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#370380 - 03/21/11 04:35 PM Do I need a buyer's rep who's an ABR?
timothy1 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/18/11
Posts: 20
Loc: California
Should a prospective first time home buyer like me consider hiring a buyer's representative who doesn't have an ABR certificate?

I'm new to real estate, and it's hard for me to gauge how meaningful the titles are. I've seen some online listings for realtors with five different designations and certificates after their name -- but everything else in their online presentation indicates that they're (frankly) not trying that hard. And I've seen web pages of other realtors who have just a couple of certs, but who really seem to bend over backward in everything else they do online.

My experiences outside of real estate indicate that some titles are meaningful, and others aren't. I want my doctor to be an MD, for instance. But I know that there are certs in other professions that mean only that the cert-holder sat through some dull coursework and forked over $$ for a diploma.

So, I'll be grateful for feedback. Might it be worthwhile to approach a top notch agent about serving as a buyer's rep for me, cert or no cert, or should I hold out for that ABR title?

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#370399 - 03/21/11 07:30 PM Re: Do I need a buyer's rep who's an ABR? [Re: timothy1]
Doin' bpose Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 3349
Loc: Old Dominion
I think it is better to use an ABR than an agent with no designations. However, I was an ABR and let it lapse after about 5 years. It really is a sign that someone cared enough to take a 3 day course on how to help you better, but then it is just a dues paying affair.

GRI and CRS are other serious designations. Newer designations are ePRO, SRES (seniors), CPDE (shorts sales).

I think you would do better to pay closer attention to whether the agent is an associate broker. Use someone with some years under their belt, perhaps at least 5.

Don't be afraid to interview a couple of people briefly. You want to have a good feeling about this person.

Look beyond the 1st internet postings and big glaring advertisements. You will find a few people are very adept at plastering their names everywhere, and then when you sign on with them you will be working with their assistant.

Don't be afraid to sign a buyer broker agreement, although most agents do not insist you do. If I were a buyer, I would be hesitant to sign also, but if I really liked the agent I would do it---just limit the time frame of the contract say to 30 days, rather than 6 months. If things are going well at the end of the time renew the agreement.

Good luck


Edited by Doin' bpose (03/21/11 07:32 PM)
_________________________
I can't. I'm going camping.

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#370400 - 03/21/11 07:35 PM Re: Do I need a buyer's rep who's an ABR? [Re: Doin' bpose]
timothy1 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/18/11
Posts: 20
Loc: California
Thanks, Doin'bpose. I appreciate the feedback!

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#370401 - 03/21/11 07:43 PM Re: Do I need a buyer's rep who's an ABR? [Re: timothy1]
Vermont Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 04/12/08
Posts: 7719
Loc: Vermont's North-East Kingdom
Now, before there was ABR, there was the CBR - Certified Buyer's Representative . . . . and I'm one of those.

We had to take more hours of training than the ABR (5 solid days versus 3); but, in its wisdom, the NAR created a special Income Producing Club for the ABRs, so that they had to join the ABR Club and remain active in the Club in order to continue using the ABR Designation . . . . just like paying Union Dues !

Now, the NAR will only recognize this CBR Designation that they themselves spawned (like an unwanted Child from a prior Marriage) . . . . If I also pay the ABR Annual Dues, I can join the ABR Club. Bitter? You bet !

Anyway, I'm with Doin . . . . make sure you have good Chemistry with anyone you choose to represent you, designation or no designation; You'll do fine.
_________________________
Dale C. Hittle of GOLDEN RULE PROPERTIES in Glover, Vermont
Where We're Always Striving To Put Together "THE FAIR DEAL"

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#370428 - 03/22/11 12:49 AM Re: Do I need a buyer's rep who's an ABR? [Re: Vermont]
Devil's Advocate Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 538
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Another View

To answer your question, I would say NO.... as a lot of money has been saved over the years by not being obligated to pay various fees for one designation or another.

Buyer Agents
The truth of the matter is that one has to separate fact from fiction and recognize that Seller's agent and Buyer's agent are clearly in an adversarial role, as the parties they represent have opposing interest, and both parties to a transaction should be independently represented.

