6th November 2010

Best places for the rich and single – Sandy Springs, GA!?

I found this interesting too – I did not know Sandy Springs was the singles Mecca it is – but with the Northside hospital complex nearby and all the young interns that attracts, it makes sense! For the single gentlemen, I do know that nearby Vinings has a high population of single women homeowners – 3-4 ladies for every man!

Anyway, Money Magazine rated Sandy Springs, GA #4 out of 25 affluent US cites where singles are abundant!

Money Magazines Description of Sandy Springs:

Charming Southern gentlemen and sweet Georgia peaches in this Atlanta suburb are making the rounds at one of three major hospitals in the area or running operations at a Fortune 500 company like United Parcel Service or Newell Rubbermaid. Thanks to the natural springs the city is named for and the Chattahoochee River that flows through it, Sandy Springs offers a tranquil and peaceful setting for romance to blossom. After taking a stroll along the riverbank, head to Buckhead, Atlanta’s vibrant uptown district, for a night on the town. –H.Y.

I agree – young doctors and interns will find Sandy Springs very convenient to the major hospital complexes at Northside, St Josephs, and Emory!

A few stats:

Population: 82,674

Single: 35.6% – (that’s a high ratio of singles)

Median family income: $115,171 (That ranks in the top 25 of all 100 Best Places Cites)

Median Home Price: $380,000

Whether you’re a Grey’s Anatomy type in the medical field, rich, middle income, single or married, I can help you get a superb deal on prime Sandy Springs, GA real estate – from $200,000 to $10,000,000 – just reach out to me at 678-585-9691!

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6th November 2010

Top 100 Places to Live – Roswell, GA at #76!

Well it’s nice to have my town, Roswell, GA win a spot (#76) in Money Magazines 2010 “Top 100 Small Cities in America” the only Georgia city to rank in the top 100 Best Places to Live! As a Roswell resident for the past 4 years I can tell you it is an excellent place to live and my family loves it.

As a licensed GA real estate broker and 30 year resident of metro Atlanta, I can tell you there are other excellent places to live in North Atlanta as well, such as Marietta, East Cobb (the section of Roswell I live in) Alpharetta, Milton, Crabapple, and Johns Creek – these should have been on the list.

Money magazines description of Roswell:

Home to several plantation houses from the Civil War era, historically rich Roswell is committed to a family-friendly environment. It has some of the best public schools in the state, the lowest crime rate in the region, and a myriad of outdoor activities, making it easy to understand why families flock to this affluent Atlanta suburb. Residents love their many public events, including the monthly Alive after Five summer festival, with plenty of food, shopping, and live music. –J.S.

All true and here are a few stats to go along:

Median Family Income- $113,750 (ranked 24th highest income of the100 cities)

Median Home Price – $246,700 (the average of the 100 was $239,300)

Now as you know, Oprah Winfrey can afford to live anywhere on the planet, and I read a quote in a magazine article where she said Roswell, GA was one of the best places to live a few years ago – though I can’t recall which magazine, I agree with Oprah!

Oprah or anyone else wanting a fantastic deal on prime Roswell real estate should call me immediately at 678-585-9691!

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27th June 2010

Buyer Broker Agreements. Do you use them?


As a member of some professional real estate groups on Linked In, I recently answered the following agents post and thought it might be of interest to my readers. About 50 other agents and brokers responded as well and made the obvious point that agents protect themselves when they insist on a Buyer Brokerage Agreement. A few agents said they had no problem “working” with buyers without the agreement – that no buyer had stiffed them. What no one discussed was the legal implications for the agent when they dont excercise thier duty to fully disclose agency choices to buyers so they understand the implications of thier choices, the limitations and risks to the agent and buyer when the agent agrees to work without a Brokerage Agreement, and all the negative implications for the buyer when no Brokerage Agreement is used – that’s why I wanted to respond with an answer that more fully incompassed the ramifications of all aspects of the subject:

Buyer Broker Agreements. Do you use them?

Jarred – I typically only work with someone if they will sign a buyer broker. It just adds protection. Yet I have a new buyer who sought me out from an open house I had, whose wife is a former Realtor from another state and he’s just adamant about not signing one because they fear it ‘locks them into me.’ I may veer away from them because of this. If they’re already telling me they don’t want to be locked into ONE Realtor already this may be a red flag for me that I’ll end up getting left in the cold. Thoughts?

Robert Whitfield • I will only work with a buyer while under a written Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement – and here is why:

1. You do protect yourself – against a buyer using another agent after you have done all the work – or thinking they can somehow do better than you and contacting the seller directly.

Note: I have a very unique and advantageous Buyer Representation Program that no other agent here in Atlanta can match, so I run very little risk of a buyer leaving me for another agent. For me, the next point is really the driving reason to ONLY work with buyers under a written Brokerage Agreement.

2. You can fully serve and protect the buyer – ONLY when they become your client. This is the one that buyers who don’t want to be “locked in” to an agent don’t get (and many agents completely forget) – it’s all about agency relationships. In the absence of a Buyer Brokerage Agreement, you as the agent can not legally give the buyer the benefits of your expertise and knowledge, or protect them from mistakes, etc, because those services are reserved for “clients”. A buyer who is merely “working” with an agent without a Buyer Brokerage agreement is a customer – and the agent in that case is supposed to provide only ministerial acts – acts that require no judgment, expertise, or industry knowledge – to do otherwise can set the agent up for a lawsuit by the buyer and various other parties (the seller) if something goes wrong. It is in the buyer’s best interests to be represented as a client and never left to fend for themselves as a customer. Agents who work with buyers without representing them risk becoming an “undisclosed dual agent” without realizing it – in most states that can get them into serious trouble with the real estate commission.

While buyers may not know anything about agency, or how to protect themselves in a transaction, or what duties agents owe them when they are a client versus a customer – we as agents and brokers are responsible for fully informing them about agency and their choices of service levels (before we ever work with them) so they know the ramifications of their choice of being a client versus merely a customer.

In the rare cases where I run into buyers who are leery of Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreements (usually first-time buyers or buyers who had a horrible agent in the past), I make sure they fully understand the above – I have only had one buyer in ten years not sign a Buyer Brokerage Agreement when they fully understood that it was in their best interest to do so. (Some people need to be saved from themselves!)

I have offered a 1-2 day Brokerage Agreement to a few buyers which is a “try it before you buy it” approach that works well. It allows you to protect yourself, and provide top level representation to your client, and they see how you work and then are comfortable signing a longer term agreement.

I also explain to buyers who seem nervous about “committing” to an agent – “any agent who is willing to work with you without a Brokerage Agreement is not only agreeing to do less than a great job for you, but refusing to protect ‘their own commission and livelihood’, so what in the world makes you think such an agent will protect YOUR interests and money in a transaction if they won’t even protect their own interests?”

I refused to help the buyer who refused to sign my agreement, explaining that it would be a disservice to him. His wife was furious with him and apologized to me, but I will never make an exception to this practice. Its just good business – I am supposed to be the expert – I don’t let my prospects or clients dictate how I run my business.

What do you think?

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