We are not going to mention names or brokerage office, but we will show you the remarks Posted by one local realtor. This information was found on the public MLS. This is not the only listing in Thomasville, GA from realtors claiming to be Energy Efficient on the Local MLS. I would like to know how the listing agent came to the conclusion that this home is Energy Efficient. Was it the 14 SEER A/C or he just looked at the house and said this home is energy efficient form experience? Too many realtors in Thomasville, Georgia jumping on the Green Wagon without knowing anything about what makes or what it takes to make a home green. To all of the realtors in Thomasville, GA you have to have documentation from a third party not because you the realtor say so and it can not be a documentation that one of your co-realtor did for you neither.
A look at some of the worst-offending states Thomasville, in “Georgia”
By Steve Bergsman
Although some states ban the practice, called dual agency, in which the same real estate broker represents the buyer and seller in a real estate transaction, most states have settled for a kind of disclosure Band-Aid that doesn’t work well for consumers.
It’s a little like the warnings on cigarette packets about the dangers of tobacco that really don’t make much difference to those who really want to smoke.
I’m told that more states used to ban dual agency, but real estate associations lobbied hard for the passage of regulations that permit this “double-ending” as it is also referred to, in some form. So what we have ended up with is a kind of cigarette packet of regulations: “Yes, you can have dual agency (or some variation of it), but here’s your warning” — which is most often ignored.
The way it now works in some states: An agent or broker has to reveal to the homebuyer the possible ways that the buyer will be represented, including dual agency. The buyer signs a disclosure statement and everyone pushes on.
The problem is — and all real estate agents understand this — when consumers find a house they want to buy, they become so emotionally involved in the purchase that they barely listen to the legalities because they are focused only on two things: price and purchase.
Besides, they may end up signing many disclosure documents, so no matter what the documents say, it all gets lost in the shuffle of papers.
“A consumer will do much more due diligence and much more research buying a car, which is 1/20 the value and guaranteed to depreciate compared to a property,” said Tim Walters, a principal with The Home Buyers in Minneapolis. “They do much more research on car buying than on who will represent them in buying a home and what is the best way to purchase a house.”
Secondly, even if a consumer does, perchance, look at the disclosure, the wording is often so obtuse it’s really hard to discern the point being made.
Walters sent me the Minnesota disclosure, which begins: “Minnesota law requires that early in any relationship real estate brokers or salespersons discuss with consumers what type of agency representation or relationship they desire.” I’m not sure how to interpret the meaning of “early,” here, and the wording seems vague.
Walters said that in Minnesota disclosure is to be discussed at initial contact, though in practice that may not be the norm.
“The agency agreement is a legal-sized document of a page and a half and it is really remarkable how it is skimmed over,” he said. “You don’t go over it in detail, because it even says on the document that this is not a contract, just a disclosure.”
In Arizona, N. Mark Kramoltz, an attorney and real estate broker, abhors dual agency, calling it a “fiction” invented by the real estate industry to double-dip, or win commission for both sides of a sale.
“This is the biggest purchase of people’s (lives) and they deserve to have the best representation, the utmost loyalty and confidentiality, and dual agency automatically undercuts that,” he said.
Kramoltz is not a fan of Arizona’s disclosure form, which was created by the state REALTORÂ® association. “It says if there is going to be dual agency, then both the buyer and seller have to consent, but it doesn’t mean informed consent — only that they have to sign a document. The form gives weak notice that dual agency is not in the best interest of buyer and seller.”
Kramoltz said many agents now represent themselves as buyer’s agents, but will also take listings.
New Jersey requires disclosure at first significant contact, said Paul Howard of www.njhomebuyer.com and a member of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents.
The big loophole in New Jersey is that brokers can advertise as being buyer’s agents, but they work for large companies that have listings.
The New Jersey disclosure statement, titled, “Real Estate Relationships,” does state that “to work as a dual agent, a firm must first obtain the informed written consent of the buyer and the seller,” but people who want to be dual agents minimize the effect of it, said Howard.
