The Three A’s to Consider in Selecting an Agent

Google “how to choose a Realtor” and your results will be trite, recycled, platitudes (experience, market knowledge, a “go getter,” etc.). The spectrum of competence among Atlanta real estate agents is broad; mediocrity often hides behind name recognition or a non-vetted referral. With so much at stake in buying or selling a home, deciding with whom to place your trust and confidence warrants digging deeper and demanding more. The three A’s – ACCESS, ADVISE and ADVOCACY offer a meaningful framework for evaluating a real estate agent.

Fall – A Buyer’s Market?

Mid-March through June brings the greatest concentration of homebuyers into the market, particularly in the single-family home neighborhoods located in the top school districts. In spring, there is a frenzy as families scramble be settled into a new home before school starts again. Deals can be hard to find. By August, however, the buyer pool has largely evaporated, leaving motivated sellers anxious about the prospect of carrying the home through the holidays and into next year. Late summer and fall often present some very attractive homebuying opportunities.

Is Your Agent Your Fiduciary?

A fiduciary is someone legally committed to act solely in the interest of a client; the relationship demands uncompromised loyalty, disclosure, accounting, and confidentiality. A fiduciary is bound to promote and protect the client’s interests, avoiding any self-dealing and all conflicts of interest. As a home buyer or seller, you expect your agent to be 100% in your corner – your fiduciary. It’s commonly-assumed that real estate brokerages and their agents owe a fiduciary duty to their clients. In Georgia, nothing is further from the truth…

$11 Million Slated for Lynwood Park Improvements

$11 million in improvements were recently approved for Lynwood Park in Brookhaven’s popular Lynwood Park neighborhood. Because of its location and walk-ability from within the neighborhood, the park is, by any measure, a valuable amenity of the Lynwood Park neighborhood. The approved park improvements will enhance not only the park, but the lifestyle value of living in the Lynwood Park neighborhood.

Here Comes the Gold Rush

Sustained strength in the real estate market brings out the career changers. You can almost hear it: “I’ll get my real estate license and all my friends will use me.” Sadly, the real estate industry has trained consumers to commoditize real estate services, opening the door for social connection to become a proxy for experience and competence, and the default criterion for choosing a Realtor. Consider the cost of misguided loyalty in one of your most important legal, financial and lifestyle undertakings.

Understanding Seller Disclosure Requirements

Anyone who has bought or sold a home is familiar with the Seller Property Disclosure Statement form. The form is designed to guide sellers in disclosing to prospective buyers known property defects. The form, a detailed checklist, gives the impression that Georgia law imposes a high seller disclosure standard. The disclosure standard is actually very limited; in fact, the law places a high degree of responsibility on the buyer to inspect the home.

Smile – You’re on Camera!

If you are a buyer touring a home, be careful of what you say and do; the sellers (or their agent) may be watching, listening or recording. That’s right, the nanny cam, security camera or other audio and video devices may be active in a home during a showing, watching and listening to what you are saying about the house.