October 14, 2010

A brief primer on designated and buyer agency…

Our company practices, as many do, “designated agency”… if you feel you need representation at all, which of course is optional based on your comfort level in the home buying process, then if you approach the listing agent directly AND want buyer representation, then you will be eventually referred to a different in house agent to take up your side of the transaction, the purchasing side.  You still CAN insist on using the listing agent as your buyers agent too, that would be dual agency if you indeed entered into a written contract with the listing agent to represent also your buying side.  Dangerous, risky.  Designated agency serves to create a better arm’s length transaction which guarantees that your interest will be protected during the real estate transaction. Here is an example…for instance, you may simply use your own knowledge base as a guide in the purchase or you may hire a lawyer to look over your offer before submitting it and in both of these ways you can still bring the offer through the listing agent or any other agent for that matter WITHOUT representation from any buyer’s agent. 
Alternatively and as part of this example, if you should choose representation in the form of a buyer’s agent from our (the listing agent’s) company, then you would be referred to a different in house agent appointed by our principal broker and that agent and the listing agent would work out the commission split in house along with whatever other commission may have been negotiated between that buyer agent and yourself as the client.  We as a company have largely moved away from the days of dual agency where the listing or other in-house agent represents both interests in the same transaction (difficult, if not impossible to do and remain 100% evenhanded, possibility of unintended water cooler conversations being too loud and falling to competing ears etc.- these are two reasons why our company does not practice dual agency anymore if we can help it).  Dual agency is the number one cause of lawsuits in RE transactions in NH (and likely nationwide) because it is very hard to split one’s loyalties evenhandedly try as one might. 
So, it gets down to whether you feel you need representation from an agent or whether you are simply going to march on your own.  If you march on your own and choose to use the listing agent, then they can assist in ministerial ways like dutifully typing what you tell them to on the offer, supplying you the proper forms at the right time and as well  owing you you duties at the customer level, that while falling short of a client relationship, still guarantee you that you will be treated fairly and honestly.  If you choose to use the listing agent as your buyer’s agent too, because you have sat down with that agent and hammered out a buyer agency contract, then that agent, now representing BOTH the buyer and the seller must fully disclose this arrangment to both you as the buyer and also to the seller.  No showings can occur without written consent that both the buyer and the seller are aware of the relationships.  That consent must come BEFORE the showing, not after it.


A buyer’s agent represents a consumer who is purchasing property in a real estate transaction.  This agent owes full fiduciary responsibilities, duties and loyalty to the buyer.   The buyer’s representative works for the buyer and has the buyer’s best interests in mind throughout the entire real estate transaction process.

The word “agent” in the legal sense means “fiduciary.” A fiduciary’s primary duty is to put the interest of his/her client first. (Doctors, lawyers and accountants are examples of fiduciaries.) The courts have ruled that when real estate licensees act on behalf of others and represent them, they are accountable as fiduciaries. Obviously, buyer’s need protection and representation as well as sellers. That is why the traditional real estate setup no longer makes sense.

The buyer’s representative is compensated through a negotiated fee, or in some states the commission is split between the buyer’s and seller’s representatives based on the selling price of the real estate property.  It is important for the consumer to discuss compensation in the initial interview.  In many cases, it is recommended that the consumer and buyer representative agree to the terms of compensation prior to viewing real estate properties and sign a written agreement based on these terms.  This agreement should spell out the responsibilities of both parties throughout the real estate transaction.  It is important to note that in some states, legislation has been enacted to protect the client to the point that absent a written agreement the agent represents the buyer throughout the real estate transaction.  Consult your local REALTOR® for complete details when you first start the search for purchasing any real estate property.

Why use a Real Estate Buyer’s Representative?
As a consumer, how often do you buy real estate property? Once, twice, three times in your lifetime? Purchasing real estate is a complex and major transaction with many details to be handled. In the majority of cases the seller will be represented. Wouldn’t you want to have complete and fair representation in the real estate transaction?

The Benefits of Using a Buyer’s Representative
Using a Fiduciary representative offers the consumer many benefits.

