ABOUT THE BOOK
From the Introduction to the Book
Who Can You Really Trust?
Given the deeply ingrained sales culture of the traditional real estate industry, who can you really trust?
When a real estate licensee claims to be a buyer agent, is the licensee actually your agent or merely telling you something you want to hear in order to get your confidence and business?
Homebuyers I’ve worked for want to buy the right home at the right price. They don’t want to find that, like the family on the cover of this book, they have been SOLD a home.
But when you look at traditional real estate industry ads, you see agents bragging about million dollar sales production, their latest hot listing for sale, and SOLD signs.
Then the same real estate salespeople turn around and tell you how one of them can be your buyer agent and save you lots of money. Really?
If you were selling a home, then such ads and the traditional real estate industry’s deeply ingrained sales culture might appeal to you.
So be forewarned—Massachusetts Homebuyers Beware! The cards are in fact stacked against you.
My goal in writing this book is to reshuffle the cards, help flip the odds back in your favor, provide you with information that will help you buy the right home at the right price, and provide you with knowledge so you can find the right agent who will help you do just that.
After more than forty-five years as a licensed real estate broker in three different states and the past twenty-five years representing homebuyers only, I have identified the dozen mistakes most often made by homebuyers.
I’ll describe the areas of concern and provide you with information you need to avoid mistakes other homebuyers have made so that you obtain the best outcome to your homebuying adventure.
One of the areas I’ll spend considerable time on (in Chapter Five • Find and Work with a True Loyal Agent™) is describing a type of real estate agent that you are probably not aware of.
I coined the name True Loyal Agent™ to distinguish such agents from traditional real estate industry licensee-salespersons.
The right agent is one who legally must be loyal to you and be your protector at all times and in every situation. Such an agent has chosen to provide a higher level of duties and service than the traditional real estate licensee can provide or wants to provide.
Such agents constitute less than one percent of all real estate licensees. If you want the best outcome to your homebuying adventure, you must understand who they are, why it is important to work with them, and how to find and make sure you are working with one of them.
Praise for Massachusetts Homebuyers Beware!
The cards are stacked against you
Buying a home is like buying a car, on steroids. It’s the biggest investment you are likely to make so the stakes are incredibly high. I knew that having an agent represent me was a good idea. What I hadn’t grasped was how important it is to find one who is not connected with the selling side in any way—through an agency that also represents sellers, as most do, at least in Mass. In researching buyer agents, I found Tom through the Mass. Assoc. of Buyer Agents (MABA). He sent a complimentary copy of his book. We ended up hiring him and he did a great job for us—so we saw his printed words turned to action. I’m a true believer that having someone represent you who has no conflict with the selling side is an absolute must. (And vice versa, by the way, if you are selling.)
In his book, Tom breaks down the process—what questions to ask in selecting an agent, what not to do at an open house, what the different forms mean, tips for negotiating, and making sure the final contract represents you fairly.
What’s the difference between an exclusive agent, a designated agency, a dual agency, and a single-party agent? Who knew you even needed to know that? But you do. And when is an exclusive agent not an exclusive agent? What happens to all that personal information you give the agent—how much you can spend, how high you are willing to go—if they also work for a broker who represents sellers?
You don’t have to live in Mass. to benefit from this knowledge. The basics of selecting an agent, negotiating a deal, and understanding the process are transferable everywhere. You need to know who is on your side and the real estate profession does not make that transparent. If you’ve been to an open house, did you notice the disclaimer on the table where you sign in? That the agent represents the seller and not you? That anything you say can and will be used against you in negotiating? You were probably focused on that pink-tiled bathroom and ugly couch in the living room.
Of course, having an exclusive agent on your side does not magically guarantee you’ll get the house you love for a bargain price. It just means you’ll get fair representation. And knowing that makes whatever price you pay easier to accept.
There are a lot of house-buying guides out there and they’ll cover a lot of the same ground, this is no exception. But this book lays out the differences in representation and the potential pitfalls of not understanding the process.
With Massachusetts Homebuyers Beware! Tome Wemett has provided a valuable, comprehensive, and very instructive guide for homebuyers. The book lays out in a step-by-step manner all the major issues buyers need to keep in mind during their home buying project. His experience and knowledge about today’s involved home buying process and multifaceted real estate transactions will save buyers money, time and be a major help for them in having the best possible, least anxiety producing experience.
