A p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h e R e a l E s t a t e B u y e r ’s A g e n t C o u n c i l , I n c .
A w h o l l y - o w n e d s u b s i d i a r y o f t h e N a t i o n a l A s s o c i a t i o n o f R E A LT O R S ®
Nov em ber 2012 · Volume XXI · Num ber 11
Consumer Connections
When consumers become home buyers, they typically put a lot more effort
into finding the property they want to purchase, instead of the agent they
want to assist them. In fact, 65 percent of buyers work with the first agent
they meet. That’s why it’s essential for buyer’s reps to constantly establish
memorable consumer connections—you want to be at the top of their
minds when consumers shift into purchasing mode.
Establishing relationships with future home buyers requires crossing
paths with them, then staying in touch. When it comes to staying in touch,
many agents struggle with crafting the right messages to communicate
with buyers. But REBAC is constantly developing content on various
buyer representation topics that can be used as-is or repackaged into
other formats (just ask REBAC for permission by sending an email to
[email protected]).
REBAC also provides numerous other benefits that can help you
establish new connections with consumers. Inside this issue of
Today’s Buyer’s Rep you’ll find 10 examples of ways you can connect
with consumers via REBAC member benefits. You’ll also learn how other
buyer’s reps are leveraging their REBAC benefits to meet and cultivate
relationships with consumers.
Read on for ideas on forming your own consumer connections.
How Do YOU Connect
with Buyers?
page 2
10 Ways to Connect with
Consumers via REBAC
page 3
Marc Gould
REBAC Executive Director
New Consumer One-Sheet:
FAQs about Closing
page 7
Member Voices:
How Do YOU Connect with Buyers?
Here Comes the Bride
Conversation Starters
Open House Openings
I’ve found that REBAC’s Home Buyer
Toolkits make great pass-outs at
wedding shows. So many of the brides
who attend these shows are dreaming
about buying their first home or are
considering a purchase in conjunction
with their wedding. Passing out this
booklet creates a great opportunity
to introduce myself and initiate
conversation. They hang onto the
booklet, which includes my contact
information, for when the time is right.
When I first start working with a buyer,
I prepare a “buyer book” with details
on the homes we view, information
on lenders, inspectors and the home
buying process. REBAC’s Home
Buyers Toolkit is a valuable inclusion
as another guide to how the process
works and leads to questions we can
discuss at length while visiting homes.
I enjoy connecting with buyers at
open houses. Most people visit them
either because they have a genuine
interest in seeing the home, or
they’re looking for decorating ideas,
or they’re simply curious. But most
come because they’re in the market
to buy a home.
Michelle Thorne, SRES®
RE/MAX Realty Specialists Ltd.
St. John’s, NL
I also find it valuable when I receive a
cold call from a first-time buyer who
is interested in finding a home but
just “testing the water.” It provides
something of value I can mail to them
and once again open a dialogue.
David J. Barber, ABR®, CRS, GRI,
SFR®, SRES® RE/MAX Unlimited Inc.
Aurora, CO
Buyer Seminars
Community Home Shows
I use REBAC’s Home Buyers Toolkit
as hand-outs at the yearly home show
in my community. It provides great
information, especially for first-time
buyers, and is large enough that
it won’t be quickly thrown away. If
someone picks one up from my table,
they are likely to be serious buyers
in the near future and will keep it or
pass it on to someone they know.
Barbie Harshman, ABR®, GRI, SRES®
RE/MAX Achievers
Hagerstown , MD
2 TBR • November 2012
I like to get acquainted and learn
more about their needs. I also give
them information on getting a loan
(REBAC’s one-sheet titled 5 Steps
to Obtaining a Mortgage) and some
ideas regarding the buying and
closing process (From Contract to
Closing). When potential buyers see
that I am there to help them through
the process with some good facts and
with sincere regard for their interests,
a connection is formed.
