Friday, July 8, 2016

Avoid Dual Agency Pitfalls and The Pitfalls of South Georgia Dual Agency!


ThomasvilleGeorgia is a small town, just because most of them speak with a country accent that makes them look so friendly, but please do not fall for their cheap accent. Sorry but I will call it as it is they are scumbags and believe me or not most are females, not to say they are not males because they are. These so called "Realtors" will sale a wheelchair right from under a disabled person and not even think about it twice, but on the weekend they are at church asking for forgiveness and then they are back Monday morning screwing people over again.

These lowlife are very aware of what goes on in this small town because most of them have lived in this town all of their lives and if your part of that lowlife group of "Realtors" which they all are aware of these bad lots and that trying to build a home on these bad lots will devalue the home, and when I say bad area, I mean "flood zone" in a flood zone you will pay a lot more then a regular lot for insurance. A "sinkholes" this is when you get so much rain that the land create a sinkhole. Now on hwy 19 in Thomasville, we have a subdivision that had a few sinkholes and this area has been on the news and with the stigma of this subdivision you will never sell your home, unless your local “lowlife “Realtor” works it out for the commission with another local lowlife “Realtor” to screw over a new buyer from out of town that is not aware of this subdivision stigma.

I was contacted by a nice couple that was looking for a piece of land to build their custom family home and they were not from here, they contacted a local lowlife “Realtor” and this lowlife “Realtor” wanted to sell them a lot and it was not even listed on the local MLS, so when a property or lot, land is not listed on the local MLS is because of a 2 reasons. 

1) It is a friend of this lowlife “Realtor” and they are aware of the problem with this lot or home and are trying to pass it along to a unknowing family. In a good scenario they would end up spending a fortune to build on the lot. worst scenario you would not be able to build on that lot. Now try to get your money back by re-listing the lot. The lowlife "Realtor" you get will tell you that you are going to have to drop the price that you paid because you paid to much for that lot or house. to pass it on to another sucker. "THIS SCENARIO HAPPENS EVERY DAY IN THIS TOWN WITH THESE LOCAL LOWLIFE "REALTORS" WITH HOMES AND LOTS."

2) Pocket listing, A pocket listing or hip pocket listing is a real estate industry term used in United States which denotes a property where a broker holds a signed listing agreement (or contract) with the seller, whether that be an "Exclusive Right to Sell" or "Exclusive Agency" agreement or contract, but where it is never advertised. In this town number 2 does not happen often. 

A few years ago we had a person building really cheap homes below minimum building code and to make a long store short this person built these homes all around the county and city and he is still building in Thomasville, GA., but these homes he build a few years ago were really badly built, now the listing lowlife “Realtor” knew that these homes were being built bad, but she did not give two S**ts. You see she was only interested in the commission. But you see all of these lowlife "Realtors knew that these homes were being built bad they all were more interested in the commission then looking out for their client the buyer. So in Thomasville, GA. And South Georgia these lowlife “Realtors” do not care about you the seller or buyers. They say that “Realtors” have a Code of Ethics, not if they are from South Georgia they do not.

I have been living in this town close to 20 years, and I have seen and heard of so mean unethical activities that are unbelievable. I am a Florida and Georgia Real Estate License holder and I would prefer to sell shoes then to activate my license with any of these so called real estate agents in South Georgia or Thomasville, GA.

Why would you think that they are so many “For Sale by owner signs”? in South Georgia. The first time we came to this town looking at properties we most of gone through a few of these lowlifes "Realtors", because they just wanted to show us first all of their personal listings and then their office listings. when we asked about the “For Sale by owner” they would answer with “I do not have any information on that property and if it is not listed there most be something wrong with it. 

A long time ago I had my Real Estate license activated in Florida and our broker told us to try and go get the listing from a 'For Sale by Owner" and if we could not get the listing if they would be interested in paying 3% if we bring them a buyer and 99% of the time they would say YES. If you are a true professional Realtor you would look at the "for sale by owner" as a potential home to sell. No, not these lowlife "Realtors" they think they are worth 6% commission for doing nothing. Remember in Georgia these lowlifes "Realtors" are dual agents which means they get the full 6% commission. 

