort it all out five years down the road.

Risk vs. Reward.
 When your grandmother taught you that honesty was the best policy, she was unwittingly giving you the best real estate advice there is. There’s simply no contest here - the risks of non-disclosure so far outweigh any possible reward from skimping on the house history that smart sellers err on the side of overdisclosure every single time.

3.  HOA hijinks.  The potential for drama within a homeowner’s association (HOA) is a specter that looms large in the nightmares and worst-case scenarios of every condo-considering house hunter and many owners of townhomes, condos and even standalone dwellings located in HOA-managed subdivisions. And because an HOA is simply an organization made up by actual homeowners, the hijinks and rogue behavior can flow in both directions!  

HOA’s themselves can go rogue, so to speak, by:
    •    failing to appropriately budget for upcoming repairs and expenses
    •    levying unexpected assessments
    •    increasing dues beyond what an owner might think is reasonable
    •    failing to enforce regulations - or being overly restrictive in enforcing regulations - about any subject from paint colors, to flooring materials, to pets allowed and noise controls.

And home owners can - and do - go rogue on their HOAs, as well, including when they:
    •    default on their HOA dues
    •    default on their mortgage payments  or
    •    intentionally or egregiously violate the same sorts of regulations described above, terrorizing their neighbors and fellow HOA members.

Risk vs. Reward: The risks of defaulting on your obligations to your HOA are steep - namely, your HOA can - and many will - send your past due dues to a collection agency, impairing your credit, and after prolonged non-payment, they can even foreclose and repossess your home. Similarly, violating your HOA’s formal rules, even if you think they are unfair, is foolhardy - it can result in a range of issues from a daily fine for having an impermissible pet to a court order requiring you to pull out the hardwood floors that were barred by the HOA guidelines and which made a thunderous sound in your downstairs neighbors’ place with every single step.

How can you minimize the risk of a rogue HOA? By vetting the Association completely before you buy, which includes a complete reading and review of the lengthy HOA budget documents, account statements, insurance certificates, board meeting minutes, newsletters, regulations and other documents every HOA home’s seller is required to disclose to a buyer, by law.  Talking to the unit or home’s neighbors, and understanding how many units are delinquent on their dues or in a state of foreclosure doesn’t hurt either.

Your better bet, if you disagree with the fairness or wisdom of your HOA’s rules, is to apply for an exception or contest the rule, publicly, via your HOA Management company or an appeal directly to the board. Truth be told, your best bet in avoiding HOA Hijinks overall is to read the newsletters and board meeting minutes, attend board meetings, stay in touch with your neighbors and even run for a board membership.

ALL:  Have you ever witnessed real estate gone rogue?

ALL:  You should follow Trulia and Tara on Facebook!


By A Ferguson,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 09:56
This is a great article. I don't know what you would call my recent situation, but I made a bid on a home, paid for a home inspection and a contract was drawn up showing the intial downpayment and closing to take place in 2 months. I have my coop to sell and some of the proceeds I plan to use at the closing. I had told this to my agent before hand that this purchase is contingent upon the sale of my current home. When my lawyer called me to sign the contract, I did explain this situation to him. He explained that if I did not have the balance of payment at time of closing to cover the 20% downpayment, I would stand to lose all of my initial deposit. He however enquired from the seller's lawyer if the contingency could be added but it was denied. Without any further discussion, I was told that the property was offered to another buyer. This was two weeks ago and I see the property still listed FOR SALE. Can a broker do this??? Do I have any recourse on this matter?? Please help.
By jplarson,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 10:27
I agree with the sentiment on the HOA. My brother bought a townhome in a new construction, so they had no experience with assessing and the actual cost to the association over time. Within 5 years his $200 assessment had climbed to over $475 per month. The major factor was these were larger townhomes so only 6 of them in a strip and 4 total strips. So anytime they needed extra funds, they were only dividing it by 24 homes.