“I was in an online discussion and an agent commented that she explains the advantages of dual agency to her clients,” Howard said. “My reply was, ‘The state law requires that you tell what the disadvantages are.’ ”
The problem is a lack of proper disclosure, said John Sullivan, vice president of Buyer’s Edge Co. Inc. in Silver Spring, Md. “If consumers were more aware of their choices, there wouldn’t be a problem with dual agency, because no one in their right mind would do it.”
Sullivan works in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
“The D.C.-area disclosure is probably the worst in the nation,” he said. “It says nothing more than the dual agent represents the buyer and seller. Virginia says much the same thing, with the addition that you might be entitled to other rights under the law, so here’s a citation — go look it up. Maryland’s law is so confounded it actually permits an agent working for a brokerage to perform functions that a broker cannot perform.”
As with other states, in Maryland and Washington, D.C., disclosures are to be made at the first scheduled meeting, which is always a problem. As the National Association of REALTORSÂ®’ studies in the first decade of this century show, only about 30-35 percent of homebuyers received disclosure information in the first meeting, and as many as 22 percent didn’t received any disclosure at all.
Even before the recession, buyer representation lawsuits started to multiply significantly, according to a legal scan by NAR.
“State real estate associations lobbied for the passage of laws permitting dual agency,” said Bruce Hahn, president of the American Homeowners Grassroots Alliance. “But, it was short-sighted on their part because of all the problems that have (arisen), bad publicity, and damage done to the profession’s reputation.”
Steve Bergsman is a freelance writer in Arizona and author of several books. His latest book, “After the Fall: Opportunities and Strategies for Real Estate Investing in the Coming Decade,” has been ranked as a top-selling real estate investment book for the Amazon Kindle e-reader.
You can’t have partial loyalty. An agent either works for you or works for someone else.” –CONSUMER REPORTS Feb ’94
According to the National Association of Realtors, As a customer, a buyer is not represented by an agent the agent cannot negotiate on the buyer’s behalf nor reveal to the buyer any confidences of the client, the client is the seller. Without the benefits of using a Buyer Representative, you become just a customer to the seller and their agent.
The seller’s agent is legally obligated to get the most money for the seller. Can the Seller’s Agent who is contracted to work in the best interest of one party also work in the best interest of the Buyer? They can not. A seller’s agent, by law, must work in the best interest of their client, including giving information about the buyers to the sellers. Buyers Agents work in your best interest. The goal is to get you the best price and the most savings possible.
This is not Real Estate for Dummies. But, it probably should be. The basic definition of dual agency is The same real estate agent is representing both buyer and seller in the same transaction. Dual agency is the single worst issue involved in real estate. The average Joe out of the street easily understands that dual agency is WRONG. This seems like common sense to the regular guy. So, why can’t the politicians and many real estate agents & brokers understand this simple terrible concept? The main reason why dual agency exists is because of the glorious MOOLAH. Real estate brokers and agents have a huge financial incentive to be involved in a dual agency transaction at the detriment of their buyer or seller. Dual agency has no benefits to protect the consumer (buyer or seller). One of the simplest and best examples that I’ve ever read about the problems of dual agency actually came from a traditional real estate agent (Matt Difanis) in Illinois and not an Exclusive Buyer Agent. A few years back, Matt had a sent this letter to the Realtor Magazine.
Here is another real simple definition; agency is when a real estate broker discloses who & how they are going to represent a buyer or seller. Home buyers need to STOP spending all their time on the Internet looking at pretty pictures of potential homes and START spending more time fully understanding all types of agency (dual, single, transactional, limited or designated). Understanding agency is definitely not the most exciting part of the home buying process. As a matter of fact, it is down right boring. But, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE; before you start down the path of buying a home make sure you spend time fully researching everything. As with many major financial decisions (car, home, vacation, etc.) most of us end up rationalizing decisions based on emotion, don’t make a decision based on emotion!!