Now do you think they deserve 6% commission for selling a home on square footage alone. You see they are so lazy that they do not care to learn anything new a home has or what is so special about a particular listing. I am sure you are aware of these show on TV that sale real estate like "million dollar listing of new York". You sell properties on the custom features a home has. It might be a cliche' but yes that's how real estate agents really work. Not look at a listing and say one has more square footage then the other because any monkey can do that for less than 6%. 

Now these lowlife scumbags ”Realtor” when it comes to "For Sale by owners" they will talk bad about the house, they will tell a potential buyer anything that they can come up with at any cost to avoid showing a "for sale by owner" You see these lowlife "Realtors" are even willing to cut each others throat because remember they get full commission of 6% when they sell their own listing that is what " Dual Agency" is. And also remember they are all trying to make as much money as possible. They do not care about you the buyer or seller they are all money hungry. 

they will not tell you how much your house is wroth they will just take the listing and list it, then after a while when you have no showing they come and tell you that you have to low your price, because remember the cheaper you list it the faster they make their full 6% commission and they will not have to split the commission. And in some occasions when they take a listing the seller has to full out a property disclosure and by law they are supposed to list anything wrong with the property. Now it is very interesting how these forms are filled out. If you're buying a home I would take a very good look at this form,  because you are going to tell me that you have lived in the house all of your life or had the house built, or lived in the house for a long time and you are going to check mark on "you are not aware of any issues. "YEAH RIGHT" this would be the recommendation of the lowlife "Realtor" 

Then of they see that your home has been listed by them and then take the listing from them to another office they will not show it and there excuse is that that house has been on the market for a long time so there must be something wrong with it.


A while ago we had a family members ask a few Real Estate breakage offices to show homes in our area. Now our home had been remodeled from top to bottom. The agents were the mother and daughter and owner of Re/max franchise. They told our family member that our house was overpriced and that they did not want to see that house. Our home was the cheapest in the subdivision and remember it was remodeled from top to bottom.  

“ to be continued I will be adding more to this blog. 


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Wouldn’t it be nice if life were clear-cut? Often in residential real estate it is: The most common legal arrangement in the business is for a listing agent from one company to represent the seller and a buyer’s agent from another company to represent the buyer in a transaction. The advantage to this scenario is that when negotiations arise or the parties are sending counteroffers back and forth, the two sides have a relatively balanced opportunity to obtain guidance and strategy from their own representative. But dual agency creates relationships with clients and customers that aren’t clear-cut.

For example, Rita Real Estate Broker is the listing agent holding an open house for her client, Sam Seller. Barb Buyer asks Rita details about the property during the open house, tells Rita she isn’t working with an agent, and asks Rita’s help in preparing an offer for Sam’s house. Rita has to stop, ask Barb if she’s asking for representation, and decide if she wants to enter into a dual agency relationship.

First Rita must resolve whether her state’s laws and her brokerage’s policies permit dual agency. Next, she must determine whether Sam Seller has agreed to let her act as a dual agent in the transaction and obtain his full, written consent to Rita’s new role. She must also disclose the limitations the dual agency will place on her ability to assist Barb and Sam. Only then will Rita have done everything necessary to create disclosed dual agency.
If she does enter into a disclosed dual agency relationship, Rita must observe her state’s dual agency laws, which probably require her to keep some types of information from each party confidential. In a dual agency relationship, Rita’s fiduciary duties to her clients are much more limited. She can no longer be an advocate for either party because each client has opposite goals.

Designated Dual Agency

Avoiding Dual Agency Traps
Dual agency relationships occur not only when one agent represents two parties but also when two agents from the same company represent two parties in the transaction. If Rita’s friend Alice Agent, who works out of a different office of the same brokerage Rita is affiliated with, comes to Rita’s open house with her buyer clients, Bill and Betty Buyers, and the Buyers later make an offer, once again, a dual agency relationship may be created.

In some states, there’s another option, designated dual agency. In these cases, the broker of Alice’s and Rita’s brokerage could designate one agent to represent the buyer-client and another to represent the seller-client. The broker would screen off some transaction information so that neither agent has access to the confidential information of the other party.

Although designated dual agency can work well, it poses the same general challenges as a typical dual agency arrangement. Designated agency still places significant responsibilities on each agent and on the brokerage to follow strict management policies to avoid compromising the integrity of the transaction.