I live in a larger townhome development which had existed for 5 years before I bought my unit. I was able to research the ledger sheets over the past years and see the board meeting minutes. I have lived there for over 6 years and my assessment has gone from $135 to $155 in the time. The largest reason for this is there are 140 townhomes in our development, so there are a lot more people to spread an increase over.
By maggie,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 10:32
Tara you write such wonderful and informative posts. I just love them!!
By J.p. Heffner,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 10:40
The fact that you..."I had told this to my agent before hand that this purchase is contingent upon the sale of my current home"........and that was the ONLY CONDITION that you would agree to a contract to buy the new property....it should have been inserted into the the PURCHASE AGREEMENT you signed with your REALESTATE AGENT! So ....if he just omitted your condition to purchase .....I would LEAN REAL HEAVY on him.........via your Lawyer ....which he should be doing right now!!!!!
He should be DEMANDING the insertion.....OR telling them he may file a Lis Pendance against the property ....which might STOP ANY NEW SALE of the property until your problem is solved! Courts don't usually allow deposits like this to be loss by buyers like yourself anyway .....but could if you weren't dealing honestly!
By Jolita Brazzano(dr),  Thu Jan 31 2013, 10:48
HOA's and Condos are two different bears here in Florida, as I'm certain they are in every state. The most important thing should be to ensure that one's agent is qualified in selling in HOA's and condos so that the right disclosures are provided to the buyer.
By Ace,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 10:51
Your last question is leaving all your readers seeing "red."
By Ardell Dellaloggia,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 10:53
JP Heffner is dead wrong. You can't force the seller to take a contingent offer. If that was the MOST important part of your offer...contingent on the sale of your current residence, a coop no less which are not the easiest to sell, one would think you would not have signed the offer without seeing that clear as day in black and white.

It sounds like you met with a lawyer and you did not sign the contract to purchase at all once the attorney told you that the contingency was not going to fly. I don't know why you did a pre-inspection prior to full contract, but people do that all the time.

The seller does not have to have another buyer to refuse to accept a contingent offer. The property could stay on market for months...the seller still does not have to agree to accept a contingent offer. No one can force a seller to take a contingent offer and most will not do so. Most will wait for you to go ahead and sell your place first and if another non-contingent buyer comes along in the meantime, they will accept that offer.

EVEN IF the seller DID accept your contingent offer it would normally have a "bump" clause "right of first refusal" and a non-contingent buyer could knock you out of contract.

It does not sound like you signed the contract...nor did the seller...so no lis pendens action. Even if you both signed a contract...your time frame to sell your coop would be limited to 30 to 60 days as the norm and your contract would expire or be bumped. Sell first. Coops can be difficult to sell.
By elizmcmahon,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 11:05
I think you meant real estate gone rogue, not rouge, though my HOA makes me often rouge!
By Charles Beyer,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 11:15
Agree with Ardell 100%, but I do agree with J.P. that there should have been mention of the contingency in the Purchase Agreement? It's possible it was in the Purchase Agreement; however, the seller's contract/addendum modified/superceded that?

Bottom line though is that if they don't want to deal with you, they're not and I doubt there's any real recourse other return of your earnest money.
By Tara-Nicholle Nelson,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 11:31
Rogue typo has been corrected. Thank-you, everyone for sharing your stories!
By Matt Keough,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 11:34
I am a little confused as to the posts regarding the article. Well the initial post does have bearing to the blog. A Buyer’s Agent Going Rogue…….

The buyer's agent did not handle the contract negotiations properly by any means. This all would have been resolved had the buyer's agent placed the "home sale contingency" in the initial AOS. The contract would have been “rejected with no counter” by the sellers, period! Then everyone would not have wasted a lot of time and money for nothing.

If you want to make an offer, sell the condo, then put in a clean, clear, no “hidden agendas” contract.

