The Disappointing Truth About NAEBA

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It is official. Our agency will not be renewing our membership with NAEBA (National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents) in 2007. There are a few reasons for this, however, I will stick to the main point.

I was excited to learn about this organization, at first, because EBA’s have limited avenues for support with fellow colleagues. I was hopeful that I would find camaraderie, support, enhanced growth opportunities, and the chance to compare notes about the challenging business of exclusively working with real estate buyers.

With so few of us out there, one would think that there would be more unity within the organization, but there is only political favortism towards senior members. This is especially true when a new member operates in the same market area as a senior member. You will quickly find yourself outside of a deeply engrained clique, that tends to play political games and favoritism. The instability of this organization exists not only with new members, but also from within its administration.

Here is what one member had to say about his experience with NAEBA:

What has been most disturbing to me over the years is the amount of internal politics and ego battling over the years for various positions or policies within the organization. It turned me off and caused me to drop my membership for a long period of time. I am most disturbed and embarressed that friends of mine became victims of the internal political struggles that also prevented NAEBA from emerging as a more potent leader in buyer agency and making good on its commitments to membership.”

Barry L. Nystedt, MCBA, CEBA – Buyer Brokerage Realty, Newton Massachusetts–

Final Note:

My experience with this organization has been nothing short of a disappointment. I am relieved to be at the end of a most dissatisfying affiliation. With this thought in mind, I now speak to my non-member EBA colleagues…

You are better off investing your hard-earned $300 into your marketing budget, while remaining true to the advancement of exclusive buyer agency in the real estate industry.

Buyer Beware: NWMLS Form 41A “Buyer Agency Agreement”

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This is a boiler plate form commonly used by most members of the NWMLS. This includes most real estate professionals in the Greater Puget Sound. I do not like NWMLS Form 41A, specifically, the second clause because it asks the buyer to consent to dual agency. Why would a buyer agree to such a thing, when hundreds of thousands of dollars are at stake? Real estate is not a small ticket item. Real estate is a significant purchase with no room for imposed risks, such as, those risks imposed by Form 41A. Dual agency is a conflict of interest that should be avoided.

Here is the language contained in clause #2 of NWMLS 41A:

"Buyer agrees that if Broker locates a property that is listed by one of Broker‘s salespersons other than Agent, then Buyer consents to Broker acting as a dual agent. Buyer further agrees that if Broker locates a property listed by Agent then Buyer consents to Agent and Broker acting as dual agents."

It is unwise for buyers to consent to dual agency in any sense, because it is a conflict of interest. A well-informed buyer would be wise to draw a line through this language.

Our company does not use this form.

Does Agency Really Matter?

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Buyers are best served by exclusive buyer agents and brokers. These dedicated buyer advocates do not take listings. They help buyers avoid Dual Agency, which is a conflict of interest. For example, a buyer finds a property listed with their agent‘s company, the property is listed with a different agent within the same company, the company becomes a Dual Agent.

Dual agency becomes a problem when issues arise between buyer and seller. The company cannot fully go to bat for either side, because dual agents are required by law to remain neutral to both parties. Since problems can and do arise between buyers and sellers, it is better for buyers to eliminate the possiblity of such conflicts of interest before stepping into the market. Engaging the services of an experienced exclusive buyer‘s agent is a good way for buyers to avoid dual agency and its inherent risks.

As the general public becomes more aware of these risks, we will see more buyers come to know and understand the value of buyer agency agreements; especially, exclusive buyer agency agreements, which is used to engage the services of an exclusive buyer agent (EBA).

Family Heirloom Causes Static Between Buyer and Seller

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I found a very interesting situation described in a Cabo San Lucas real estate blog. It is a fine example of why it is important to clearly spell out what is included in the purchase price of a home. Included items should be listed in a purchase agreement, as part of the sale.

Read about what happened…

“Our friends sold their home for full price and moved out a few days before closing.

The next day they received an angry call from the selling agent telling them that they had to bring a mirror back before the sale would close. When the home buyers did their final walk through, they refused to make their down payment because a large mirror had been taken down.

This mirror, an antique family heirloom, was never considered by the sellers as part of the sale. The seller refused to give her grandmother’s mirror back.

