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The Buyer's Representative Real Estate Co.

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Diversity Statement
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John opened THE BUYER'S REPRESENTATIVE REAL ESTATE LLC in 1995, determined to offer the public a superior way to buy real estate.  Currently with offices in Greenwich and Farmington, the firm has completed transactions for buyers in 90 CT towns. 

John was first licensed in Connecticut at age 17, working initially in his family's real estate company in Connecticut and subsequently another local firm.   The real estate business was an early friend to John, a fact punctuated when the sale of an apartment building over the summer of his junior year paid for his senior year at Richmond College in London.   After graduation, John worked for Sopher & Company Real Estate in New York City. 

In the mid 1980's John became a real estate appraiser, establishing the Greenwich CT office of Harrington Appraisal Associates.     The firm serviced lending clients throughout Greenwich and Fairfield County Connecticut.   John was the primary appraiser for residential loans made by the Putnam Trust Company. Working with the prominent Greenwich lender afforded him extensive experience with luxury homes and their valuation.    

John later became a commercial property appraiser joining the commercial appraisal firm of Heberger Associates.   There he became a senior appraiser, specializing in cash flow modeling, tax appeal,  litigated matters and properties of theoretical difficulty.    

Recognized projects during this period included Hartford's blue-domed Colt Firearms complex, United Nuclear in Montville (the building now redesigned as Mohegan Sun Casino), and the Hallmark Facility.    John's theoretical appraisal argument for the latter set the legal precedent by which special purpose properties are now valued for property tax assessment purposes.

John is a private pilot. Aviation is available to any of his clients should they want to view property or neighborhoods from above. He is a licensed real estate broker in New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Using aircraft, John can sometimes accept waterfront clients in all waterways of Long Island Sound.

 

 

Philosophy or loyalty:

"We are not salespeople in our firm.   We are counselors assisting buyers in solving their problems.    Salespeople are pressured to "sell" the first thing they can to a buyer whether or not it fits the buyer.     We never "sell" the buyer on anything.    We have removed the pressure agents in this industry have sometimes felt to get the buyer to buy any home just to sell one.    Our job is to help the buyer sift through all their opportunities and buy what suits them best, at a price that makes sense to them after learning market values well.  It is a system that works well for our clients and let's us sleep very soundly at night. "

"Our business plan is simple.    If our buyers are very happy with our work,  they will be willing and proud to send their friends to us.   Our existence depends upon this.   We don't have listings to attract buyers like listing firms do.     Our willingness to give up listing's fees so that we can do the best possible job for our buyers is the acid test of our commitment.   Our flow of business comes from new buyers who recognize something different being offered them or as the result of a referral from our former clients.    That is not an easy business plan for anyone to live up to.   We are very proud to be doing it.

"Any real estate firm can promise to do their best for a buyer.    Can you find one that does not?   What we have done, however, is  back up that promise with a commitment that only 1 in 1000 firms have been willing to make.   As an Exclusive Buyer's Agency Firm, we have structured the methodology of our entire business, and of our careers, to stand behind the needs of our buyer clients.    This is concrete test-by-behavior that our clients recognize.  It is not merely words nor is it expertly crafted marketing.   It is real and our clients come to know that.    It is what they wanted from an agent before they knew where to find it or even that it existed."

"In making this unusual commitment, our actions have defined us better than the best marketing slogans ever could.    We have backed up our promise to our clients in an absolute way.   Because of this, our buyer clients know they can count on us.   They know they will buy the best house the market can offer them." 

"That matters."    John Herman

 

History of Commitment 

John is a proud member of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer's Agents (NAEBA).  John has taught agency law for the continuing education program and, as a member of the Realtor Standards and Practices Committee, participates as an Ethics an Arbitration chairman.   

In 1999, John initiated the political struggle to defeat designated agency in CT, a new law which allows a single real estate office to promise both buyer and seller full advocacy of their opposing positions at the same time.   Previously, a real estate firm attempting to represent both sides was defined as a Dual  agent, and thereby required to assume a neutral position and disclose this to both parties.   Under the newly invented "Designated Agency", one real estate office can promise to negotiate the highest price and terms for the seller while simultaneously promising to negotiate the lowest price and terms for the buyer.   Previously there were other words used for this: "Impossible" & "Illegal".

While the CT effort to defeat this remarkable logic started within our firm, we requested assistance from others and a substantial  cooperative effort resulted.   We contacted consumer advocates from around the country and contacted the Ralph Nader group, which responded immediately by offering coordinating assistance and by directly contacting the CT senators.   Several senators ultimately expressed distress when they came to recognize that the proposed law offered nothing of value to the public.    As Nader put it, "No amount of amending of this entirely anti-consumer bill, which legalizes an inherent conflict of interest, can produce any benefit to consumers." The bill was sent back to committee to die....or so it seemed.     It appeared we had won. 

Unfortunately, in one of the less appealing acts of political maneuvering to occur in our state recently, the buried bill re-emerged under a different bill number in the last three hours before the close of the legislative year and was voice-voted through to the "consent calendar"  (a group of bills pre-slated to be accepted as a group).    

That is how designated agency became law in CT.  This  legislative action in the late hours overcame 300 years of legal precedent in US law country which had consistently defined this kind of conflict of interest as illegal.    

Our thinking is that any erosion of public protection under agency law should be guarded against.  The benefits of these protections are many, and the benefits of sound agency law are many and are felt by all agents from all companies and by the home buying and home selling public.   They protect the public and they promote the perception of integrity within our industry. 

The logic of this episode of law making is understandable only when studied in conjunction with related campaign contributions. 

Ironically, the law has been a positive influence on our own business.   Our pledge to refrain from dual agency or designated agency has assisted us in highlighting the commitment we make to our clients.     We had anticipated this possibility, but we welcome no gain to ourselves that comes at the cost of undermining the better principles of our industry.

 

THE BUYER'S REPRESETNATIVE LLC
Greenwich office (For all of Fairfield County): 523 East Putnam Ave
Farmington Office: (All of Connecticut): 772 Farmington Ave

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