Why would you not protect the buyer, as well as their own "tail" by not doing it correctly to begin with? That is going ROGUE, in ALL the wrong ways, unless the agent is trying to find a new career.
Beware of Rogue Buyer’s agent!
By Susan Lineham Anderson,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 11:36
I dealt with a "rogue" agent when selling my home. Not my agent, but the people's agent who bought my home. She set up the sales contract with certain criteria that we agreed to then within a week of closing started barking orders that we do other things. We told her NO. What was agreed is what it is. Then the closing date came. All went well. 2 hours afterclosing the agent calls my agent and told her that the blinds on the windows had been replaced between the final walk-through 8am that morning and 9:30am was the closing. Said agent told our agent we needed to bring them back. ($3.00 blinds from Walmart) and that obviously we took them to put in the new home because they were wood plantation shutters. OBVIOUSLY neither the agent nor the buyers really looked well at the blinds. Besides that, the house had 6 windows that were 32" wide and the house we bought has 17 35" windows. Neither home has plantation blinds...That agent was crazy.
By James Dooley,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 11:47
To A. Ferguson, you can't force the seller to accept your contingency. No more that I can force you to sell me your Coop with a string of contingency that I need but that you find objectionable. Ardell Dellaloggia post is 100% correct and JP Heffner's suggestion that you try to force the matter could get you into legal trouble and/or cost you more wasted money.
By Pete,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 12:02
I am in Ca. Tara is so right here about HOA's. Make sure the HOA disclosures are revealed in the initial stages of any RE purchase involving an HOA. I was told the HOA dues were $30. a month on a 340K property. Iook that representation at face value, in good faith. About 10 days before I was set to close escrow, I spoke to a neighbor. The neighbor, who had just resigned from the HOA Board warned me about the HOA. I began looking into the HOA a little deper and realized the seller had only provided me wiith a fraction of the HOA docs he is required by law to provide. I called my agent and told her, I want all the HOA docs the seller was supposed to provide me with. She responded by telling me the seller was in Mexico and she did not want to bother him. I told her "everything" is on hold until I receive and review the HOA docs. There was NO response for several days and I cancelled the contract. When the seller returned my agent told me, "the seller is not happy." She further told me he was giving me a Notice of Buyer to Perform and gave me 48 hours to close escrow and was "keeping" my escrow deposit. ($3,500.) I told my agent, "No." On the second day of the 48 hour clock, I called my agent and told her, ALL I want is the HOA docs that I should have received in the initial stages of this contract. The seller decides, "I will give him (me) a second chance." He had my agent draw up a second notice of buyer to perform. This time it read, "Remove all contingencies and I will provide the required HOA docs. After you review the HOA docs, if you decide to continue the contract fine. If you review the docs and decide to cancel you will get $3100.00 of your $3500. escrow deposit returned to you and you have to remove all contingencies. My agent began WORKING for the seller, as she provided SOME of the HOA docs,which took her two days to get. Meanwhile, the seller was busily re-listing the property on the MLS. I might add misrepresenting the HOA dues, which he no doubt was aware of the "true HOA dues" by that time. I ended up with SOME of the required HOA docs and reviewed them. It was an "eye-opener!" The HOA was almost bankrupt. The HOA had issued a "promissory note" to a member of the HOA, who put a road in, part of the HOA docs regarding the "promissory note" stated that 65% of my and others HOA dues would go directly to this man. The remaining 35% would go, 10% to insurance and office costs and 25% to actual road maintenance. I also learned the HOA had placed a lien on the property the seller was selling and my agent was advised of such the day after Christmas 2012. They both were. I was not told until 01/14/2013, when I demanded the HOA docs. The liabilities for the HOA far outweighed the assets and the "meeting minutes" I did receive, (2 meetings worth) showed that 2 people showed up for an election of HOA Board members and they had to adjourn the meeting, because they did not have a quorum. Needless to say, I cancelled the contract. The seller kept $400.00 of my escrow deposit. When I asked why, I was told to pay for his septic risers, (that stayed on the property and increased its value.) I paid for a $500.00 appraisal fee I never would have, because had I been given the HOA docs up front, I would have walked away, and a home inspection of $250.00 I never would have had done, had he disclosed what he is required by law to do so. My agent's response: "What is the worst thing that can happen here?" They can place a lien on my newly acquired property. She answered, "that's right, you don't have to pay a lien off until you sell the property." She failed to mention a lien on real property in Ca.. collects 10% interest per year. So, I cancelled the contract figuring the best thing I could do, was get away from these Piraahnnas. I am now being told, "you should have denied signing anything and sued both your agent and the seller. Another tip: Don't EVER buy a property from ANYBODY without seeing their face. If it goes bad, you have to figure out who the "ghost" is. I have done that, but it could cost a lot of money to get a pic of the criminal. I reported this to the Dept. of Real Estate. If it turns out they have no teeth or do nothing, I guess we are headed to a Court of Law. (Problem I foresee here, the involved County is a small one and the seller is wealthy. He probably knows every Judge, because he bragged to my agent about how this happens to him all the time and when he goes to Court, he usually wins the case. How people like this are allowed to sell anything is beyond comprehension. I really wish I knew a lawyer who did not cost thousands of dollars to stop this guy. Unfortunately, like most, I was simply trying to improve my lot in life and walked into one of many pitfalls that unethical real estate agents employ to rip people off. MORAL of the story: Read HOA docs carefully and demand every HOA doc you are entitled to receive from ANY seller up front. This tip alone can potentailly save you thousands of doallars, a lot of slepless nights, weeks of time to report them to the proper authorities, (who may not even open your package) and unrelenting anger. Tara is absolutely right and I know I am but one of many horror stories in regards to this knowing practice employed by unethical real estate agents.