In a few states — ColoradoFlorida, and Kansas — dual agency is prohibited. This prohibition ensures that the real estate practitioner isn’t put in the difficult position of trying to satisfy both parties and risking that one or both parties may walk away feeling they didn’t receive the focused and thorough representation they expected. That dissatisfaction could lead to legal action, especially if there are problems with the transaction.

However, if dual agency is legal in your state and you want to make it a part of your business model, be sure to take these steps to ensure that both clients are treated fairly.

1. Review your state’s laws (consult with an attorney if necessary) to determine if dual agency is legal and what disclosures and procedures you must follow.

2. Review your brokerage company’s policy to see if dual agency is permitted and exactly what actions you as a dual agent may not perform for each party.

3. Disclose the dual agency and what it means to all clients in writing, and obtain their timely, written consent to the relationship. Be sure to explain how dual agency limits your ability to fully represent each party.

4. Review and discuss with your client any state-mandated agency disclosure forms. Some states also have statutory language that must be included in all dual agency agreements. Failing to properly disclose dual agency is illegal.

5. Recommend that both parties retain attorneys to advise them regarding the purchase agreement, contingencies, price, earnest money, or other negotiated issues. This can be a win-win for all parties involved since the client will be adequately represented and the attorneys’ participation will take pressure and liability off of the sales associate.

If you’re careful in informing all parties about the requirements of a dual agency relationship, acting as an agent for both can be a viable way to close deals. Just don’t let your desire to get the deal done lead you to inadvertently overstep the limitations dual agency imposes.

BE WARY OF DUAL AGENCY - THOMASVILLE, GEORGIA IS FULL OF DUAL AGENTS THAT ARE THIEVES.

With the growing number of very large and widespread brokerages, the issue of dual agency arises more frequently than ever before. Any purchaser, seller, lessor or lessee confronted with a dual agency issue by their real estate agent should not take the issue lightly. Parties to a real estate transaction, including real estate brokers and salespersons themselves, seldom realize the inherent problems of a real estate agent acting as a dual agent.
Dual agency arises when a real estate broker or salesperson represents adverse parties (e.g., a buyer and seller) in the same transaction.

Dual agency typically arises in the following way: a real estate broker employs two salespeople, one who works for the buyer as a buyer's agent and the other who works for the seller as a seller's agent. The real estate broker and his salespeople are "one and the same" entity when analyzing whether dual agency exists. As soon as the buyer's agent introduces the buyer to property in which the seller is represented by the seller's agent, dual agency arises.
Dual agency can also arise in a more subtle way: A real estate broker who represents the seller procures a prospective purchaser who needs to sell her property before she is able to buy the seller's property. The prospective purchaser then signs a listing agreement with the real estate broker to sell her property so that she can purchase the seller's property. The real estate broker is now a dual agent representing both parties in a mutually dependent transaction.
When you employ a real estate broker or salesperson as your agent, you are the principal. "The relationship of agent and principal is fiduciary in nature, ‘...founded on trust or confidence reposed by one person in the integrity and fidelity of another.' (citation omitted) Included in the fundamental duties of such a fiduciary are good faith and undivided loyalty, and full and fair disclosure. Such duties are imposed upon real estate licensees by license law, rules and regulations, contract law, the principals of the law of agency, and tort law. (citation omitted) The object of these rigorous standards of performance is to secure fidelity from the agent to the principal and to insure the transaction of the business of the agency to the best advantage of the principal. (citations omitted)." (Emphasis added) DOS v. Moore, 2 DOS 99, p. 7 (1999)

"A real estate broker is strictly limited in his or her ability to act as a dual agent: As a fiduciary, a real estate broker is prohibited from serving as a dual agent representing parties with conflicting interests in the same transaction without the informed consent of the principals. (citations omitted) ‘If dual interests are to be served, the disclosure to be effective must lay bare the truth, without ambiguity or reservation, in all its stark significance.' (citation omitted)
‘Therefore, a real estate agent must prove that prior to undertaking to act either as a dual agent or for an adverse interest, the agent made full and complete disclosure to all parties as a predicate for obtaining the consent of the principals to proceed in the undertaking. Both the rule and the affirmative [defense] of full disclosure are well settled in law.' (citation omitted)" Id. at pp. 9-10.
In a purchaser/seller transaction in which dual agency arises, the agent must not only clearly explain the existence of the dual agency issue and its implications to the parties, the agent must also obtain a written acknowledgment from the prospective purchaser and seller to dual agency. That acknowledgment requires each principal signing the form to confirm that they understand that the dual agent will be working for both the seller and buyer, that they understand that they may engage their own agent to act solely for them, that they understand that they are giving up their right to the agent's undivided loyalty, and that they have carefully considered the possible consequences of a dual agency relationship.