  • Evaluate the specific needs and wants of the client and locate properties that fit those specifications.
  • Assist the client in determining the amount that they can afford (pre-qualify) and show properties in that price range and locale the consumer has determined.
  • Assist in viewing properties and either accompany the client on the showings or preview the properties on behalf of the client to insure that the identified specifications are met.
  • Research the selected properties to identify any problems or issues to help the consumer in making an informed decision prior to making an appropriate offer on the property.
  • Advise the client on structuring an appropriate offer to purchase the selected property.
  • Present the offer on the clients behalf.
  • Negotiate on behalf of the client to help obtain the identified property. Keep in mind that the buyer representative will be doing so with their clients best interests in mind.
  • Review and explain all legal documents to their client.
  • Recommendations and assistance in securing appropriate financing for the selected property.
  • Provide a list of potential qualified vendors e.g. movers, attorneys, carpenters if these services are needed by the consumer.

Most importantly, the consumer would know that they are fully represented throughout the real estate transaction.

Agency Disclosure Form
All agents are required by law to present you with a disclosure form explaining your rights as a consumer and the agency’s representation policy. Below are links to the state mandated forms for MA and NH as they exist at time of this initial


Massachusetts – Mandatory Consumer Relationship Disclosure
New Hampshire – Brokerage Relationship Disclosure


Francestown NH REAL ESTATE MARKET SOLDS 3-15-2009 to 7-15-2010

July 15, 2010

Sales since 3-15-2009 to 7-15-2010 There are currently 34 ACTIVE or CONTINGENT properties available in Francestown NH.  YTD 2010 there have only been 8 sales. The AVERAGE Days on Market figure for these SOLD properties was 163.25 days.  OUCH!  Pricing is everything if the goal is to sell.  It is not a guarantee however.  Buyers are in short supply and over regulation by lenders does not help the equation.  Strong marketing of your property is a must to even be in the game.

Sel MLS# Status St. No. Street Town List Price MLS List Date Orig
List $
Taxes Pric Close
$/Sqft SqFt
Rooms Lot
  2824370 Closed 639 Old County Road South Francestown $79,000 03/19/2010 $79,000 1950 $4,535 $73,000 04/02/2010 $72 1,008 5 9.90 7
  2794976 Closed 100 Campbell Hill Road Francestown $124,931 08/19/2009 $169,500 1984 $3,700 $90,000 01/29/2010 $40 2,256 7 4.43 163
  2818162 Closed 298 Birdsall Road Francestown $139,900 02/10/2010 $129,900 1945 $2,955 $123,000 06/30/2010 $177 693 3 6.50 140
  2785147 Closed 731 Bennington Rd. Rte 47 Francestown $149,900 06/22/2009 $170,000 1955 $4,900 $140,000 02/09/2010 $72 1,934 8 1.20 232
  2787486 Closed 80 Scobie Road Francestown $171,500 07/05/2009 $171,500 1999 $5,560 $180,000 08/20/2009 $92 1,947 7 3.40 12
  2754206 Closed 57 Main Street Francestown $225,000 12/04/2008 $225,000 1787 $8,295 $165,000 05/29/2009 $38 4,400 10 0.50 176
  2738135 Closed 304 Oak Hill Road Francestown $229,000 08/13/2008 $279,000 1987 $5,326 $222,500 11/16/2009 $116 1,911 6 5.43 431
  2773681 Closed 1691 Second NH Turnpike Francestown $230,000 04/28/2009 $230,000 1986 $5,259 $223,500 06/25/2009 $95 2,361 9 4.70 58
  2772593 Closed 93 Perley Rd Francestown $238,000 04/21/2009 $238,000 1984 $5,351 $231,500 06/30/2009 $157 1,470 6 6.67 29
  2749523 Closed 379 New Boston Road Francestown $247,500 10/24/2008 $260,000 1998 $5,688 $238,000 04/28/2009 $100 2,390 10 3.64 142
  2737389 Closed 117 Dodge Hill Road Francestown $289,000 08/07/2008 $329,000 1965 $3,680 $260,000 04/03/2009 $131 1,990 6 5.09 237
  2748930 Closed 31 Old County Rd North Francestown $299,900 10/21/2008 $299,900 1966 $5,176 $290,000 04/15/2009 $92 3,155 11 3.50 176
  2780948 Closed 617 Poor Farm Road Francestown $349,000 06/02/2009 $439,900 1784 $7,761 $342,500 03/09/2010 $126 2,715 9 30.00 280
  2826397 Closed 83 Ferson Road Francestown $349,900 03/29/2010 $349,900 2002 $7,909 $342,000 06/18/2010 $109 3,148 8 7.50 81
  2827582 Closed 295 Perley Road Francestown $387,500 04/05/2010 $387,500 1993 $8,222 $355,000 06/15/2010 $78 4,576 11 7.00 36
  2770571 Closed 732 Bible Hill Road Francestown $480,000 04/10/2009 $480,000 1792 $8,402 $420,000 03/19/2010 $144 2,912 10 22.40 343
  2755247 Closed 214 PERLEY ROAD Francestown $629,000 12/20/2008 $629,000 2004 $13,401 $600,000 05/05/2009 $139 4,314 11 10.00 136