Mary Pat Elledge, ABR®, GRI, SFR®
Keller Williams Realty
Dallas, TX
I am one of the instructors in a seven-hour
HUD-approved class that certifies home buyers
for special government assistance. We explain
the importance of using an agent and one
with experience working with first-time buyers.
Even though my job is to explain the role of
any buyer’s agent, I also offer several different
REBAC one-sheets on the information table,
• Why Work with an ABR®?
• Customer or Client? What’s the Difference?
• From Contract to Closing
• 5 Reasons to Sign a Buyer Representation Agreement
Of course each of the fliers has my name printed on them for future reference.
Works for me.
L. Duke Tieman, Broker, ABR®, GRI
Bruce Taylor Inc. Realty
Safety Harbor, FL
9 10
WAYS to Connect with Consumers via REBAC
REBAC works hard to drive consumer traffic to its site,
which attracts over a million visitors each year, many of
whom use the online directory to search for a buyer’s rep.
And yet many members haven’t completed their profiles
in this online directory or added a link to their site! Don’t
miss out on this valuable member benefit which connects
consumers with agents. Plus, adding your site address
will help improve your ranking in search engines, and who
wouldn’t love some help with that?!
Example: Here’s one member who is taking full advantage
of his directory profile and linking opportunities.
If you’re able to capture a prospective
buyer’s email address, obviously you’d
like to maintain contact with them via
email. But you’ll establish a stronger
connection if you can send them
something of value, including helpful
and pertinent information. REBAC
has developed a large collection of
consumer-oriented content which you
can tap for such purposes (all archived
in the members-only section
Not sure what to write about on your blog? REBAC content can
stimulate ideas or help add filler to your own posts. Past issues of
Today’s Buyer’s Rep and REBAC’s consumer one-sheets include
many timely topics of interest to a wide variety of home buyers.
Just be careful about simply copying and pasting REBAC’s content
without adding some additional commentary of your own. Google’s
newest algorithm punishes sites that use non-original content,
which would hurt your efforts to rank high in search results.
Example: REBAC’s online library now
includes 20 different consumer onesheets. Pick the ones most appropriate
for your buyers and repurpose the
content for drip email campaigns. If
your contacts are primarily first-time
buyers, for example, you might want to
use Am I Ready to Buy a Home?; Why
Work with an ABR®?; Using Web Sites
to Shop for Homes, and others. You
could even tailor your messages further
by adding personal commentary or
details specific to your market.
Example: Our June 2012 issue of Today’s Buyer’s Rep provided an
update on REO transactions, including tips from foreclosure expert
(and REBAC Hall-of-Fame member) Ed Bugos, plus a consumer
one-sheet titled Traditional vs. REO Transactions. In your blog post
you could write a couple paragraphs about current REO activity in
your market, while relying on (and citing) a few excerpts from the
June issue to add REO-related advice for buyers.
Continued on page 4
TBR • November 2012
9 10
WAYS to Connect with Consumers via REBAC
Continued from page 3
Have you thought about
conducting home buyer seminars,
but don’t have the first clue how
to tackle a project like this? It’s
not as difficult as it sounds. And
REBAC is making it a lot easier by
offering members a brand NEW
step-by-step guide to conducting
home buyers seminars. Watch the
December issue of Today’s Buyer’s
Rep for more details on this entirely
updated and free member benefit.
Do you send market updates or
other commentary to consumers
in your area? If so, this is another
marketing effort that requires
consistent, quality content. Next
time you need to fill a page,
peruse past issues of Today’s
Buyer’s Rep or our consumer
one-sheets for material you can
repurpose in your newsletters or
other direct mail pieces.
REBAC makes it SO easy to
execute direct mail campaigns
by offering an entire collection of
professionally-designed brochures,
postcards and matching flyers, with
messages aligned with different
buyers’ interests and concerns. Our
online Print Shop makes it simple
to add your personal information.
You can even choose between
standard or jumbo size postcards—
and upload your mailing list if you’d
like to have them mailed directly
from the Print Shop.
