A History Of Better Advocacy
The Home Buyers, Inc was borne out of personal frustration.
To buy his first home, Tim Walters – who would eventually found The Home Buyers, Inc. – enlisted the help of someone close to him. Despite that personal relationship, Walters’ first real estate purchase was not a success.
Changing “Business as Usual”
Walters learned after the purchase that he had paid much more than market value. On top of that, severe mechanical problems turned the home into a considerable money pit. The final insult: Getting stuck with a water bill for thousands of dollars.
The question that burned for Walters: How could someone he trusted guide him through such a disastrous transaction?
From that experience came a realization. While he felt betrayed – and despite the personal relationship – it was just business; the system was rigged to favor the seller. If shorting the home buyer is “just business,” Walters reasoned, it was time to change the business.
Based on that business-changing principle, The Home Buyers, Inc. was founded in 1992 as one of the nation’s first Realtors® to offer the exclusive buyer agency advantage.
Putting the Home Buyer First
From the very beginning, The Home Buyers, Inc. set itself apart from all the other Realtors®, distinct among the three types of agents.
Playing on the Same Team
Home buyers gravitated The Home Buyers, Inc., confident that they could openly discuss the property in front of an exclusive buyer agent. With traditional real estate agents, buyers often huddle away from the agents. To Walters, this was like having a football team huddle up to keep secrets from the other team. But that didn’t make sense, since a real estate agent was supposed to be on the same team. Even so, it didn’t always feel like that to many home buyers. Instead of trusted team members, Realtors® seemed like a necessary evil, the only way to view a property.
By putting the home buyer first, The Home Buyers, Inc. was playing on the same team as the buyer. It simply had nothing to gain by pushing any particular property.
Challenging Conventional Wisdom
Despite the success of the buyer only concept, The Home Buyers, Inc. faced challenges. One way the system favors the seller results from the fact that most Realtors® also list homes for sale. To ensure that they’re putting the home buyer first, exclusive buyer agents must never list homes for sale.
This was counter to how real estate agents were trained. The lesson taught in real estate classes everywhere is “list or die.” In other words, the conventional wisdom has always been that you will not make it in the real estate business unless you list homes; there’s no money in serving the home buyer.
Although it had to reeducate its agents, The Home Buyers, Inc. was able to turn around the conventional wisdom. Revenue may be less when a Realtor® represents only one side in the negotiation, but the demand for fair advocacy is so high that exclusive buyer agents find it easier to draw clients. After the sale, high satisfaction resulted in positive word-of-mouth and repeat business.
Three years after forming, The Home Buyers, Inc. concept received more validation when NAEBA (the National Association Exclusive Buyer Agents) was founded in 1995. Exclusive buyer agency, as pioneered by The Home Buyers, Inc. was catching on.
Growing Company Meets Growing Demand
The Home Buyers, Inc. continues to grow. Having started in a spare room in Walters’ home, it later purchased an office building to house its operations.
Despite competition with much larger real estate companies, The Home Buyers, Inc. holds firm to its important niche. The agency continues to give home buyers a way to beware dual agency.
And, that focus on the rights of the buyer continues to encourage glowing testimonials, word-of-mouth referrals and repeat business.