Recently I was speaking with a new Realtor (they’re so cute, when they’re little) and was discussing her exasperation with an agent who hadn’t yet sent a home inspection report, with an impending deadline looming. This Listing Agent mused that she needed to call the Buyer Agent and ask for the Home Inspection Report and addendum, before the expiration of the contingency.
My question was why is she calling the other agent? In the context of the contract, the purchaser had 10 days to complete the inspection and provide a full report and request for repairs. The Buyer Agent had the home inspection done a few days prior and e-mailed saying “We’re only asking for a few things and I’ll send the summary over tomorrow.” Tomorrow came and went and no report nor addendum.
Breaking Down the Problem
There are two main issues here, for the Buyer. Their agent hasn’t delivered the addendum, nor the report in the alloted time frame, and in the context of the contract the contingency has gone away and the Seller is no longer obligated to do the repairs. So, the inept Buyer Agent has failed to do the job and the Seller has been given a gift; leaving the buyer to move forward with the contract. There is also an issue that the Buyer Agent has revealed that she is delivering a summary… which is not the “full report” that the contract required. Even if the Buyer Agent delivers the Summary, and the contract calls for a “full report” she may not have met the criteria of the contingency obligation.
“That’s Not Fair”
As I was talking to this new agent, I told her that I wouldn’t make an effort to call and remind the Buyer Agent to send over the time sensitive document….unless the Seller wanted her to make such a reminder. I’m the first to say that Agents should work together for the Buyer and Seller’s best interest, but ultimately you work for YOUR client. Reminding the Buyer Agent of timelines that only benefit the Buyer is not going to be in the Seller’s best interest. I know it’s not fair, and it’s not nice to take advantage of the other agent…. but shouldn’t she be well equipped and knowledgeable enough to serve her client – without depending on you? When a licensee takes on the responsibility to serve the client, they need to do so, understanding that the client’s perception is more important than that of the other agent and what’s “fair”. Most Seller’s wouldn’t think it was fair to them, for you to cost them money in repairs, so that you can have a good working relationship with the opposing agent in the future.
My favoroite Sun-Tzu nugget:
“Know yourself, know your enemy, and never lose in 100 conflicts. Know yourself, know not your enemy, win half the time, lose half the time. Know not yourself, know not your enemy, and surely lose.”
As much as I like many other agents; in a transaction, their clients have different needs and desires than your client. Many times you should size up the opposing agent, to make sure that they are capable. If they aren’t you should have the discussion with your client, as to how much assistance you should provide to ensure a smooth transaction. The only thing that most buyers and sellers typically have in common is their mutual desire to get to closing, usually with as few problems as necessary. However, the client needs to determine what’s necessary. In the case of reminding the other agent of their responsibilities, I am not convienced that your Seller would agree that his or her best interests were met. Anytime that you have two people with different interests in the same transaction, you’ll have inherent conflict. Those conflicting interests are what agents must server everyday and try to do it professionally.
Is It Fair?
Nope, it’s not fair – to the other agent and their client; but it maybe fair to your’s. It’s “representation” and many times the client may not want you to do what your think is the “right” thing to do. So long as it’s legal, you may just have to hang-up your disdain and move forward, hoping that the other agent really does understand that “It’s just business”.
Originally published April 08, 2008.
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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