However, their sales contract, a standard Home Purchase Contract with Terms and Conditions, included all attachments. The mirror was considered by the buyers and their agent as part of the sale. “

Source link:
http://cabosanlucas.cabolaestancia.net/blogs/cabo-san-lucas-map/15069/

In conclusion…

When a certain item is not specifically listed in the Purchase and Sale Agreement, then it should not be considered part of the sale. This term should be mutually agreed upon in writing during negotiations. This will prevent static from developing in the first place, because everything is agreed to up front.

Buyers should be conscious of items they would like to negotiate for, during a showing appointment, and include a list of these items in the purchase offer. If a seller agrees to include the items, then they will have the opportunity to say so in writing.

Little things like this, makes a knowledgeable real estate consultant valuable to real estate consumers.

Troublesome News from Arizona

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With new real estate agents entering the field in record numbers across the country, it becomes ever so important to establish a hiring process; regardless if you are a buyer or seller. Washington State brokers are required to supervise their agents, associate brokers, and managing brokers; but, sometimes the supervision is not adequate.


Read more about what happened in Arizona…

Troublesome news from Arizona:

“Complaints against real estate agents are on the rise, with consumers accusing them of everything from selling property without a license to cutting corners to make a sale.

As of June, the number of complaints opened with the Arizona Department of Real Estate had jumped 53 percent since 2003, the year before the housing boom took the Valley by storm. Complaints forwarded for discipline increased 150 percent in that same time.
More consumers are not only griping about the way they have been treated, but they’re also alleging they have lost money in real estate deals. Agents found in violation of state laws that govern license holders can wind up paying fines or having their licenses suspended or revoked.

Part of the spike in complaints reflects the rush of new agents who flooded the market to take advantage of the housing boom of 2004 and 2005. The number of new brokers and agents rose 38 percent in the past three years, well behind the pace of complaints.

The housing market fizzled this year as rising prices and more inventory kept buyers on the sidelines. When the market was hot, complaints were driven by the intense competition to get listings and make sales, said Tom Adams, director of regulation for the state real estate department, which oversees licensing and investigates complaints” (AZCenteral.com).


Source Link:

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/1118complaint1118.html

Final note:

Buyers, as well as sellers, need to have a hiring process that includes interviewing with a few good real estate professionals. The biggest mistake I see people make time and again, is that they start working with the first buyer or seller agent they encounter. A practical hiring process will separate the real estate professionals with experience from those without experience.

Aside from determining skill level, having a hiring process also gives people the opportunity to become familiar with a consultant’s character and personality. Not all personalities can work together, so this is another important factor to consider when interviewing with real estate professionals. Ask questions and pay attention to how your questions are answered.

Agents Refusing to Make an Offer on Real Estate

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First of all, you need to know, that it is against the law for any agent or broker to refuse presenting an offer. We are required by law to present all offers, and any agent who does not will get into serious trouble. This is the case in Washington State, Nevada, and I am certain that this is the case in all 50 states. You can check on this by contacting your state’s real estate licensing board for more information.

Now, for the reason I am blogging on this topic:

I came across a blog belonging to an agent who regularly advises against signing an Exclusive Buyer Agency agreement, and who used the following scare-tactic in an attempt to scare buyers away from utilizing exclusive buyer agency agreements:

“‘buyers agent refuses to make offer’ was a search hit I got recently. This is yet another reason not to sign exclusive buyer’s agent agreements.”

My thought:

It is against the law for any agent or broker to refuse presenting an offer, regardless if it’s a buyers agent, listing agent, dual agent, etc.

Therefore…

The person cited above is not correct in what he is saying. An Exclusive Buyer Agency agreement should not be signed until after an interview process, and after there has been a “meeting of the minds,” where both buyer and agent agree to ground rules for a mutually beneficial working relationship.

I should also point out that this agent takes listings, therefore, does not know what he is talking about regarding the important role of exclusive buyer agents; including the agreements necessary to engage their services. It seems that this agent is accustomed to “double-dipping,” meaning, he finds the buyers for his listings and gets paid for both sides of the transaction. It appears that this agent does not wish to let this practice go.

It would be interesting to know if this agent would be willing to sign a non-exclusive listing agreement with sellers, especially, since most listing agents do not traditionally like to sign them.