Agency
Another consideration and benefit is where the common law of agency prevails and imposes a fiduciary duty upon the agent to their client and being one of the benefits of having a buyers agent under contract, whether or not they have certain designations from trade or other organization.

Liability
The key feature being, is that buyer agents have a great deal of liability, and must fulfill all the legal and fiduciary requirement of their role in the same manner that a lawyer is required to fulfill his or her fiduciary obligations to a client.

Consequences
Further, if they breach their fiduciary duty to a client, and/or failed to act in the best interest of their client, they may not only forfeit their entitlement to any form of remuneration, but may also be held legally liable for damages suffered by their client.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This information is provided as basic educational information by the author and is not a substitute for the advice of an expert and/or the advice of a Lawyer. There is NO representation as to legality, accuracy, correctness of the herein information and the reader is strongly urged to consult a lawyer in the relevant jurisdiction to ensure accuracy before acting on this information.

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#370434 - 03/22/11 06:02 AM Re: Do I need a buyer's rep who's an ABR? [Re: Devil's Advocate]
Doin' bpose Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 3349
Loc: Old Dominion
Quote:
Another View
To answer your question, I would say NO.... as a lot of money has been saved over the years by not being obligated to pay various fees for one designation or another.
I would not use or exclude an agent becuase of his frugality.
Quote:
Buyer Agents
The truth of the matter is that one has to separate fact from fiction and recognizethat Seller's agent and Buyer's agent are clearly in an adversarial role, as the parties they represent have opposing interest, and both parties to a transaction should be independently represented.
EUREKA! And so shouldn't you answer, Yes.

Quote:
Agency
Another consideration and benefit is where the common law of agency prevails and imposes a fiduciary duty upon the agent to their client and being one of the benefits of having a buyers agent under contract, whether or not they have certain designations from trade or other organization.
What?

Quote:
Liability
The key feature being, is that buyer agents have a great deal of liability, and must fulfill all the legal and fiduciary requirement of their role in the same manner that a lawyer is required to fulfill his or her fiduciary obligations to a client.
He is not the agent, he is the buyer. This would actually benefit the buyer. What does this have to do with ABR?

Quote:

Consequences
Further, if they breach their fiduciary duty to a client, and/or failed to act in the best interest of their client, they may not only forfeit their entitlement to any form of remuneration, but may also be held legally liable for damages suffered by their client.
Same as above. How is this a reason for a buyer to not want a buyer's agent. What does this have to do with ABR?
_________________________
I can't. I'm going camping.

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#370460 - 03/22/11 09:33 AM Re: Do I need a buyer's rep who's an ABR? [Re: Doin' bpose]
Devil's Advocate Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 538
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Clarification:

In my recent post I intended to convey that a buyer does not necessarily need an agent with the ABR designation as a number of qualified agents have both the necessary knowledge and experience, in representing buyers, without a particular designation, and that all buyers should be independently represented.

It was also my intent to convey that in jurisdictions where the law of agency prevails a knowledgeable agent would be well aware of the consequence, should they fail to act in the best interest of their buyer/client.

The aforementioned is something all buyers may wish take into consideration as the knowledge might aid them in making an informed decision, concerning buyer agents in general.

I stand to be corrected if I am wrong.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This information is provided as basic educational information by the author and is not a substitute for the advice of an expert and/or the advice of a Lawyer. There is NO representation as to legality, accuracy, correctness of the herein information and the reader is strongly urged to consult a lawyer in the relevant jurisdiction to ensure accuracy before acting on this information.

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#370465 - 03/22/11 11:27 AM Re: Do I need a buyer's rep who's an ABR? [Re: Devil's Advocate]
Doin' bpose Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 3349
Loc: Old Dominion
Okay, I think I see now. Are you saying that a knowledgable agent will be well aware that if he doesn't treat his client right he could get his tookems sued in court? And are you saying therefore that knowledge alone (rather than the ABR designation) is enough reason for a buyer to make the decision to use any buyers' agent who is not an ABR?

If so, then how can the buyer (original poster) determine if an agent has this knowledge? One way might be to use ABR agents who have been through the training, correct? That stands to reason. I do not see how not using them is helpful if I understand your point.

I may have mistook your point though.
_________________________
I can't. I'm going camping.