The fiduciary duty of loyalty that your real estate agent owes to you prohibits your agent from advancing any interests adverse to yours or conducting your business to benefit the agent or others.

Significantly, by consenting to dual agency, you are giving up your right to have your agent be loyal to you, since your agent is now also representing your adversary. Once you give up that duty of loyalty, the agent can advance interests adverse to yours. For example, once you agree to dual agency, you may need to be careful about what you say to your agent because, although your agent still cannot breach any confidences, your agent may not use the information you give him or her in a way that advances your interests.

As a principal in a real estate transaction, you should always know that you have the right to be represented by an agent who is loyal only to you throughout the entire transaction. Your agent's fiduciary duties to you need never be compromised.

Friday, December 4, 2015

WE ARE THE BEST HIGH PERFORMANCE BUILDERS BY FAR IN GEORGIA AND NORTH FLORIDA


WE ARE THE BEST BUILDERS BY FAR IN GEORGIA AND NORTH FLORIDA

What is Your HERS Score?

At CHB Homes tremendous efforts go into making our homes energy efficient and we are extremely pleased with our HERS rating scores. The HERS rating score has helped us become the premier Green Builder in the Georgia and North Florida area for new custom homes. The HERS rating score is mentioned and utilized throughout our planning/design and construction processes, so for those of you who may not know what a HERS score is we have provided more details below.

The RESNET HERS Index is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. The HERS or Home Energy Rating System was developed by RESNET and is the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home’s energy performance. Certified RESNET Home Energy Raters conduct inspections to verify a home’s energy performance. Tests include verification of density of insulation, vapor & air barriers, blower door tests (to check the house leakage), duct system performance testing, and many others.

A code built home has a HERS score of 100. CHB Homes new custom built homes have been averaging HERS scores in the low 50’s, which means our homes are typically 40%+ more efficient than a code built home.

Our new build home scored a 49, meaning an overall $2,965 savings annually for our clients. It also means a tighter sealed home with less draft during uneven temperatures, therefore simply more comfortable overall.

RESNET explains a HERS score in the 40’s  is a very good score indeed! RESNET states a builder has done a lot of the right things to make this home more energy efficient, like using energy efficient lighting systems and installing efficient heating and cooling equipment.

Do you know what your HERS score is?



Monday, December 22, 2014

Buyer and seller beware: Your agent may not represent your best interests

Homebuyers sometimes gripe that their real estate agent seems more interested in closing a sale and collecting a commission check than in helping them find the right home at the right price.
Sellers, too, may feel pressured by their broker to make price reductions or accept an offer that’s less than what they’d hoped to receive for their home.

What buyers and sellers alike may not realize is that, in many cases, real estate brokers and agents actually have no legal obligation to look after their best interests. This is 100% true when it comes to working with a dual agent, Georgia is a dual agency state.

Laws in 25 states now allow brokers to provide services to buyers and sellers as "transaction brokers" or "facilitators," without traditional fiduciary duties of loyalty and obedience. The state of Georgia is one of those state. "Buyer Beware'

All 50 states also provide avenues for brokers to "double end" a deal, working with both the buyer and seller in the same transaction and avoiding the need to split commission income with a cooperating broker. In such instances, neither the buyer nor seller is fully represented, critics say. The state of Georgia is one of those state. "Buyer Beware'

Because they rely on referrals and repeat customers for much of their business, scrupulous real estate brokers and agents strive to provide a high level of service, whether they are representing clients individually in "single agency" relationships or double-ending deals. Not True in South Georgia and ThomasvilleGA "Buyer Beware'

See related report:
Beyond Dual Agency
But consumers shouldn’t assume that their broker or agent is obligated to represent their interests, and their interests alone, until they have seen a written disclosure describing the agency relationship under which services are being provided to them. This form is not truly explained to a buyer or seller in South Georgia and ThomasvilleGA, leaving buyer's and seller's on aware of what they sign. "Buyer Beware'

Homebuyers and sellers looking to negotiate the best commission rate, obtain the highest level of service, and protect their legal rights in the event of a dispute can start off on the right foot by making sure they understand the form of representation their broker or agent is providing.