I suppose this answers my question:

“Mind you, the listing agents will resist this, but until you sign their contract (which has to be exclusive, by the nature of things, at least for a given property), you are the one who holds the power to control the transaction by walking out.

In closing…

Buyers deserve to receive the same level of service as sellers do. An Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement for the buyer, is the equivalent to what an Exclusive Listing Agreement is for the seller. Fair is fair, and not a double standard.


Source Link

Suzette West, RECS, EBA
Exclusive Buyer Agent Seattle

Designated Agency or Dual Agency: An Interesting Question Raised

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A colleague raised an interesting question in the following blog entry. If you think in terms of a sports team, you would never see a team have the same coach, so why would buyers and sellers use the same company to complete their real estate purchases.

“To get around the drawbacks of ‘dual agency’ – states are adopting ‘designated agency.’ Thats where the employing broker designated one agent within his/her office to be an agent for the seller and another agent within her/his office to be the agent for the buyer. Law firms don’t allow you to hire an attorney while your adversary uses another attorney at the same firm. So why should this be legal in Real Estate?? The buyer’s information and negotiation power can be compromised in these offices.

It always pays to do research before entering the real estate market. The only way to avoid conflicts of interest entirely, is to insist on having representation separate and apart from the listing agent’s company.

Source link:

http://exclusivebuyeragent.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/11/why_dual_agency.html

Tales of a Seattle Real Estate Investor

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Tales of a Seattle Real Estate Investor

I found this entry on Seattle Eric’s blog, and it really shows how and why buyer’s need their own representation in real estate. He mentions the importance of having a plan with an exit strategy, and he is absolutely right. You not only need an exit strategy, but you also need to know the rate of return you wish to earn over the life of the investment. This needs to be known before you step into the market.

Before a buyer invests in real estate, they should have realistic goals and expectations spelled out in a well thought-out plan, this includes having an exit strategy. It is also important to understand that money is made when you buy real estate right, and not when you buy and sell wrong.

Suzette West, RECS, EBA
Exclusive Buyer’s Agent Seattle

How to avoid going underwater on a mortgage

An interesting article I found by:

Holden Lewis of BankRate.com

Click link above or below for full article.

“In the next couple of years, a combination of rising mortgage interest rates and falling home values could plunge thousands of homeowners underwater.”

“Being underwater means owing more than the house is worth. It’s an especially risky situation for people with interest-only mortgages and pay-option adjustable-rate mortgages. Some might be able to refinance or get through hard times by living frugally. Others will have to sell their houses, possibly at a loss. Still others will lose their houses to foreclosure.”

“If you have an interest-only or pay-option ARM, assess your situation and, if you conclude that you are in jeopardy, act quickly. “I don’t think burying your head in the sand is a viable option,” says Neil Garfinkel, an attorney with Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson in New York City. Most homeowners will sail through just fine. Two groups of borrowers should look ahead to see if they’re heading toward a reef that could sink them.”

“Homeowners most at risk of being underwater:

—¢ The first group consists of homeowners who are making the minimum payments on interest-only mortgages. Not all of these folks are at risk. The ones who should especially watch out are those who bought homes in the last year or two in markets where house values are falling, and who made no down payment or a minuscule one.

—¢ The other group consists of people who are making minimum payments on pay-option ARMs on homes that they bought within the last two years after making a down payment of 10 percent or less.”

Read full article by Holden Lewis – BankRate.com, click below:

http://www.bankrate.com/nltrack/news/mortgages/200611092_avoiding_underwater_mortgage_a1.asp

Suzette West, RECS, EBA

Exclusive Buyer’s Agent Seattle

A colleague with compelling information

Richard Machado of Fidelis, The Smart Homebuying Team in New Bedford, MA.

http://www.vip-buyer.com/

Exclusive Buyer Agent – this is a new wrinkle and if you have your druthers, if you have a choice, this is the way you want to go…. They work just for buyers, they never take a listing, they don’t have the conflict of interest on the other side of the deal. These people consider themselves consumer advocates….that’s the one you want – if you can get it.” – Jean Chatsky, Wall Street Journal’s “Smart Money”

Suzette West, RECS, EBA
Exclusive Buyer Agent Seattle

Real estate investment and development. WA Contractor Lic# WORLDWI852BM