Non-disclosed dual agency is ILLEGAL in all 50 states. But, only a few states have made (disclosed) dual agency illegal. Dual agency should be outlawed and made illegal in all 50 states. If you are a buyer or seller involved in a dual agency transaction and you don’t completely understand dual agency than you should immediately contact or RUN to your nearest real estate attorney.
A TRUE AGENT is one who provides 100% loyalty to his/her clients 100% of the time. No dual agency; no “designated agency”, no “transaction brokerage;” no “Chinese walls;” no weasel clauses! – International Real Estate Directory
Buyers Agent: Representing People, Dual Agency: Commission
Found this Article on Activerain, and it seems to be happening more and more.Â The town ofÂ Thomasville
Is NOT immune to Green Washing
I was recently introduced to an article in the St. Petersburg Timesthat deals with the now-popular term “greenwashing”. It was called “‘Green’ Houses in Name Only?” by Chuin-Wei Yap. I thought the author did a good job of framing the problem that is starting to crop up everywhere in real estate – sellers inappropriately identifying their homes as “green” or “energy efficient”. I loved this quote:
“As home building slumps and environmentalism becomes a business advantage, a fast-growing market for green homes is becoming synonymous with “buyer beware”
The article addressed the lack of proper oversight in “green” claims and the frustrations certifying organizations face when they see claims being made. Since most of the oversight still is voluntary, there’s nothing to stop a builder (or realtor) from making a claim that the home is energy efficient or even green-built. In fact, we have at least one builder I know of who’s labeling their homes as energy efficient (they’re nothing special, and are not certified as Energy Star or better to my knowledge). When I questioned the claim to the listing agent (in a friendly way) I got silence in reply.
“Greenwashing” is the general term for mis-representation or over-representation of a product’s environmentally-friendly attributes. Keep a sharp eye out for this trend in real estate and “buyer beware”.
Yes, the term “green home” is being used more frequently by builders. Potential buyers should ask a builder for a list of items the builder uses to label a home as “green.”
Yes they should, but we also have realtors in our area selling new homes and even homes built in 1940s claiming they are energy efficient by clicking on that MLS button â€œEnergy Efficientâ€ when listing a property just because it is a popular topic? Then they add on the description â€œEXTRA insulation in attic and energy efficient windowsâ€ This DOES NOT makes a home energy efficient. Ignorance prevails again! in the small town of Thomasville, GA.
Ignorance in Thomasville, GA. has gone to a new level. A local Realtor/Owner from a National franchise company listed a mobile home property as energy efficient with solar panels. After confronting the local board of realtors about this listing and calling out on the agents bluff. The only solar this property has is a small solar panel for the front fence to the entry. NOT SURE HOW THIS WOULD BE ENERGY EFFICIENT HOME? This happen this week 9/2/2011
I would like to say not all real estate franchise companies are the same; this is my experience in my area. Itâ€™s like everything else; you have bad and good real estate companies and bad and good realtors. My beef is when a real estate franchise tries to hide behind the ones doing things the right way and others taking credit for it on their home page. I guess they figure if they are paying for a franchise they can take advantage of the ones doing things right. I would like to stress NOT all real estate franchise companies are the same, so buyers and sellers DO your homework.
EXACTLY! you must be from Thomasville, GA
Dual Agency is a conflictive relationship that strips buyers and sellers of service to a level that can best be described as abandonment. Dual agency arises when the real estate broker is representing both the buyer and the seller. It is illegal in every other fiduciary profession except under the most extreme circumstances. It is routinely practiced in residential real estate where there is the least amount of training. When a real estate broker engages in dual agency they may not work to the advantage or the detriment of the buyer or seller. In other words, all the reasons you hired your broker vanish – often with little warning.
Dual agents are legally prevented from negotiating price or terms (two of the most important reasons consumers hire Realtors). And perhaps the biggest problem with this betrayal is that it usually presents itself with little warning to the client – it is a bait and switch. The broker could be acting in the client’s best interests all the way up to finding the house that creates a dual agency. At that point the buyer or seller are on their own.