Also, try to place as small an amount in escrow as possible. When and if it goes bad, a lot of agents keep your money. By the time you inquire, the Title Co. will have had possession of YOUR MONEY for at least 10 to 15 days. That is because the agent did not submit the release of escrow funds, just to make your life a little more miserable. This happened on a previous transaction I was involved in, after they attempted to hide the fact that the home I was purchasing, was inundated with termites. The sellers knew it and forbade my home inspectors from going under the house and into the attic. The pest report was hidden until I inquired about it, one day before my "inspection window" closed. My agent, played "stupid" as best as he could, but I saw right through what he was attempting to do.
By rs,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 12:03
I bought my home 7 years ago. The seller did not disclose that the basement had gotten water and that the bay window had a problem with leaking. Of course this has happened a few times since then. What is my recourse?
By Michael Kupritz,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 12:07
Oh, Tara. You're going to get quite a few angry responses from consumers on this one, I predict, regarding "rogue" agents.

Why does an agent ever need to go rogue? In my real estate practice, I am able to think creatively, pounce on opportunities, and speak the truth -- all without being disrespectful to my clients.

An agent's job is not to substitute his needs for his clients' or impose his ideas about what his clients ought to want. His job is to understand what his clients want and need and deliver that. There may be a process of education, but it is an agent's obligation to listen to his clients, explain how their goals can be accomplished, and meet or exceed expectations. An agent who goes "rogue" by showing properties a buyer specifically excluded is simply being disrespectful. No wonder his clients are frustrated.

The justifications you propose for going "rogue" are merely excuses for bad behavior. If the buyer says, "I won't buy a house with pink carpet," what is so difficult about asking her why? Perhaps she is violently allergic to pink dye. Perhaps it evokes a traumatic childhood memory. If you learn that she just doesn't like the color, then you can explain that carpeting can be replaced, estimate how much it would cost, and get the buyer's approval before showing pink-carpeted homes. Don't just assume you know the reason and decide the reason is unimportant.

Communicate with your clients. Show them respect. That's not only how you earn loyalty; it's also how to get the job done.

Best of luck,

Michael A. Kupritz, MBA, GRI
Principal Broker
The Kupritz Group, Real Estate Professionals, Inc.
"Maryland's Original Full-Service, Commission-Free REALTOR®"
By Mona Yeager,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 12:07
In response to A. Fergason, I am a Realtor in Key Largo, Florida and have also worked as a Legal Secretary specilizing in Real Estate Law. There is a clause in our listing agreement that says the Seller can take verbal offers but it would have to be checked. Most Sellers only take written offers bound by a deposit. I personally don't take verbal offers because there is no evidence of what the true intention of the Buyer was. The Seller can reject any offer that they do not want to take. Their Realtor should have had them counter-offer back with what they would have been willing to take. Another offer could have been presented and not accepted. If you got your deposit back, then legally you are fine. However, you can always report behaviour that you do not like to their licensing board or their broker. Your best bet is to sell your house first so that you don't need that contingency placed in the contract, thus putting yourself in a better position as a Buyer. My best advice is to always use a Realtor. They are bound by the National Association of Realtors and their State Associate of Realtors Code of Ethics. Also, it is a good idea to use an agent that is recommended and research them. When you are the Buyer it is always smarter to use one agent that is working for you. Just going to the listing agent doesn't always mean they are looking out for your best interest.