Example: REBAC’s home buyer
seminar guide encourages agents
to focus on very specific topics
and audiences. If, for example,
you work with buyers who face
financial obstacles, you could host
a seminar titled How to Repair Your
Credit and Obtain a Mortgage, or
Rent-to-Own Real Estate...Right
for You? To help you prepare your
presentation material, consult the
February 2012 issue of Today’s
Buyer’s Rep which discussed these
topics in detail and even includes
material that can be used for
attendee handouts.
A p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h e R e a l E s t a t e B u y e r ’s A g e n t C o u n c i l , I n c .
A w h o l l y - o w n e d s u b s i d i a r y o f t h e N a t i o n a l A s s o c i a t i o n o f R E A LT O R S ®
Fe b ru ar y 2 0 1 2 · Vo l u me X X I · N u mb e r 2
Inching Closer to Home Ownership
7 Ways to Help Future Buyers
Example: When surveyed, buyers
rank negotiation skills among
their top priorities in selecting
an agent. REBAC’s consumer
one-sheet titled The Negotiating
Process outlines the major
steps, starting with research
and planning. You could include
this material in your newsletter
and expand on step one by
adding personal commentary
on local market conditions and
implications for negotiating
strategies—demonstrating to
buyers that you have both market
knowledge and negotiating skills.
You’ve found a home that’s right for you and it’s time to make an offer. What steps are
involved in negotiating a real estate purchase?
Depending on market conditions, you may have to act
quickly, before another buyer steps ahead of you. That
said, the best way to approach a home purchase is to arm
yourself with facts and to plan a negotiating strategy. Your
ABR® can assist you on both these points.
When your offer is presented, the seller’s options are to:
When deciding what to offer for a property, current market
prices are the most important factor. Your ABR® can
provide valuable assistance in this regard—counseling
you on market conditions, price ranges, comparable
properties, and appropriate negotiating strategies.
Real estate transactions require a written contract, which
conveys an initial written offer. A check for earnest money
usually accompanies an offer.
Your offer will specify price, plus all the terms and
conditions of the purchase you want to negotiate. Your
ABR® provides a valuable service by helping you use
standard forms that are kept up-to-date with changing
real estate laws, which vary from one state to another, and
by explaining the negotiating impact of including various
terms and conditions.
There are many ways buyer’s reps can help consumers move closer to home
ownership. You’ll still need to exercise good judgment about which consumers
are serious enough to warrant your time and effort. But in today’s market,
establishing expertise around one or more of these seven areas can be an
excellent way to position your marketing efforts and communicate value to
buyers currently sitting on the sidelines, but eager to jump into the market when
the time is right.
1. Home buyer assistance programs
Budget cuts may have affected some government and private assistance
programs, but plenty of options remain available, sometimes requiring
prospective home buyers to participate in home ownership classes or counseling
sessions. Buyer’s reps who seek out these programs and become certified to
provide consumer training are in an excellent position to work with “graduates”
on completing a home purchase.
Credit Rating Tips for
Home Buyers
page 4
It’s important to know about all applicable assistance programs, even if classes
or counseling isn’t required, so you can help any qualified buyer move closer to
home ownership. Identifying what’s offered in your market, however, requires
research at the national, state/provincial, and local level, including both public
and private assistance agencies.
Rent-to-Own Considerations
In the U.S., you can start your search at HUD’s Directory of Local Homebuying
Programs ( where many, but not all, assistance
programs are compiled on a state-by-state basis. In Canada, one-time national
tax credits are available to first-time home buyers. Numerous special assistance
programs are also offered on the provincial level.
New Consumer One-Sheet:
Is Rent-to-Own a
Good Option?
page 6
Continued on page 3
page 7
Accept. If, after reviewing your written offer, the sellers
sign their unconditional acceptance, then you will have a
binding contract as soon as you are notified of the offer’s
Reject. If the sellers reject your offer, you are released
of any obligation. The sellers cannot later change their
minds and expect to bind you to a contract based on
that offer.