Agency relationships
Agency relationships are created when one person agrees to act on another’s behalf, or represent them in dealings with a third party.

Once an agency relationship is established, agents owe their clients "fiduciary duties" of loyalty and obedience. They are typically required to place their clients’ interests ahead of their own, providing services with honesty and good faith while avoiding conflicts of interest or "self-dealing."

But the rules governing agency relationships between consumers, real estate brokers and their agents vary from state to state, and all have been rewritten in the last 25 years.

Depending on the laws of the state they are licensed in, brokers can provide services in one of six relationships:
Single agency: A broker or agent represents the interests of the buyer or seller alone in a transaction — either as the listing agent or as a "buyer’s agent." Consumer advocates and agents who work exclusively with buyers say single agency is the best form of representation.

Designated agency: One broker designates two of their agents to represent the buyer and seller separately. When states require that brokers implement safeguards to protect clients’ confidential information, designated agency is the next best alternative to single agency, academics and consumer advocates say.

Disclosed dual agency: A lone agent provides services to both the buyer and the seller in a limited agency relationship, without an obligation to represent the best interests of either. "Buyer Beware'

In states with no provisions for designated agency, when two agents affiliated with the same broker represent both sides of a transaction, the broker may be considered a dual agent.

Although controversial even among real estate brokers and agents, disclosed dual agency does present opportunities for experienced sellers to negotiate discounted or "variable rate" commissions in advance.
Transaction brokerage: One agent or two agents at the same brokerage may provide services to the buyer, the seller, or both, in a non-agency relationship, owing no fiduciary duties of loyalty and obedience. Georgia "Buyer's Beware"

In addition to having the same disadvantage as dual agency — neither the buyer nor seller can expect an agent to represent their interests during negotiations — consumers served by transaction brokers have little leeway to file claims for professional negligence. Georgia"Buyer's Beware"

Provision of "ministerial" services to unrepresented "customers": A listing broker may avoid splitting a commission with a cooperating broker by providing limited services to an unrepresented buyer. Georgia "Buyer's Beware"

Every state in the union provides avenues for brokers and agents to "double dip." Of the eight states that ban dual agency outright, four allow designated agency (AlaskaColorado,Maryland and Texas), three allow transaction brokerage (FloridaKansas and Oklahoma), and three allow both (AlaskaColorado and Texas). Georgia "Buyer's Beware"

Subagency: The listing broker represents the seller in an agency relationship. "Selling agents" who work with buyers are "subagents" of the listing broker. All of the agents involved in a transaction owe their allegiance to the seller, and buyers are unrepresented. So TRUE in Georgia"Buyer's Beware"

Although subagency was a standard industry practice for most of the last century, this form of representation has largely fallen out of favor because of legal risks for brokers and sellers. NotTRUE for Georgia "Buyer's Beware"

Click the map image below to view an interactive map describing states’ varied real estate representation options:

During the matchmaking stage, brokers who are hoping to double-end a deal may attempt to steer buyers to listings they represent. Or they may fail to aggressively market their sellers’ listings in the hopes of limiting the pool of buyers to those they will represent. Very TRUE inGeorgia "Buyer's Beware"

Brokers may offer incentives, such as higher commission splits, to agents who sell in-house listings to their buyers. Extremely TRUE Georgia "Buyer's Beware"






















Agency relationships and commissions
The Consumer Federation of America advises consumers to always negotiate commissions with real estate brokers, using agency relationships as a starting point.

Buyers and sellers should insist at "the first substantial contact" that brokers disclose whether they will represent their financial interests at all stages. If not, the group advises, consumers should ask whether the broker will represent the financial interests of the other party, or simply serve as a facilitator or transaction broker.

Sellers should try to "knock one percentage point" off the standard commission right off the bat, the Consumer Federation of America advises, and "insist that if their broker double dips, the commission be reduced another percentage point or two."

