by Mike, Denice & Rusty
A little real estate legal history today: Until about 10 or 12 years ago, every Realtor in Georgia was legally obligated to represent the Seller’s best interests. Every Realtor was legally a sub-agent of the listing agent. This was true even if the Realtor responsible for bringing the Buyer – and the money – to the table didn’t know the owner and didn’t like the listing agent.

When that changed – and it needed to change – the real estate industry was slow to adjust, since no Realtors then working had any experience representing only buyers.

Consider this: If the agent working with the buyer somehow discovered that the Seller was two house payments behind and was under great pressure to sell, that agent couldn’t legally share that with the Buyer, when the Buyer was considering what to offer.

That’s not to say that the agent didn’t share that information with the potential Buyer that he/she had been driving around town looking at houses all week, but being illegal, it discouraged the Seller’s agent from being as aggressive as he/she might have been otherwise. Unfortunately, the poor Buyer didn’t know “his” agent might be constrained as to what and how much he/she told his/her Buyer.

That needed to change – and in Georgia, it finally did, but just as too many earlier Buyers didn’t know that “their” agent was legally obligated to the Seller, they also don’t know that they could contractually obligate “their” agent to be just that: Their agent. That’s good, but frankly, just as Buyers didn’t know “their” agent couldn’t and didn’t represent them in the buying process before, they also didn’t know what to demand of “their” agent.

Consider this: “Your” agent drives you around, shows you half a dozen houses in your price range and asks you to make a decision about which house to pursue, if you haven’t already made one. The agent then writes the offer, negotiates it and walks you through the loan process, the inspections and the eventual closing, all of that a valuable service. But how much more information was available that “your” agent could have shared?

Representing Buyers beyond the basics is what we do at MIKE HILL Real Estate and do better than anybody else, based on years of experience representing both homeowners and investors.

Consider this: Buying a house as a home is the largest investment most folks make, but knowledgeable investors look at houses differently. They don’t fall in love with a house – they know love is expensive. Instead, their concern is how well it will rent, how much it will rent for and what kind of increase in value can they expect, all of which they expect out of their Buyer’s Broker.

Since the homebuyer is looking for a house to make his/her home, some of the investor’s concerns aren’t those of the homebuyer. But there are certainly parallels! Is their new home likely to increase or decrease in value, for instance? To make that estimation, the homebuyer needs some of the same information the investor requires – and the homebuyer should certainly expect his Buyer’s Agent to provide it!

A Buyer’s Brokerage experienced in both house selling to investors and home selling to homeowners is the biggest advantage the homebuyer can have over the listing agent or an agent without that experience. We specialize in selling to homeowners, but the rest of our experience makes us uniquely qualified to keep a homeowner from waking up later and finding he or she has made the wrong choice.

To know whether the house is likely to increase in value should also be a concern of the homebuyer and usually is, but without a proper Buyer’s Broker, the homeowner is often making those decisions in the dark. Without knowing, for instance, what the subdivision sales have been for the last three years, there’s no way the average homebuyer can make a knowledgeable decision about the likely future value of the family’s home…and the family’s investment, especially in today’s environment.

There are some seriously good deals in the market for homeowners now, but it takes having a good MIKE HILL Real Estate Buyer’s Broker on your side to make sure that what looks like a safe deal is really a safe deal.