Counteroffer. If the sellers like most aspects of your offer,
they may present a written counteroffer that includes
the changes the sellers want to make. You are then free
to accept their counteroffer, reject it, or make your own
counteroffer to their counteroffer. This process can repeat
itself as many times as it takes for you and the sellers to
agree on the sales contract. At this point, negotiations are
over and the terms of the sale are final.
It is important to note that the negotiating process always
moves forward; buyers cannot decide at a later time
to accept a counteroffer that they previously rejected.
If the property is still available, buyers must reinitiate
negotiations by submitting a new offer.
Make your next move
your best move.
An ABR will show you how.
I’m your ABR .
make the first move.
Buying a home is bigger than relocating, it’s
about being moved. An ABR® is prepared with
additional education and skills to best anticipate
your needs, and help step you through the
home buying process.
First Name Last Name
12345 Address
Any City, IL 00000
Phone 000-000-0000
Cell 000-000-0000
I’m your ABR®. Let’s make the first move.
First Name Last Name
[email protected]
12345 Address
Any City, IL 00000
Phone 000-000-0000
Cell 000-000-0000
[email protected]
1. Resear
and Plach
2. Sub
an Offe t
3. Th e
Can you take back an offer? In most cases the answer
is yes, right up until the moment your offer is accepted.
In some cases, you can withdraw an offer before you’ve
been notified of its acceptance.
home is
Buying a cating, it’s abou
than relooved.
being m
The Accredited Buyer’s Representative designation is awarded by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent
If you want to withdraw your offer after acceptance,
be sure to do so only after consulting a lawyer who is
experienced in real estate matters. You want to avoid
losing your earnest money deposit or a lawsuit for
damages the sellers incurred because of your actions.
The Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation is awarded by the Real Estate Buyer’s
Agent Council (REBAC), a subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
To learn more about REBAC and access various home buyer resources, please visit
4 TBR • November 2012
NEW! We’ve just added a new
theme—Make Your Next Move
Your BEST Move—which includes
a customizable postcard, flyer and
tri-fold or bi-fold brochures, plus an
online banner ad.
The Negotiating Process
Buyer representation has always involved acting as an advocate for consumers
who genuinely want to own a home, even if they aren’t quite ready to move
forward with a transaction. Time spent providing assistance and building good
will can pay big dividends down the road.
Example: Two images/messages are
offered for each of seven different
audiences, including: First-time
buyers, Happy family, Newlyweds,
Relocation, Move-up, Second-home,
Council (REBAC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS ®.
The Accredited Buyer’s Representative designation is awarded by the Real
Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of THE
With an AB
ur next m
make yo move.
Cementing solid working relationships with prospective buyers requires
conducting professional and mutually-beneficial buyer counseling
sessions (i.e., getting a signed buyer’s agreement). And yet many buyer’s
reps say this is the most challenging part of their job! We understand,
and have developed a number of resources designed to facilitate these
important conversations.
Example: To help explain the role and importance of buyer
representation, consider using one or more of these consumer onesheets: Customer or Client? What’s the Difference?; Five Reasons to Sign
a Buyer-Representation Agreement; or Regarding Compensation, Loyalty
and Expectations, and others. Of course the buyer counseling session
should also be a time to begin establishing buyers’ interests and priorities
in their home purchase. For these discussions, turn to What Do You Want
and Need in a Home?
REBAC makes it easy to tout your credentials on Facebook while also educating consumers about buyer representation.
Just download the plug-in via REBAC’s Facebook page ( and add it to your business profile.
Example: Want to see how nice it looks? Here are two examples:
Continued on page 6
TBR • November 2012
9 10
WAYS to Connect with Consumers via REBAC
Continued from page 5
Over 26,000 people are connected through REBAC’s
Facebook page, including many consumers. Joining
and sharing your own unique perspectives can help
you raise your visibility with consumers and other
buyer’s reps.
Many consumers are attracted to video content.
If you’d like to add videos to your site and haven’t
produced your own, you can take advantage of
another NEW REBAC member benefit—consumer
videos on a variety of home buying topics.