Search and negotiate
Of all the services that real estate brokers and agents provide for their clients, two of the most important are "matchmaking" — connecting buyers and sellers — and negotiation. Agency relationships can come into play during both stages.

"My broker doesn’t endorse this practice (of offering such incentives), as it may lead to an agent ignoring the best interests of the client in favor of the best paycheck," said Chris Dowell, an agent at Re/Max Premier Realty in Prairie Village, Kan., a Kansas City, Mo., suburb. Dual agency and several other forms of representation are permitted in Missouri"LUCKY YOU'Georgia "Buyer's Beware"

"There is a large, local brokerage that pays a significant bonus for selling in-brokerage listings, and because of that, faces … lawsuits, as well as a buying public that is very cynical toward that brokerage’s actions." Extremely TRUE Georgia "Buyer's Beware"

During the negotiating stage, brokers and agents working with the buyer and seller in the same transaction may disclose confidential information — such as how much the seller is willing to accept — in the hopes of moving a transaction along. "Extremely TRUE Georgia "Buyer's Beware" I can't STRESS this how TRUE it is.

Michele Guss, an agent at Thompson’s Realty in Phoenix, said that in her brokerage, agents don’t "sit around gossiping about their clients and transactions." Not all offices have the same practice. Georgia "Buyer's Beware"

"With that said, I will say when I was with (another brokerage), agents were always telling other agents what listing they had and what a seller would be willing to accept. This is not OK. Agents are not authorized to give any (information) unless the seller or buyer specifically authorizes them to do so," she added. Common practices Extremely TRUE Georgia "Buyer's Beware"

Boost for brokers, but at what cost?
The California Association of Realtors, in soliciting contributions to its Realtor Action Fund,claims that the lobbying it has done to preserve dual agency in the state "saves" Realtors thousands of dollars each year. Extremely TRUE Georgia "Buyer's Beware" More many in the realtors pocket. and buyer's and sellers with no representation.

Not having to split a commission with a cooperating broker provides a boost to the bottom line.Extremely TRUE Georgia "Buyer's Beware"

CAR spokeswoman Lotus Lou said the group currently estimates that preserving dual agency generates $1,873 in annual savings for the average agent and $4,627 per brokerage, but was unable to provide specifics on how those estimates were derived.

"Each agent and firm makes that additional amount, respectively, because of dual agency," Lou said.
The jury is still out, however, as to whether buyers and sellers are at a disadvantage when they agree to dual agency or other forms of limited- or non-agency representation.

A study of 4,154 repeat sales in the Memphis, Tenn., market from 1997 through 2003, "Homeowners’ Repeat-Sale Gains, Dual Agency and Repeated Use of the Same Agent," found no convincing effects of accepting dual agency for buyers or sellers.

Another study of 1,334 Utah home sales in 1999 and 2000 found that the impact of agency representation varied by property size.

For small- to medium-sized homes, buyers represented by their own agents paid about 2 percent less than those who were represented by the listing agent, or who were unrepresented "customers" of the listing agent.
But the study found that the benefit of working with a buyer’s agent could easily be canceled out by generous commission-split offers.

That study, "Agency Representation and the Sale Price of Houses," revealed that sellers of medium- to large-size properties agreed to larger price reductions when the buyer was represented by a designated agent.
The authors of the study theorized that listing agents might be more likely to pressure sellers to agree to a price reduction if an offer was coming from a buyer represented by another agent at their firm.
More recently, an analysis by technology-based real estate brokerage Redfin of 230,000 home sales in 22 markets around the country in 2011 concluded that sellers represented by dual agents agreed to larger discounts from their asking price than sellers represented by single or designated agents.
Redfin — which primarily represents buyers in single-agency relationships — acknowledged that sellers represented by dual agents may have been able to negotiate commission discounts.

