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…

Home Pricing Scruples

Last summer, I interviewed to list a nice, albeit a bit quirky north metro Atlanta home. The seller insisted that the home was worth 25% more than the market indicated it was. In trying to “sell me” on an unrealistic value, he ignored the market data and effectively told me that if I couldn’t get on board with his price, he’d find an agent who could. I knew he would have no problem finding a willing, opportunistic agent to saddle up for the down hill ride…

iBuyer – The Cost of Convenience

This article was inspired by a recent conversation with one of my Lynwood Park neighbors. She wondered why everyone wouldn’t just sell to an iBuyer rather than list their home with an agent.

The “iBuyer” is the latest thing in residential real estate. An iBuyer (short for “instant buyer”) is a company that will make an on-the-spot, cash offer to buy your home at a guaranteed price. iBuyers offer liquidity and convenience – you receive a market price for your home, close on the date you select and avoid the time and inconvenience associated with listing and selling the home. Because iBuyers purchase with cash, they can close quickly. Sounds awesome; so what’s the catch?

The Double Dip Commission Conflict

Most home sellers understand the traditional real estate commission structure. The Listing Agreement provides for half of the (typically 6%) total commission to be paid to an agent bringing a buyer. If the buyer has no agent, however, the listing agent is entitled both sides – the entire 6% commission. The “double dip” opportunity built into the customary commission structure holds the potential for a serious conflict of interest between the listing agent and his/her client where there are two or more competing offers on the home. Don’t get sold out by your agent!

13 Curb Appeal Tips to Sell Your Home (Fast)

The home selling season (also known a “Spring”) is right around the corner. Selling a home is all business; details matter and “curb appeal” is critical. The exterior is the first and perhaps the most lasting impression buyers will get of your home. Great curb appeal can give your property a distinct edge over its competition. Here are 13 of our most cost-effective curb appeal suggestions. These “bang for the buck” tips will help to sell your home in shortest time and at the highest price.

Six Reasons Why FSBOs Fail

A recent study shows that more than 2/3 of By-Owner sellers (FSBOs) end up listing with an agent. Marketing and selling a home is like any business; if you are not immersed in it day-to-day, you won’t have the knowledge, experience or resources to do it well. Moreover, you won’t know what you don’t know. This reality can be costly in terms of both time and money. These are the top six reasons why FSBOs fail.

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.