Example: Suppose REBAC posts an article about
improvements in national housing starts. You could
add a comment, “Here in (insert your town) two major
builders are planning new sub-divisions, largely in
response to recent price and sales increases.” Any
consumers reading your comment who live in or are
interested in your market may click on your name to
learn more about you.
Example: Our new video collection currently
includes four topics, presented by REBAC Hallof-Fame member Adorna Carroll, ABR®, ABRMSM,
CRB, GRI. Choose from:
• Why Consumers Should Hire an ABR®
• The Difference Between an ABR® vs.
Buyer’s Rep
• 5 Reasons to Sign a Buyer Representation
• The Difference Between Customers and Clients
New Consumer One-Sheet
Use this handout to discuss what happens at closing with your buyer-clients.
Print more copies and view other consumer one-sheets in the members area of
6 TBR • November 2012
Frequently-Asked-Questions About Closing
Closing (also called settlement) is the legal transfer of
property ownership. Usually, but not always, possession
is transferred at closing. Sometimes the seller may ask to
close the sale but retain possession, and pay rent to the
buyer until vacating the property at a later date.
Your ABR® can advise you on what you’ll need to bring
to closing, but typically buyers must provide:
• Payment of closing costs
• Proof of insurance
• Approval of inspections of the property
Face-to-face closings are common in most states,
although a few states do not require them. Your ABR®
can provide details for your situation. The participants
usually include:
• You, the buyer.
• The seller.
• The real estate agents representing the buyer(s)
and seller(s).
• Attorneys for the buyer(s) and seller(s).
• The closing agent, the title insurance representative,
and the escrow agent. Often one person fulfills all
three roles, coordinating and recording the exchange
of the documents and money, disbursing funds, and
handling various closing details.
You’ll sign many documents. Rely on your buyer’s
rep and your attorney to review these documents and
answer any questions you may have. Frequently-used
documents include:
Closings are usually held at a title company’s office.
Their job is to confirm the current legal owner of the
property, reveal any mortgages, liens, judgments
or unpaid taxes on the property, and identify any
restrictions that may affect the sale of the property.
Any problems need to be corrected before a buyer can
receive “good title.”
Closing statement (HUD-1) – details all funds changing
hands between the buyer and seller
Truth in Lending statement – a final summary of the
terms of your loan
Mortgage note – a legal obligation to repay the lender
according to stated terms
Deed of trust – the legal transfer of ownership; gives the
lender a claim against your home if you fail to meet the
terms of the mortgage note
Affidavits – any binding statements by the buyer
or seller
Riders – any contract amendments that impact
your rights
Any additional documents required in your state.
Once all documents are signed and all monies have
been paid, possession is transferred and you receive
the keys to your new home. Be sure to keep your
closing documents in a safe place for future reference.
Some of the expenses associated with your home
purchase are tax-deductible.
The Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation is awarded by the Real Estate Buyer’s
Agent Council (REBAC), a subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
To learn more about REBAC and access various home buyer resources, please visit
[email protected]
Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council, Inc.
430 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
November 2012 · Volume XXI · Number 11
Show Your Letters! And save 20%
November is REALTOR® Designation Awareness Month—that
time of the year to wear your pin with pride! Buyers expect
the highest level of expertise from their agent. What better
way to demonstrate your expertise than by earning your
designation, or displaying those credentials if you’ve already
worked hard to earn them? Besides, REALTORS® who earn a
professional designation or certification earn 73 percent more
than those who have none (2012 NAR Member Profile).
To celebrate Designation Awareness Month, NAR’s official
designations and certifications are on sale throughout
November. REALTOR® University’s School of Professional
Development & Continuing Education is offering a 20%
discount on all online designation and certification courses.
Continuing Education (CE) credit available in many states.
Visit REALTOR® University for details (go to LearningLibrary.
For more information on the ABR® designation requirements, or to order pins,
stickers, or other logo items, please visit the Members area of

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