Relocation, Relocating, Moving out of State
The “Specification Test”
You’re going to define specifications for that new home. Why not define for the services you secure to help buy it! It should be your first“smart move”!
So let’s see how many specs on this list are important to you, assuming they are qualities available from within the realty community: (For the fun of it….rate each item like 1 to 3, with 3 being “most important”, grading later.)
In the selection of realty representation, how important are each of these to you?
1. Knowledge of the profession of real estate brokerage….the practice and the players.
2. Broad knowledge of the market, in all the good communities; good “matching” skills.
3. Impartial access to the whole market, and more….everything that’s listed in the MLS, plus For-Sale-By-Owners, new-builds and homes otherwise not actively listed, but no ties to any that would affect objective representation.
4. Trustworthy resources, information and 3rd party specialists….open, impartial, objective, factual information about the process and the place: schools, communities, market data, churches, recreation, financing, inspections…everything necessary.
5. Understanding of the relocation process and its often-emotional facets, including the need for information and direction long before the first visit. Communication with sponsors.
6. Careful development, with you, of important buying goals….listening carefully to your needs and wants….help with focusing and analysis…then with “best matches”.
7. Strict attention to the first and foremost buying goal….setting up critical resale for the future while not sacrificing liveability and comfort now, preserving buyers’ equities in this transaction and the next….all especially important in a “down” economy.
8. A proactive advocacy in serving your interests, along with strict confidentiality, absolute disclosure of all pertinent information, and acceptance of responsibility, from the search through the closing and even beyond….consultation-level.
9. A critical eye searching for problems; a devil’s advocate, making sure the negatives as well as the positives are identified….risk analysis.
10. The reality and the perception of uncompromising loyalty in serving your interests….to the total exclusion of all other interests, including those of the realty company. (This question is worth 10 points).
11. “Hustle-free” service, carefully building support for wise decisions, without getting hurried. And no spin!
12. A competitive advantage when competing for “cherries”, the best buys.
13. Hospitality….a home away from home until you select your own….a pleasant adventure while making wise decisions about your future.
14. Costs justified by the benefits, and none in addition to traditional fees.
15. Freedom….to walk away….if you’re not pleased with the relationship. (include, or not?)
16. Finally, partnering with your Human Resource Sponsor to coordinate it all.
Steps to Consider When Relocating
If you’ve done it, or even contemplated a move to a new home town….you’ll understand this!
Relocating a family is tough duty!
It’s a huge job, transplanting a whole family to a distant land, along with their furniture and life styles and pets. Relocating families, no matter how smart or experienced, no matter how many homes they’ve bought and sold, are babes-in-the-woods in a new home town. As the lovely old song from “The Music Man” required, “Ya Gotta Know the Territory!”
There are strict timing requirements and huge financial considerations, complicated by selling a home at the same time. And what about the family? “Can we make it comfortable for them? What about schools and recreation and hundreds of lesser detail? Can we transplant our wonderful life styles and interests successfully? Could we dare hope to make the next chapter a positive new adventure?” Apprehensions and concerns abound!
Our typical relocating family cannot possibly know new-town values and trends, nor are they likely to know of a trusted local expert who can guide them through this maze of uncharted new-town territory, considered essential to the process (although their sponsor may.)
Indeed, they are considered a “vulnerable class” of home buyers, along with first time home buyers, in fact. Relocations are considered among the most traumatic events in our lifetimes. That makes them totally dependent on finding that trusted local expert.
It’s practically a given that the trusted local expert will be a local real estate practitioner…one who’s experienced in the whole process and willing and able to fill that role. That includes access to the MLS and the entire buying process, an essential legal step.
That brings up this fact though; there may be one facet of previous relocation experience that might be really useful, and that’s in judging the quality of the local realty support experienced. Differences show to savvy buyers. In fact, many families have had bad experiences, or heard of them, and so approach new relationships cautiously.
Until our readers here found this website, many relocating families (and many sponsors!) will still not know there’s a completely different way to become a smarter home buyer, an ultimate level of home buyer support that doesn’t cost a penny more.
So most reading this probably have never heard of exclusive buyer representation, or how the unique services of this brand of really-trusted local experts can make incredible differences in the relocation experience, curing any vulnerable class status, perhaps creating an advantaged class.
In fact, it was NAEBA and early EBAs (Exclusive Buyer Agents) that raised the first alarm. Thanks to those pioneering efforts of NAEBA and EBAs, and other professionals nationally, the general public has been alerted to the fact that home buyers had been traditionally disadvantaged, often not knowing it or having it disclosed. Worse, they often thought they were being represented, but were not. Given the facts and a choice, every buyer likes the idea of buyer representation.
Early EBAs were set apart because neither the agents, nor their agencies took listings or served sellers. That’s us, and it’s still the defining difference. In fact, many of those early pioneers in Exclusive Buyer Representation gathered to form NAEBA in 1995.