Legal liabilities
Despite more than two decades of tinkering with the laws, regulations, customs and practices governing Realtor-client relationships, real estate brokers still view agency issues as theirgreatest potential legal liabilityGeorgia "Buyer's Beware"

NAR’s latest survey of members showed 18 percent of Realtors practiced transaction brokerage in 2010, up from 10 percent the year before. The percentage of Realtors practicing buyer and seller agency with disclosed dual agency dropped from 41 percent to 32 percent. Our area inGeorgia it is up in our area by 99% "Buyer's Beware"

Statistics provided to Inman News by four of the nation’s largest multiple listing services show declines in same-broker or same-office transactions during the last decade. Our area inGeorgia it is up in our area by 99% "Buyer's Beware"

At the largest MLS in the Northeast, Rockville, Md.-based Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc. (MRIS), for example, 21.7 percent of transactions in 2002 were handled by an agent or agents working out of the same office. 99% of sold listings in Georgia are sold and listed by same agent. with no protection to the buyer or seller and full commission to the listing agent. "Buyer's Beware"

The percentage of same-office sales dropped to 15.8 percent in 2009, a low for the decade, before rebounding to 16.4 percent in 2010. Our area in Georgia it is up in our area by 99% "Buyer's Beware"

Roselind Hejl, an agent at Coldwell Banker United Realtors in AustinTexas, said she believes that dual agency is becoming unacceptable to consumers in an era of increasing transparency. In Georgia it is the only agency sought out by local Realtors. Dual Agency in Georgia is sought out by local realtors for the full commission. "Buyer's Beware"

"I think (dual agency) is a holdover from the days when both agents represented the seller, and the buyer was technically not represented. It was customary to ‘double dip’ and earn both sides of the commission," she said. "Buyer's Beware"

"In today’s world, agents may get away with this once in awhile, but dual agency is rapidly coming to an end. The public wants more information and transparency. It is up to us to respond to that." They get away with it everyday in Georgia. "Buyer's Beware"

Kansas agent Chris Dowell, meanwhile, said he believes the wealth of information available on the Internet has encouraged a "do-it-yourselfer" mentality, and that there is a "trend toward unrepresented buyers purchasing through listing agents directly." It happens daily in Georgia So"Buyer's Beware" An uneducated buyer is going to believe whatever their buyer's agent tells the buyer.

Worries about legal liability aren’t the only factor that may be contributing to a general decline in double-ending.

The role of real estate websites
Consumers today are likely to start the home search process on websites like Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia that feature advertisements or lead forms for brokers and agents who are seeking to represent buyers in their market.

Those advertisements — typically worded as an offer to provide more information about a particular property that has come up in search results — have been controversial with some listing brokers, who want inquiries from prospective buyers funneled to their agents.

Critics say listing brokers who object to the ads are worried that they are losing out on opportunities to double-end transactions.

Some brokerages — such as Minnesota-based Edina Realty Inc. — have pulled their listings from "third-party" sites that send business to their competitors over concerns about ads and lead forms that appear next to their listings.

The nation’s fourth-largest brokerage, Pittsburgh-based Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, recently took another tack, entering into marketing agreements with Realtor.com and Zillow to prevent competitors’ advertisements from appearing next to the company’s listings.

Third-party sites not only provide listings data, but statistics on market trends and neighborhood demographics, crime and schools, so consumers are no longer reliant on real estate agents as the primary source for community, neighborhood and home information.

http://www.inman.com/2012/02/24/buyer-and-seller-beware-your-agent-may-not-represent-your-best-interests/#


Thursday, September 4, 2014

MY AGENT SAYS HE WILL BE DOUBLE DIPPING - THAT SOUNDS GROSS

First-time buyer – My agent showed me a house that I like and for which he is the listing agent.  I heard him use the term double-dipping. I know you’re not supposed to do that with chips and dips, but what is that all about in real estate?

Answer - Double dipping at the chips and dip station is a nasty party etiquette faux pas and it can be a nasty real estate practice too, involving not so much etiquette as ethics. Some states have enacted real estate laws and practices to limit the practice or at least to bring full transparency to it. Michigan is what is called a Designated Agency state. That means that we have laws that define the agency role and responsibilities when a Realtor signs a client up to be their listing agent or their buyer agent and it requires a clear definition and agreement with the client about what role the agent is playing.  The cornerstone of the concept of agency is the agent’s fiduciary responsibility to the client.

Curt Vonnegut used to do a commercial for TIAA-CREF, the retirement programs people, in which he had fun with the word fiduciary. It does sound funny. 