Mona Yeager, Realtor
"Let's Make Paradise Your Reality"
Century 21 Schwartz Realty
101925 Overseas Highway
Key Largo, FL 33037

305-393-3268 or Email: MonaSellsKeysHomes@att.net
Website: http://www.MonaSellsKeysHomes.com
By Phil Wotring,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 12:17
How about when you meet the asking price of a seller and he comes back and says he has other offers and did I want to bid higher. He was bluffing of course and when I refused to participate he took me up on my offer. I don't know if that is legal or not but it is at best unethical.
By english bully lvr,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 12:48
@ Matt, boy are you right on that warning to look out! I thought I had a great real estate agent, church going, made it very clear she only believed in being up front and honest, ( did I mention she made this clear a few times?). Told me not to worry about the inspection , because her husband would be the inspector. Told me not to worry about making sure proper permits were pulled for additions built, 3 things needed to be fixed before closing..1 was the patio roof. She told me not to worry as she was a general contractor as well and "her guys" would take care of it. We did our final walk through and not only was none of the things done as requested( which she did not put in contract. She only had emails to show me between her and the sellers real estate agent.) There were still personal belongings left at house including a vehicle ! But I trusted and she said well what do you want to do? I said what should I do? She said I will have my guys come in and take care of these things, so dont worry. Hmmm I should have known then. Well , closing went on as planned. Sellers came back for their car, only 1 thing on the list was fixed. I ended up spending about 3, 000 dollars to complete the other things. Did I mention that all the houses we looked at, I found online and then sent her an email and asked her to show them to me? This is my first home and I had no idea she was supposed to do some leg work! For my next home??? I will certainly do more homework on how to stay away from certain agents.
By Richard,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 13:22
A Ferguson, you are responsible for the offer that you signed. When you read the offer, was the clause in the contract? I am betting you did not read the offer as most buyers dont,. If it was not, you have in my opinion zero recourse. If you are still interested in the home you put the offer on I would sell your property with the clause "owner to find suitable replacement" nobody wants a offer contingent on you selling your co-op, leaves the seller with no control of their situation.
By William Rugen,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 13:36
I have yet to come across a real estate attorney who will draw up a contract that is contingent on the buyer selling his or her home. The reason being: If you're in contract for two months and you're unable to sell your co-op and the contract of purchase is then canceled, that home owner took their home off the market for two months. In addition, not only do they not have a viable buyer after being off the market for two months, they also do not have any compensation to make up for that loss of time. Contracts that are contingent upon the sale of a buyer's property is just not common here on Long Island (and rightfully so). Unfortunately, there is an inherent risk in trying to simultaneously purchase a property while selling another therefore most people will either take the risk or sell-then-rent-then-buy.
By William Rugen,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 13:37
And yes, you certainly have a bone to pick with your real estate agent...
By Joel Kent,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 13:52
I have worked with realtors the better part of my adult life and have seen more and more the desperation in the industry go from when the days were good, they would sell the buyer all the house their credit could get them. This whether or not that is what the buyer wanted or not, but yet they managed to convince the buyers this would benefit them in the long run. Actually it was benefiting the realtor and sellers at the time. This is also a huge part of the current real estate debacle over the entire US. Rogue realtors run the gambit from not listening to not caring, I had a 8000 sq ft. Home on the market in Atlanta Georgia several years ago and my realtor kept bringing empty nesters to my 6/7.5/4, with pool/spa , tennis courts and grounds to look at my home. When asked why the reason given was they have great credit and just maybe they would really not want to downsize. Well I fired that agent and agency and sold to a young family with 4 children, perfect match. A great deal of rogue realtors are driven by a quick sale and greed not hearing you and trying to make sure your life is what it should be. That is laughable to me , they are programmed to close the deal and their motto is buyer beware....the last home that I purchased in California was working with a green realtor that himself had three homes in Chino Hills in short sale , where he himself was overextended. Then to top it off was renting one of the units as it was headed for foreclosure and pocketing the proceeds and hadn't made a payment in almost 18 months. A great Century 21 associate.....lol. So rogue realtors tend to be most realtors , my advice watch them like a hawk, read everything thoroughly, and have everything in writing and as back up retain a great real estate lawyer they can prove invaluable to you when it goes over the cliff.
By A. Rayburn,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 14:56
I had what most believed was a rogue realtor, I think because she was honest. I found her when I got frustrated that another agent was giving me the run around etc. I described exactly what I wanted in terms of layout and functionality and then told her how I saw that translating to a house. After visiting two houses she told me that the problem I was having with other agents was that I actually DID know what I wanted.
Previous agents had not listened to it must have a garage. They continued to show me houses that were similar to my townhouse, except they were detached. After the third time I had to say if it doesn't have a garage there is no point in moving! She still didn't "get it".
My rogue realtor did find a home where I got exactly what I required. 3b, 2b, access to a bathroom on each floor, and a garage. I was also repeatedly asked about a fireplace ---- my answer was that it would be nice, but in the price range I was dealing with it was not likely to be available. A couple of times it was pointed out that I had the fireplace but not the garage, I had to give up something. I agreed, I'll give up the fireplace!!! (I had already said that!).
My last purchase my realtor was as good as gold because the requirements were functional more than searchable. She did an excellent job, even when our description of large acreage included things like if I can jump from the front porch to the middle of the street in front I have lost the functionality of the acreage, for me!
By Kimberly C,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 15:23
@ Pete - Thank you for your post about the HOA's. I live in Texas, but I will have to deal with HOA because when my hubby and I get our home, it will be a condo or townhome. You gave excellent information. I'm sorry your cost of 'experience' ran so high. Shame on those who were unethical toward you!
By Wesley Maxfeldt,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 15:59
Hey. I'm just the low end of the totem pole. I'm just starting out and only looking for vacant land to purchase so that I might be able to turn a profit.
My main selling point will be that the home that is built, will be underground for various different, obvious reasons.
If anyone has any intelligent input on this, I would greatly appreciate a response to:
By Lynn Tardibuono,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 16:08
I must admit this got me laughing - with relief! I've been a Real Estate Agent for 25 years now and in the same county. I've had my share of dealing with other Buyers/Sellers and their "rouge agents" and have wanted to tear my hair out more than once.

