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And the Winner Is…

Homebuyer Associates January 2019 E-Note

And the Winner Is…

Homebuyer Associates vs. the New York Times

The minimalism movement is a thing, something I subscribe to. It’s not so much about how many things you can rid yourself of as much as a concept that forces one to think.

I write about real estate in the same way: to make people think about the monetary choices they make in life – real estate and otherwise.

The New York Times recently published an article on how to buy a home. The author wasn’t thinking. The Times got it wrong. Lazy reporting. My last newsletter (see below) spoke to the search for truth. Truth may save you money.


The writer Elmore Leonard’s advice to writers: “Leave out the part that readers tend to skip.”

If you want to skip the “part” that follows watch the link below, which does a beautiful job of explaining why Homebuyer Associates exists.

We are fiduciary’s (dieticians) working on your behalf, not butchers. It’s the part the Times missed 100% – and is one of the most important concepts to understand if you are buying a home.

If you want to see if I pass Mr. Leonard’s “parts” test then read on.

 When you buy a car, you know that the car salesperson works for dealer. When you buy shoes you   know that the salesperson works for the store selling the shoes. Why doesn’t the New York Times   understand that the majority of real estate agents fill the role of car or shoe salesperson?

Traditional agents work for no one, (pre-agency) or the seller, (most agents) or buyer and seller –   huh? (dual agency) or maybe the buyer (the agent lists homes for sale but also is a part-time buyer   agent).

The only question you have to ask an agent/broker – the only question you have to ask is: “Who – do – you – work – for?” The Times should have noted this. With the question asked you have to be able to parse the response. I recommend this for no other reason than money, your hard-earned money.

Let this U.W. Eau Claire Journalism major pull back the curtain on some poor reporting by one of America’s flagship newspapers.

NYT“If you’re buying, look for a broker who asks the right questions, among them: What’s your timing? What’s your financial picture?”

The information above is a “tell.” (In poker a tell tips your hand and works against you.) With the “tell” you must now read Ms. Kaufman’s piece with total skepticism. If the agent doesn’t work for you why would you share information that might hurt you? (Example: If you disclose you have to move in 60 days that could be used against you.)

NYT“You really want someone who’s familiar with the area you want to live in …and seek out brokers who not only know a particular neighborhood but can also get into the weeds on the specific housing stock that is a client’s focus.”

Where does the agent’s knowledge end? Is it 10 blocks from their office? From their company office or home office? If the agent doesn’t work for you it doesn’t matter.

We believe data doesn’t have a neighborhood. When we prepare a market-value analysis (what a home is worth) for clients for a home they are considering buying, we are gathering as much data as we can find. Our computer is our office and that computer is in the hands of an Exclusive Buyer Agent.

NYT“Don’t be afraid to break up with your broker if the fit isn’t right. There’s no document binding a buyer to a broker, said Mr. Moss, of Corcoran.”

 Well, actually there is an agreement. It’s called a buyer agency agreement.

We make it easy for our clients to break up with us. Just tell us you don’t want to work with us. I can   say this with confidence after 1,600 clients because once clients are exposed to our process and how   we do business – they don’t break up.

I’m sure the NYT reporter is not a bad person or bad reporter but in this instance she missed something very big that could cost a buyer money.

Thanks for reading,
Michael D. Holloway

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Homebuyer Associates
1835 N. Riverwalk Way
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414-254-4129