About Allen Brasfield
For the past twenty five years or so home buyers have had two kinds of agents they could use to buy a home, buyers agents or sellers agents. The problem was that very few home buyers knew that buyers agents were available. Traditional real estate agents were taught to make the best of this confusion and as a result most home buyers thought the agent showing them homes represented them. In fact, the agents were legally obligated to represent the sellers unless there was a written agreement with the home buyer to represent them.
This confusion about the roles of the real estate agents is one of the major reasons the public has such a low opinion of the real estate industry. The Federal Trade Commission did a study of the real estate brokerage industry in 1983 and determined that the vast majority of home buyers thought that the real estate agent showing them homes was working in their best interest. The vast majority was wrong! The FTC then started putting pressure on the states to have real estate agents disclose, in writing to consumers, whom they represent.
In the early nineties, most states adopted agency disclosure laws requiring real estate agents to finally tell consumers the truth about who they were working for. Tennessee passed it's law in 1996. The National Association of Realtors had long been against buyer representation in the market place, but with the requirement that real estate agents now tell consumers the truth, the handwriting was on the wall. Few buyers would knowingly want to work with agents that are working for the seller's best interests.
The NAR (National Association of Realtors) did a reversal and endorsed buyer agency as a alternative in 1993. In 1994 Michigan's agency disclosure law prompted the general manager of the area's largest real estate company to say "It's the single most important change in real estate law in all my 19 years in real estate." It is a sad statement about the real estate industry that a law requiring agents to tell the truth can by itself be a tremendous change.