So, seeing as the housing market is severely depressed, I’ve decided to try to take advantage of it and try to buy something on the cheap. I’m currently renting, so I’m in no real hurry and am most looking to score a great deal.
My immediate supervisor referred me to his realtor. Nice woman. So far we’ve gone out twice over lunch to look at some condos. Nothing spectacular yet. I’ve set a price range for myself and what we’ve seen in that range is ok, and certainly better than my current apartment, but nothing that blows me away.
Anyways, my business manager heard I was in the market to buy.
“Hey,” he says. “Why don’t you come take a look at my condo? I’ve been trying to sell it for two years now.”
I laugh. “I know how much you paid for it - that’s pretty far out of my range”
“Well,” he asks? “What is your range?”
I tell him, intentionally lowballing it a bit because I don’t want him to try to convince me to try to get up to what he’s asking.
“I’d consider that. Come take a look, then go ahead and make me a lowball offer if you like it.”
His condo is a step or two above what I’ve been looking at. Huge (to me), in fact.
I try again - I explain that it’s a really nice place (and it is) but I just doubt I am within range of him.
“Well,” he says. “I can take it off the market. That would cut out about 6% I’d lose to the commission. I’ve already accepted that I’m going to lose about $60k on the thing. But I still owe X on the mortgage, and I just want to get out.”
(He has a separate house that he lives in - the condo was just for a place to stay near work. But it’s been empty and on the market for about 2 years now.)
X is within my price range. So I’m really tempted. It seems like a hell of a steal.
What I’m worried about - as I understand it, all real estate comissions come from the seller. So if I go ahead with this - and he cuts out his agent - there is no commission. And presumably the agent I’ve been working with gets nothing.
Is this how it’s done? This would be my first time buying a home.
Is it ethical to just drop the agent (on my end)? I’m not too worried about his end - after all, it’s been two years on the market.
It’s not like my agent has done that much with me - about 3 hours of showings, total. I just don’t want to be a jerk and I really have no idea how these things work.
Is there some protocol? Do I tell my agent now that I’m looking at buying something directly from a seller? Do I stop letting her show me properties until I’ve decided yea/nay on my manager’s condo?
How do I proceed, people?