Your article lays it out with the "pros and cons" so to speak very nicely. Thank you for this.

Best, Lynn
By Diane Kniskern,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 16:35
I had a rogue buyer's agent in Athens, Alabama. She showed me four houses and said we would see the other three the next day, but didn't set a time. I called her the next morning and she feigned surprise, saying, "Oh, did you want to go out today?" I reminded her I had delayed my trip so I could see the remaining three houses.
When I got to her office, she told me we were not going to see those three and that since I hadn't liked any of the ones I had asked to see the day before, we were going to see some that SHE had chosen. I asked her how often people ended up buying a house she had shown them the first day. She said almost always. In fact, she said, they usually bought the first one.
Well, guess what? Though I wasted a day seeing her choices, they were completely unsuitable, and, they all turned out to be her HER OWN LISTINGS!
By angel101,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 17:31
I believe we had such an agent when we sold our view home. Because we were already in the recession, we thought that home prices had gone much lower and the agent DID price our house at a low asking price. The red flag! Setting the asking price before seeing our property. Upgraded it somewhat after seeing it. It had a killer view and had been updated prior to the sale, but I found out later (from a very reputable agent who actually knows the area) that it should have sold for more. We should have realized the price was too low when we had a four way bidding war going on. Lesson learned - know your agent! He was only interested in the listing and the fee he got. He did not know the area at all, and I wouldn't trust him to list a dog house for me or anything else, for that matter. If an agent is in too much of a hurry to close the deal to get his/her fee, and doesn't seem to know your area, go to someone else. He promised much, but gave little service.
By Itsnotme1207,  Thu Jan 31 2013, 23:14
why is there a pic of a kid sniffing a marker??
By Christopher Langley,  Fri Feb 1 2013, 00:25
We live on a bay, wells on property that are dry. I have no problem being open as a homeowner about the lack of water here. Real Estate (on in partiuclar known for his unethical rep) tried to get in my face for disclosing that to a potential buyer who came to our home and asked about the neighborhood. Ticked off the others selling here too. I think not being honest about dry wells is a huge detail to leave out.
By baclifford,  Fri Feb 1 2013, 02:30
Tara -- I just stumbled upon your articles when I was looking up my house to see Trulia's value estimate of my home - Tara, as a former English major, your writing is sooo refreshing - excellent. Keep up the good work, & you will get an A for the semester.

