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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.  

Here are a few other good blogs and web sites that just say NO to dual agency:   Bloodhound Realty & Homebuyer Representation

HomeBuyer Advocate Mike

Representing People, NOT Property!

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 Television

In 2000,  we won FIRST PLACE in the television advertising category for a medium/small real estate firm in the State of Ohio.  The advertising & promotion contest was  Blue Ribbon  sponsored by the Ohio Association of Realtors (OAR).  These television commercials were conceived & produced in Central Ohio by a good friend of mine who is in advertising.  We produced these commercials for the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA).  NAEBA is our professional trade organization.  I hope you enjoy these spots.  I am really proud of the commercials.  I think the messages of these commercials are very powerful.  Today’s home buyer really has to question their “so called” buyers agent’s loyalty, competency and advocacy.  The home buyer really has to be aware of their agents duties and required disclosures to them or LACK OF!  The 30 second spots are funny, informative and controversial.

Cannonball II   http://youtube.com/watch?v=agN7p1lGvtQ  

(This is not a clip of that great Burt Reynolds sequel movie in the 70’s – Cannonball Run)

Problem             http://youtube.com/watch?v=1c15qPWkAz8

Flight Path        http://youtube.com/watch?v=1ASHpSARguU 

Watercooler      http://youtube.com/watch?v=5OR8JSETKVs 

SOB                   http://youtube.com/watch?v=C1KfYDx_DAI  

Thinking            http://youtube.com/watch?v=mTaiJqGDmPg   

Hounds              http://youtube.com/watch?v=cKFtTGCzHJ0   

Cannonball        http://youtube.com/watch?v=1xD37nhebGU     

In the future I hope to have more home buyer advocate clips on my main youtube site:

http://youtube.com/profile?user=OSUMike64

Ohio Association of Realtors Award Certificate 

I hope you enjoyed these funny, informative spots.

HomeBuyer Advocate Mike

 

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Forbes magazine recently posted a great article about housing trends in America, “Americas Most Stable Housing Markets”  The article ranks the Top 10 most stable housing markets in America.  The real estate market has been dreadful in the last year.  But, the good news is that  Columbus, Ohio  ranked  3rd on the list.  Even though the State of Ohio & central Ohio consistently rank very high on many of the recent foreclosure rankings list, our area has ALWAYS had a very, stable housing market.  One of the big advantages of living in central Ohio, even prior to the latest downturn in the real estate market, was our stable market.  We’ve almost always enjoyed a solid, decent appreciation rate without the wide volatility swings that many other areas in the nation experience.  

HomeBuyer Advocate Mike

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Great News!  The Federal Reserve (Fed) on Tuesday had a bigger than expected drop in the federal funds rate.  The aggressive drop will really help the local real estate Market Chartmarket.  Lenders in central Ohio now have approximate 30 year mortgage rates in the “low” 6% range.  Many “so called” experts predict additional lower adjustments by the Fed over the next three to nine months.

In my opinion, in 2008 we will see many loan program rates between 5.50% – 5.99%.  The low rates and Buyer’s (slow) market continue to make it a great opportunity to purchase a new home. 

Current homeowners should continue to watch the mortgage rates to see if it would be advantageous to refinance their mortgage.  You can click here to check your local mortgage rates.  If you have questions about possibly refinancing then I would recommend that you contact your mortgage originator/lender or your Buyer agent for more help and information.

HomeBuyer Advocate Mike

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How are our schools doing? Not too bad, according to the latest data from the State of Ohio Department of Education. All the public schools in the State of Ohio were given a “solid B” (effective rating) based on state tests results from the 2006-7 school years.

Small Report CardAll of our local central Ohio schools did fairly well in the latest test results. For the first time, all central Ohio school districts were rated a “C” or higher. The Columbus school district (central Ohio’s largest school district) improved to “continuous improvement” over “academic watch”.

The main web site for the Ohio Department of Education is a tremendous resource for statistics, data and information on our schools. If you like to review statistics and data then you will love this post. You can research every imaginable statistic (proficiency test results, enrollment, student disciplinary actions, attendance, graduation rates, etc.) that deals with your local school district.

Survey results from our clients have shown that the condition of the school system is always one of the homebuyers top “biggest fears” when buying a home.

