Thursday, June 21, 2012

Baylor releases real estate study findings

Baylor University's Keller Center released its annual Residential Real Estate study and report this week. In 2012, the center examined a variety of topics including seller financing, social media, customer relationships. The report also contained an in-depth examination of sales performance through moral judgement.

Moral judgement by agents in guiding their clients during real estate transactions is an interesting and controversial topic. Every Realtor has fiduciary responsibilities inherent in their contracts with clients, but significant gray area exists in how far a Realtor can, and should, go in offering their own opinion on real estate decisions made by buyers.

Recently, a Claus Team buyer's agent worked with a client trying to decide between two homes. The Realtor gave her opinion of which home would be a better choice, but ultimately the buyer decided to offer on the other home. In this cases like these, the Claus Team relies on a customer-oriented sales policy. When a buyer partners with a Claus Team agent to purchase a home, our agents will ALWAYS give you their honest opinions about the homes you view. Sometimes, we are forced to tell our clients things they don't want to hear. Even though it isn't always easy, we at the Claus Team believe that buyers choose to work with us because they're looking for a deeper level of knowledge about the Schertz-Garden Ridge-New Braunfels real estate market. 

And once our buyers have all of the information available to them that we're able to give, we step back and allow them to make their own decisions, which we then objectively execute.

You can read the entire Keller Center Report online HERE, including their findings on moral judgement in sales transactions.  

If you would like more information about buyers agency through the Claus Team, visit us online at or call 210.566.6355.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

FBI May Step Into Schertz Real Estate Issue

Two neighborhoods in Schertz that have been plagued with issues may have gained the attention of the FBI. According to a report by News 4 WOAI, Assistant U.S. Attorney Bud Paulissen has brought complaints of homeowners in Fairhaven and Stablewood Farms alleging that their builders attempted to defraud federal agencies by facilitating government financing of homes on unstable lots.

In the case of Fairhaven, the builder, Pulte Homes, is accused of providing faulty foundations, and in Stablewood Farms homeowners have reported sink holes opening up in their yards and causing foundation damage. WOAI quotes the letter as claiming that "the land was know [sic] to the builder to be unsuitable at the time of the certifications." Paulissen in the letter also asks Special Agent Ozzie Alaniz to contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General to see if they will participate in the inquiry. 

In purchasing your home, one of the primary functions of a buyers' agent is to advise clients in choosing potential neighborhoods. Foundation issues occurring in multiple home sites in a specific neighborhood may or may not influence your decision to purchase, but a buyer's agent familiar with the market will be able to guide you in asking the right questions before you make a buying decision. 

If you would like more information about buying or selling a home in the greater Schertz area, contact the Claus Team today.