Displaying matches 1 through 17 of 17


July 1, 2010


Just closed on an FHA 203K streamline loan.  I had the listing side.  This requires a lot of patience.  First,

 it helps to make sure thast there is a 100% good match between buyer and seller.  If the seller is expecting the buyer to get through the red tape and extra steps now required for this type of loan in a hurry, well better that they do not go this way.  In our case we had a converted cottage that was functioning as a year round home.  At inspection the septic was noted to be in failed.  So an older septic design from 10 years prior was reworked and submitted and bounced back a couple of times from the State of NH until it got acceptance.  In the meantime the buyers were getting an FHA appriaser certifed in 203K appraisals to give recommendations as to what the house needed to be FHA compliant, that is, to bring the house into better condition to make it worthy of a loan (i.e. to cover the lender’s fanny).  Items were: 01)New roof- because the roof did not clearly have 2 or more years in it from the advisor’s perspective even though the roof had never leaked and the shingles wre flat (not upturned).  02) New septic – a dug well which had been servicing the property with nice clean fresh water for decades was deemed in adequate- FHA has a probem with dug wells apparently 03) new septic- OK we agree with that 04) pea stone and dig out dirt under the house (which was on piers) to creat an 18 inch clearance all around and where not possible then to lay pea stone over a moisture barrier.  All of this came to just over $30,000 and second estimates had to be obtained as bids.  Then approvals of every nature imaginable had to be obtained.  A 1991 credit report item came up for a lien on the buyer for a bill that had already been paid.  Amazingly, the buyer retained a copy of the check.  The State which the credit report pointed to had nothing in their database.  On and on it went, 3 postponements of the closing…the point is that the marriage of buyer and seller is CRITICAL for success.  The ability of underwriting departments to go over and over the same items, to ask for documents to be resubmitted three times…  I am left exhausted.  But I have a very satisfied client that will give me referrals for the pain I endured.  My belief is that the pendulum has swung too far in lending regulation.  I am not suggesting back to the old days, but I am thinking that some of the regulations are absurd and not particularly helpful.

NH Real Estate stats Conval towns in Monadnock Region

June 22, 2010

Sunshine and gardens in a village setting



If you are searching for homes in the Monadnock Region of NH near Peterborough, then you need to look at this table to see that you have many choices.  Business is improving and interest rates are as low as they have ever been.  NOW is a good time to buy:

Slight progress for the Real Estate market in the towns of the Conval District as of June 20th, 2010

    Listed as of June 20 Listed YTD    Sold YTD
Antrim   40 16 19
Bennington 12 7 8
Dublin   12 2 6
Francestown 29 10 7
Greenfield 27 15 3
Hancock   21 11 7
Peterborough 79 27 19
Sharon   6 2 1
Temple   15 7 2