Another kind of buyer agent has evolved subsequently, however, as detailed in other parts of this website, labeled “Designated Buyers Agent”. Recognizing the strong attraction to buyer representation generally, the profession reacted by providing some attention to it conceptually, and by giving modest training and support. Most significantly, it suggested new supporting titles and laws. But it stops far short of serving only one side of the transaction, and working exclusively with buyers.
Through that transformation, the mainstream profession has found a way to capitalize on the strong preference for the concept of buyer representation, while still preserving the ability to transact “in-house” transactions…offering a version with an attractive name while continuing to take listings.
An “in-house” transaction is where buyers and sellers are serviced by the same agency. That’s the conclusion on the average in 40% of all transactions nationally….with higher percentages prevailing in larger listing-strong agencies and franchises.
Technically labeled “Designated Buyers Agents” everywhere, this brand of buyer support is now practiced by the overwhelming majority of agents in America. It’s supported by versions of the following typical state law. Here, Illinois law “designates” the first agent that has contact with a buyer with the new name:
Quote: “Licensees shall be considered to be representing the consumer they are working with as a designated agent for the consumer unless there is a written agreement between the sponsoring broker and the consumer providing that there is a different relationship.”
(Note that ironically, the same sentence of law that defines this second kind of buyer representation also provides for our higher relationship.)
So there are now two kinds of buyers’ agents legally available throughout America…the traditional mode of “Designated Buyers’ Agents” and our original brand of “Exclusive Buyers Agents” (EBAs) where the defining difference still is that EBAs take no listings and never serve sellers.
Therefore, EBAs never do in-house transactions. Therefore, we are completely free of seller obligations, are enabled to do hundreds of other things differently. Please see the two most important general differences at the end of this article. (And click here if you would like a brief review of “Legal Differences”.)
Well, there’s little doubt that exclusive buyer representation as practiced by NAEBA members is going to be a surprise, off-the-traditional-chart to many transferees and sponsors. In the hands of skilled practitioners, it’s a simple tool that consistently gives superior results that are easy to see and enjoy….and a really-trusted local expert.
Therefore, there are these other impressions our typical relocating family might take from new experiences with “really-trusted local experts”.
Once our typical relocation family has experienced truly superior service, they know that difference, too, and search for us again….and tell their friends….and their sponsors….and the company they work for…and the next bird they see.
Those fans are fueling a new focus in the relocation world. Once found, selection is easy, choosing the best local support services, and so becoming the very first “smart move” in the process.
While you’ll find us in most markets, we’re not in all, but in more and more as time goes by.
But don’t look for us in larger agencies or franchises….they cannot do what we do.
And don’t look for our listings on Trulia and Zillow, or Realtor.com….we’re not there.
But we do have raving fans! These quotes came from clients of NAEBA members:
“Having experienced less, we appreciate just how far your firm soars above the rest.” (Dave and Jana Henderson, Sigma Aldrich)
“Hands down, this was the best consumer experience of our lifetime!”… USAF family.
“Wow! What a pleasure it was working with these folks!”… Company Report by Boeing transferee.
“Your company’s strategy of representing only the buyer is a great service to people moving into an unfamiliar area. I have never been more comfortable.” (Tim McGraw)
So, just how do these structural differences translate to actual practice? How do they make a difference in the search for a really-trusted local expert? We thought it might be useful to approach it with this little “test”, trying to define what is really expected of a really-trusted local expert.
We would like to suggest these several conclusions:
While there’s a host of responsibilities here that a real estate professional must accept, we believe there’s only one way to perform all of these benefits, and that’s to vacate one side of the transaction….the seller’s side of course.
Most buyers want a level “3” for every one of the above specifications. All national surveys, some by consumer groups and some by the National Association of Realtors (the NAR) itself, prove that buyers strongly prefer “exclusive” representation once they understand it.
Worse, they often infer exclusive representation when it’s not even discussed, alternatives not disclosed and terms like “buyer’s agent”loosely used…pretty normal in the business.
In that setting, Designated Buyers Agents cannot promise more than half of the above “specs”. For instance, they can’t promise undivided loyalty, complete disclosure, full advocacy or absolute market objectivity for starters, and as none of them so specialize, many of the relocation-based “specs” would be very difficult for them.
Finally, laws permitting Designated Buyers Agents everywhere gave them one more very relaxed rule: While The Common Law of Agency defines Dual Agency (discouraged everywhere) as support for both sides of a transaction within the same firm or agency, modern real estate practice laws everywhere limit that definition to the agent level, not the agency, in effect legalizing it at the agency level.
Quote from Illinois law: “Dual Agency” means an agency relationship in which a licensee is representing both buyer and seller or both landlord and tenant in the same transaction. When the agency relationship is a designated agency, this question of whether there is a dual agency shall be determined by the agency relationships of the designated agent of the parties and not of the sponsoring broker.
So it’s a “Mission Possible”: We believe that supporting relocations with a score of “3” on all of the above is impossible without exclusively representing buyers. Call