From Wikipedia comes this definition of a fiduciary –
A fiduciary is a legal or ethical relationship of trust between two or more parties. Typically, a fiduciary prudently takes care of money for another person.  In a fiduciary relationship, one person, in a position of vulnerability, justifiably vests confidence, good faith, reliance, and trust in another whose aid, advice or protection is sought in some matter. In such a relation good conscience requires the fiduciary to act at all times for the sole benefit and interest of the one who trusts. A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care at either equity or law. A fiduciary (abbreviation fid) is expected to be extremely loyal to the person to whom he owes the duty (the "principal"): such that there must be no conflict of duty between fiduciary and principal, and the fiduciary must not profit from his position as a fiduciary (unless the principal consents). This also goes for Realtor working directly with a local builder. This is also called double dipping and when that Realtor/broker is part owner of new homes being built and sold by the same agent, that's illegal.

So, when a client signs up with a real estate agent to list his house, the agent takes on a fiduciary role with that client. That means that the agent may learn things from the client that the client does not want to others to know, such and how much he’d really sell the place for. The agent is bound by his fiduciary relationship not to disclose that to a buyer. The agent owes his loyalty to the seller.

So what happens when that same agent signs up a buyer couple and starts looking for houses for them. He owes fiduciary loyalty to the buyers and shouldn’t disclose things like how much the buyer is willing to pay to any sellers. So far, so good.

Now, suppose that the agent is sending the buyers listings and they happen to see one of his listings and want to see it. Even worse, they love it and want to put in a bid on it. Where do the agents loyalties lay now? Can that agent serve two masters? Some states allow that to happen and some put some pretty good restrictions on what the agent can do and what level of transparency has to be maintained for both parties to the deal.

Michigan requires that the agent get the written permission of both parties before he should even show the house to the buyers. That written permission should state clearly the compromise that the agent will have to make if placed in this position. The things that need to be dealt with in that document include what the agent can and cannot disclose to either side and includes a strict prohibition against sharing any secrets or confidences that either party has already shared with the agent. Potentially a bigger issue is the fact that the dual agent can no longer negotiate for either side. If having the agent there to handle the negotiations was important to either side, that is gone if the agent is allowed to become a dual agent. Some states, like California, that don’t have designated agency laws in effect, are currently dealing with dual agency cases in their court systems that could have major impact across the country.

So, what’s the double dip thing? That means that the agent is going to receive both sides of the commission – double what he/she would normally make – thus a double dip into the commission pot. That’s not an illegal things or necessarily a bad thing, but is does provide the motivation to perhaps not render as much fiduciary responsibility as is still possible. The agent may become more motivated by the opportunity to double dip that to protect the interests of both parties. Money tends to corrupt like that.

How can you protect yourself against the potential problems that could be caused by dual agency? The simple answer is not to allow it. Since the agent needs to have your permission in most states to act in a dual agent role, just tell them that you’d prefer not to do business that way. Ask them to have a different agent represent the buyer or you, so that each of you has an agent who can give you the full fiduciary attention and responsibility that you should have. In states that don’t have Designated Agency laws that may mean finding an agent in a different company.  

Your agent may refer you to another agent and it is perfectly legal for him/her to get a referral fee for doing that. That way you are still rewarding the agent who worked for you and found you the house that you want, even if he/she can’t be there with you through the sale. If your agent refuses to do something about the dual-agency issue, then fire that agent and find another agent. He/she was more interested in double dipping that in making sure your interests were properly served.

The agent might take the position that he can represent only the seller but can still do the paperwork and put the deal together. Listing agents who meet unrepresented buyers at open houses in their own listings often take that approach. You’ll need to decide whether you feel comfortable with that and whether you are concerned that the agent may already know enough about your and your wherewithal to put you at a disadvantage in the negotiations – people do tend to talk at open houses, especially to the friendly, nice man that showed them through. You can see how hard this can be to keep straight. Double dipping has been a fairly common practice in many places and is a favorite with many agents for obvious reasons; but, the bottom line is that it’s up to you and you need to feel completely comfortable with the representation that you will be getting in the deal. If you are not, remember the advice that you used to hear about drugs or teenage sex, just say no.

 http://normwerner.realtytimes.com/advicefromagents1/item/28614-my-agent-says-he-will-be-double-dipping-that-sounds-gross