Below are some good links to review:

I hope this information helps.

HomeBuyer Advocate Mike

*You will need to “uncheck” the match case box to utilize the power users reports section.  This section is also incredibly slow.

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eSORN is the electronic sex offender registration and notification web site for the State of Ohio.  Attorney General Mark Dann has implemented one of the most advanced and effective web sites in the country to deal with sex offender notification.  Most states have a antiquated patchwork system (mailing postcards) to notify the public of sex offenders in their community.  The eSORN database is one of the first systems in the country to link all of the state’s county sheriff’s offices and correctional facilities records offices together.  The eSORN web site is easy to use and provides great information to the public.   Some of the great benefits of the new system are:

  • Email Alert;  you can quickly sign up to be notified via email if any sex offender moves into your community (within one mile)*.
  • County Sheriff Offices;  “one click” access to contact your local county sheriff to obtain more information or to submit a tip/sex offender.
  • Instant Offender Search; you can instantly search to see which sex offenders currently live in your community.  A great map tool**.
  • Most Wanted List;  View a list of the state’s most wanted sex offender

Everyone should check out the new eSORN system today, especially if you are thinking about buying a new home.

HomeBuyer Advocate Mike

*To ensure that you receive email notifications please place notifications@icrimewatch.net in your address book and adjust your bulk or junk mail settings.

**make sure any “pop up” blocking utility program are turned off.

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The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA) is back in the news again.  The July 17, 2007 Newsweek Magazine touts the huge benefits of using an Exclusive Buyer Agent that belongs to NAEBA.   Not all Buyer Agents are the same.

Don’t be FOOLED!  Many traditional real estate agents just use the title of a Buyer Agent in order to “drum up” more business.  The best representation and protection for any residential or investor home buyer is an Exclusive Buyer Agent.  Exclusive Buyer agent simply means that the agent will NEVER take listings or sell homes.  You will not be steered toward company listings or SOLD a home.

An Exclusive Buyer Agent is the guaranteed highest and best form of representation available for a home buyer.  Exclusive Buyer Agents will have access to all the homes on the market and probably have access to more homes then even a traditional real estate agent.  Every potential home buyer should read this Newsweek Magazine article.  It is great information.

I also really appreciate that the author of the article quoted Stephen Brobeck of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA).    For nearly 30 years, the CFA has been the PREMIER consumer advocacy group in the country.  The CFA works to advance pro-consumer policies dealing with food, agriculture, real estate, finance and communication.  From nearly day one!, the CFA has always advocated using an Exclusive Buyer Agent instead of any other type of “so called” Buyer Agent.

So don’t settle for anything less then a true Exclusive Buyer Agent from NAEBA

HomeBuyer Advocate Mike

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In early August, Governor Ted Strickland signed a new, expanded Homestead Exemption Act that will provide tax savings (money!!!) to qualified senior citizens and disabled Ohioans.  The Homestead Exemption credit has been in effect for years.  But, in the past there were very restrictive income requirements to qualify for the credit.

The BIG NEWS now is that the new Homestead Exemption has NO income qualifications.  If you are 65 years or older and a homeowner in the State of Ohio then you can reduce your taxes and save money just by filling out a form (Franklin County) and sending it in to your local county auditor

IMPORTANT; completed form must be received by your county auditor by no later than October 1st, 2007.   Please, you don’t think our government would give us anything free or make it easy.  Good news is that the form is very simple to fill out.  So don’t delay.

For example, if you have a home with a market value of $100,000, you would get billed as if your house was worth $75,000.  The average savings to you would be $400.  

Don’t fret if you don’t qualify for the new credit, just contact your parents, grandparents and other family members that might qualify for the credit.  Your family members will be so happy that you saved them money that they will put you back in their will.  Voila, you are in the money!

You can follow the links in this post for more information.  Please contact your local county auditor for more information on  eligibility and tax savings.  

HomeBuyer Advocate Mike

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SUITE 204
WORTHINGTON, OH 43085
614.918.3336

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HomeBuyer Advocate Mike


Representing People, NOT Property in Columbus, Ohio. If you are a home buyer, then you need me to protect you. I can help you get the best price and terms for your next home purchase. You must use a true Buyer Broker! 1.614.805.7607

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