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#370475 - 03/22/11 12:38 PM Re: Do I need a buyer's rep who's an ABR? [Re: Doin' bpose]
Devil's Advocate Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 538
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Doin'bpose

I was not suggesting that the buyer should not use an agent with a ABR designation, as I personally believe that a buyer should engage the services of the best agent they can find, with or without a ABR designation.

I would also agree with you that a ABR designation would indicate that such an agent has had training with regard to representing the best interest of a buyer.

The buyer should meet with prospective agents and determine who may best serve his needs.

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#370505 - 03/22/11 03:18 PM Re: Do I need a buyer's rep who's an ABR? [Re: timothy1]
Jim Boad Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 185
Loc: Seattle/San Diego
I really don't think this is a yes or no answer. Designations in Real Estate don't mean as much as they do in the medical field.
I know agents with a boat load of designations who don't close deals and are not a pleasure to work with to say the least. Then there are the agents who have no titles behind their name, close tons of deals and get rave reviews from clients.
So I would recomend interviewing and going with the best fit for you not just the agent with a title.

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#370512 - 03/22/11 04:28 PM Re: Do I need a buyer's rep who's an ABR? [Re: timothy1]
Vermont Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 04/12/08
Posts: 7719
Loc: Vermont's North-East Kingdom
In over 20 years of fiddlin' around with Real Estate Designations, I think Timothy is the first Customer I've seen take an interest in any of this stuff.

All those initials are typically just to impress other Agents . . . . not the rest of the World. So thanks Timothy !

That makes it all so worth while. And remember my offer to represent you when it comes time to make a purchase in Vermont.
_________________________
Dale C. Hittle of GOLDEN RULE PROPERTIES in Glover, Vermont
Where We're Always Striving To Put Together "THE FAIR DEAL"

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#370573 - 03/23/11 01:49 PM Re: Do I need a buyer's rep who's an ABR? [Re: timothy1]
Andy Perkins Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/10
Posts: 317
Loc: Los Angeles
Timothy, you've clearly a buyer who knows your stuff and has exactly the right questions to ask. You should have no shortage of qualified agents lining up to court you when you're ready.

I think the various designations CAN be helpful to agents who might have previously lacked certain knowledge related to a given niche. For example, if I wanted to start taking short sale listings, it would behoove me to take the CPDE courses if I knew nothing about short sales. It's a good selling point, but it's only one of many things you should consider.

Most of the best agents I know don't have any particular designations. The honest truth is that they just don't need them; their years of experience and strong communication skills communicate their intimate knowledge of the real estate world in a way that no three- or four-letter designation can.

So don't assume that someone with a professional designation is going to be a better agent for you than someone without it. It's but one of many pieces to the puzzle!

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#370721 - 03/25/11 03:49 PM Re: Do I need a buyer's rep who's an ABR? [Re: timothy1]
DezInCA Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
It's used for marketing and to impress inexperienced buyers but in reality can be taken online in a couple of days for a fee.

I know an agent who has some short sale designation and has no clue what they are doing.

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#370737 - 03/25/11 07:06 PM Re: Do I need a buyer's rep who's an ABR? [Re: timothy1]
Doin' bpose Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 3349
Loc: Old Dominion
And for the record it was interesting stuff. For instance, my class pointed out several ways in which the standard contract is written toward benefitting the seller. They instructed ways to shift the tide back to the buyer. That's good stuff, but clearly information that could be garnered elsewhere.
_________________________
I can't. I'm going camping.

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#379276 - 06/14/11 01:42 AM Re: Do I need a buyer's rep who's an ABR? [Re: timothy1]
Alabama Homes Offline
Member

Registered: 06/05/11
Posts: 146
Loc: Alabama
I don't have an ABR never seen the need to take a class and then pay extra every year.

You can get a ABR in 3 days, so an agent who has been in the business less then a 2 years can get one. I have 18 years of combined real estate knowledge, Mortgage and Real Estate I promise I have forgotten more then a 2 year old agent has ever learned, I'm just say-in there is a lot more to an agent then an ABR, I wouldn't put that much weight to it. Sorry if I made anyone upset
_________________________
For all your Alabama Real Estate needs contact Barry Lynn Miller or use links below:
Alabama Homes | Birmingham Real Estate| Alabama Mortgage Lender

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