Hey Itsnotme1207 - Was that a serious question ? kid isn't sniffing marker, he's coloring outside the lines, going rogue.
By Sahomeowner,  Fri Feb 1 2013, 07:00
Rogue gets send on its way here I have no room for people like that, period :-)
By Valerie Ahmed,  Fri Feb 1 2013, 08:22
Agents as well as buyers and sellers should know that HOA's apply to single family homes too. Potential buyers can read deed restrictions and examine other documents prior to a purchase, but should know that enforcement is often (very likely) dependent on the HOA board members (who are elected). This can make living in a neighborhood unexpectedly difficult.

Valerie Ahmed, Realtor
7730 Olentangy River Rd., Suite 200
Columbus, OH 43235
By Thomas Bates,  Fri Feb 1 2013, 10:41
Please find an author who knows more about the Real Estate Sales and market. I have been in the business for 35 years sold over 400 properties of all types and find her artcile really dumb as you forget that most agents are honest. They also have to work with clients who can only afford certain areas. The homes Inspectors cover the condition of the home not the agent as the agents are not qualified to comment on home construction nor are required to in order to sell in California.

When you sell a condo there are certain questions you normally ask!

#1 Is there an existing lawsuit? A pending lawsuit? A potential but not yet filed lawsuit?
#2.Get a copy of the last years HOA minuets and then ask the owner of Management company if ther are any major increases in HOA fees planned now or in the future.
#3..Require the HOA to inform you if there is any criminal activity in the complex.
#4. Check the HOA money reserves.

But PLEASE get some one who wrtes this colum who knows what they are talking about!!!
By Ron Wouters,  Fri Feb 1 2013, 14:08
I well never live in an HOA community again.Sounds like a lot of people like to be abused or suffer.
I dont trust agents a lick.Better look hard before signing anything.
By Trinath,  Sat Feb 2 2013, 03:00
Wow Nice information
By Candace Taylor,  Sat Feb 2 2013, 15:48
"Rogue"...isn't that just a polite way of describing people who try to "slide by sideways?" I don't subscribe to that. Ever. The majority of agents I've had to endure who have gone "rogue" is endless around here. Dumpster divers galore!
By Rose,  Mon Feb 4 2013, 08:35
When I saw the title of this article I thought you were going to comment on when it may be advised or not to take some bolder, rogue actions to keep from getting your offers rejected and finally score buying a house. In my competitive market up in Providence, RI, the good deals only go to those who have as clean an offer as possible. After losing so many purchase opportunities, I finally went rogue and started putting in offers waiving all inspection contingencies, you have to look carefully when you go to see a house, or realize that you'll be doing the repairs yourself. I have also lined up hard money financing in advance, so I can put in a 'cash offer' meaning - no mortgage contingency, and then refinancing into a conventional loan once I closed escrow, when I had a home and could take my time. Sometimes, in order to be the winning bidder, you must waive ALL contingencies and be able to close in 2 weeks. I got tired of having my offers rejected and now am a thrilled and happy homeowner. I had to go rogue, and that's what I mean by going rogue - not having some agent show me something that did not exactly fit my description, really, how rogue is that?......
By Josh Thomas,  Wed Feb 6 2013, 13:24
Well said.
By Missi Tomes,  Thu Feb 7 2013, 13:25
Great article.... love the opinions of everyone here..... As I disagree w/ some but agree with others.. but I think a real estate agent should by go your wishes, afterall, you're the buyer and their means of income..
By Mark Acantilado,  Thu Feb 14 2013, 02:18
Consequently, several buyers try to ditch more details / info from an agent which causes the agent to go rogue at times. Since some wants to help their buyers, their buyer's request are sometimes the sparks it.

As she noted, working with a rogue buyer / seller / agent could either be risky or rewarding - that is if you know what you should look out for.

Mark | http://www.agentcampus.com
By propertymash,  Fri Feb 15 2013, 04:20
I found your site while stumbling. allowed me to really understand this issue. I really learned a lot from your site. You are doing good work! I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. Real Estate
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