In a dual agency, brokers don’t have to share the commission with other brokers so they make twice as much money. They profit greatly from this practice. Realtors, who typically have no understanding of the legal ramifications of their own fiduciary relationship with their clients, often illegally counsel their clients of the so-called “benefits” of dual agency. We’re here to tell you that there are NO benefits and that you should NEVER agree to dual agency. Find a small brokerage firm with highly qualified real estate agents and demand that they not engage in dual agency. The likelihood of dual agency arising with a smaller firm is far less than with a large firm. For more on this topic click here.
I have been noticing more and more often that agent’s are leaving listings with an Active Status, despite the fact that they already have the home under contract. I hate having to explain to Buyers, that have just looked at a home and are ready to submit a contract, that the home is actually unavailable and has been under contract for weeks. This makes the Showing Agent look incompetent and deflates the spirits of an excited Buyer, who will now have to redirect their efforts after already having their heart set on a particular property.
This bad agent practice is inconsiderate and makes our job, as Realtors, more difficult than it needs to be. Furthermore, I do not feel that leaving a comment in Agent Remarks that the home is “Pending” is sufficient because this scenario still allows the Buyers to view the home in their searches and places agent’s in the awkward position of having to explain why an unavailable home is showing as Active/Available.
In our area we also have real estate agents that like to advertise some listings with just a yard sign then after they get a contract they uploaded to the MLS. This is one of the gimmicks used by dual agency to keep the commission sale .
Is anyone else bothered by this recurring practice?
I would also like to add that Youtube.com is also a place for old listings not removed from realtors to get more hits.
As the first builder and only builder building qualified green homes in Thomasville and the South Georgia area, we are seeing more and more homes being misrepresented by Realtors probably due to the down real estate market and the features being misused are the green features or energy efficiency when in fact its listing agent does not know anything about this market because they do not have the proper training. We can say that we have listed our Energy Star Qualified home with most of the brokerage offices in Thomasville and our listing agents could not explain our custom features or our homes green features to buyers. What makes it even worse is that they were not even interested in learning about the listing they had just acquired even after explaining that this was a new emerging trend and even listed all the features on paper. Not sure if they were just oblivious about the whole issue that was just barely emerging in the real estate industry or just plain languid.
At the beginning of our green home construction, the few Realtors that did show our Energy Star Qualified home were just showing it as a standard home and per square footage price. We would have to make ourselves available to explain our custom green features because they would tell us they did not know how to explain our features. But now, Realtors jump at the chance to misrepresent their listings just to get a piece of this market without even getting the proper training. We would like to point out that the new MLS at some level has a green initiative and has clickable module that lists certain green features and it looks like Realtors are abusing this green feature of our MLS to falsely promote their listings as being green or energy efficient ignoring the legal implications it may have on them and their brokerage office. Mind you our industry has MLS regulations that unfortunately the designated committee turns a blind eye and are very relaxed in its enforcement. The common examples are as follows stating that the listing has thermal doors. Does the listing agent even know how to determine if it is a thermal door? Most Realtors do not know, so it is up to the consumer to research these green features to verify that in fact they are buying these features. Another common misrepresentation is extra insulation, well if the extra insulation is not installed correctly and does not reach the correct R-value this does not have much of an effect to even call it a green feature. It comes to a point when too much insulation has NO effect at all in saving energy and nevertheless calling it an energy efficient property when it has not been verified in its before and after improvements. When Realtors make these false claims on their listings, they should be able to provide documentation from its manufacturer with proof of its energy efficiency as well as for the extra insulation. An agent that has the green home feature training would be able to point out if these features are misrepresented. Realtors should be better trained in this area because it helps them understand the difference in building a minimum code home to building a home to a green qualified designation. As a consumer and a 100% committed to green building, I encourage home buyers to perform a thorough research of the home they are buying because buying a home is a high price ticket item that they will be living with for the rest of their ownership.