—Georgia Taft Pye
Broker/Owner • Buyers Brokers of the South Shore, LLC
With Tom’s extensive real estate background and concentrated focus on buyer agency, Tom is uniquely qualified to alert home buyers to the pitfalls and costly mistakes in the home buying process. Buyers who follow this practical guide through the home buying maze will be among those who find the right property for the right price and walk away from the closing table with a home they bought instead of one they were sold.
Broker/Owner • Buyer’s Choice Realty
This book will give you a key vantage point when buying a home in Massachusetts. Tom is an effective buyer advocate who exclusively serves buyers in real estate transactions and for a great reason; his compassionate nature and deep understanding of the real estate industry are invaluable to the financial health of anyone purchasing a home.
—Jennifer Stowell, MPA
President/Instructor • Realty School 101, LLC
Our first mistake with home buying was using the “listing agent” for the house we wanted to buy. As first time buyers we were clueless! This book would have saved us the first few months of headaches and stress. I recommend Massachusetts Homebuyers Beware! to anyone looking to buy a home, first time or not.
Recent Massachusetts Homebuyer
In this book, Tom takes the mystery out of many of the real estate industry’s hidden secrets and educates homebuyers on exactly what they need to know to protect themselves and demand fair treatment when buying their next home.
President/Principal Broker • Greater Boston Home Team
New house hunters need this book! Want to save money and avoid costly pitfalls? Tom Wemett opens his notebooks for you. He’s been collecting ways for house hunters to save money as an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent. You need to know what buyer’s agents know and how you can benefit.
Broker/Owner • 4 Buyers Real Estate, LLC
It has been said and written so often that it has become a cliché; however, it is true that for most consumers, buying a home is their biggest financial transaction. In Massachusetts Homebuyers Beware! Tom Wemett uses his forty-five years of real estate experience to educate Massachusetts homebuyers and reduce their financial risk by explaining twelve common homebuying errors.
Co-founder • Buyers Brokers Only, LLC
I can’t thank my friend and longtime colleague Tom Wemett enough for all his hard work producing the wonderful publication which is of such great benefit to consumers and those in our industry who are committed to providing client level service to buyers.
Broker-Owner • Buyer Brokers of Cape Cod®, Churchill Associates, Inc.
Anyone with sufficient money can buy a home. That’s not the problem. The problem is ending up with a home that meets your needs, for which you don’t overpay, and that doesn’t throw up nasty surprises after you move in. With care and expertise, Massachusetts Homebuyers Beware! by Tom Wemett guides you past these and all the common pitfalls buyers tumble into.
The fact is, every homebuyer’s greatest need is for a trustworthy ally, someone who will provide advice and safe passage through the most costly investment most of us will ever make. Neither the listing agent nor the friendly selling agent can give you this — they are obligated to serve only the seller’s best interests. Consequently, every day in every town and city, homebuyers make costly mistakes. For example, are you clear about which agent, if any, is on your side and which isn’t? The answer surprises even “experienced” buyers.
Forget what some will tell you, homebuying is not a simple task! This book works for you! As a consumer advocate I give it my full endorsement.
—Joseph Éamon Cummins
Author of Not One Dollar More!
How to Save $3,000 to $30,000 Buying Your Next Home
purchase third edition at www.amazon.com
I highly recommend all homebuyers read Tom’s book, Massachusetts Homebuyers Beware! before they start the homebuying process. This book clearly lays out the steps you need to take in order to ensure you are informed, prepared, and protected as a buyer. There are many pitfalls for the unwary buyer, but if buyers follow Tom’s wisdom as laid out in this book, they should be turning the key to their new home in no time!
—Eric Asquith, Esq.
Principal Broker • Monteleo Realty
An important read for the new or experienced prospective homebuyer. Avoiding mistakes is another way of making the right decisions in an increasingly complex residential real estate environment.
—Ken Riaf, Esq.
Exclusive Buyer’s Agent • Buyer’s Choice Realty
Anyone considering the purchase of real estate in Massachusetts should immediately buy a copy of Massachusetts Homebuyers Beware! Tom’s true compassion for helping homebuyers is evident in this practical guide on the homebuying process that takes readers from developing a vision to a worry-free closing. The few hours spent to read this short book will reap huge rewards for homebuyers seeking a stress-free and informed avenue for buying real estate.
CEO • Skyfor, Inc.
Massachusetts Homebuyers Beware! is a very well written book for homebuyers. As one extremely well versed in real estate and mortgage loan origination, I found it a pleasure to see something written understandable to any reader. Topics truthfully covered will provide a good education for homebuyers looking for what to watch out for.
Branch Manager • Academy Mortgage Corporation