Since its humble beginnings in the mid 1800’s Alpharetta has emerged as a one of the most vibrant, thriving and affluent communities in the greater Atlanta area. Located approximately 20 miles north of the city of Atlanta, and only 40 miles from the N... Read More

Total Listings 554 Average Price $669,172
Learn More About ALPHARETTA Real Estate GO


Many people incorrectly assume that real estate agents are all basically alike and that having a real estate license is the sole qualification necessary to represent the interests of a buyer or seller. This misunderstanding has resulted in incorrect advice, unmet expectations, financial misfortunes, and broken friendships. There is a better way

In Georgia, anyone who successfully attends an approved 75-hour real estate course and makes a minimum grade of 75 on the state exam may secure a real estate salesperson license. If they remain in the business for three years, take another 75-hour course, and complete additional continuing education, they may take the brokers exam. This results in a total of 175 to 200 hours of classroom training for brokers. But 80% of all new real estate sales licensees don’t make it to the third year. Additionally, with the turmoil of the real estate industry over the last several years, many agents have left the industry in search of other professions, leaving behind the most experienced, qualified and tenacious agents and brokers.

Few people realize that in the state of Georgia, the relationship between a broker, their licensed salespeople, and the clients they represent are modeled after the same laws of an agency that apply to attorneys and accountants. This means that you should select your real estate professional in much the same way you would an attorney or accountant. If you were facing a life-defining legal issue or a financially-defining tax issue, would you want someone with little or no experience representing you or someone with a proven track record? The answer is obvious: You would want the most qualified, experienced person you could afford. By securing the most qualified person, you will increase the likelihood of achieving your desired outcome. In fact, experienced real estate professionals pay for themselves. 



There are several professions that require advocacy.  Among them are Attorneys, CPA’s, and Real Estate Agents.  As you consider these; Attorneys have to go through law school before they can become an advocate.  CPA’s generally spend some time in public accounting to learn how to become an advocate.  Real Estate Agents are considered advocates after they have concluded a 75-hour real estate class.

One Who Appears on Behalf Another, and Who is Called to Provide Support

In the case of Real Estate the only way that one can appear on behalf of another, is to be a client.  This is not much different than Attorneys and CPA’s.  In order to be a client, one has to sign a  Buyer Brokerage Engagement; or as a Seller sign a formal Listing Agreement.  There are numerous other ways that a Real Estate Agent can represent a Seller or Buyer, but to have one appear on a Sellers or Buyers behalf, providing support; one has to have signed as a client.  All the other options are not intended to be an advocate.

To appear on behalf of another, one should have a multitude of experiences.  In the absence of long and deep experiences; the ability to represent a client is very limited.  Mistakes are made, contract terms are overlooked, and strategies are often missed.

One Who Pleads the Case of Another

There are a number of categories that a Real Estate Agent should be able to plead the case of another.  In order to do so as mentioned earlier one should have deep experiences and should have strategies that will benefit their client.

Knowledge is Important

  • We always research the agent we will be working with, and always call other agents that have done deals with them.  This helps us to determine how our deal will progress.

  • Understanding the property is also a key consideration.  Where it is located, the era that it was built in, this will assist in understanding how it was constructed. 

  • Also being able to identify some of the things that will come upon an inspection will assist the Seller or the Buyer.  This will allow Sellers to address these issues, and it will provide a Buyer with insight into what will come up on the inspection.

Understanding Our Contracts

  • This is a critical area.  I can’t begin to share the number of agents that are socially acceptable but do not pay attention to the details of the contract. This will always allow for us to correct the contract issues which will benefit our client.

  • Knowing how to write inspection issues in a contract that clearly defines what is to be done.  Many agents just say do everything in the inspection report.  With no detail on how things are to be done.

  • This provides us an opportunity to revise the amendment and to construct with that which will benefit our client.

Understating the Value of the Home

  • This is critical.  Whether one is representing a Buyer or a Seller; the value of the home is very important.  We recently represented a Buyer in the Johns Creek area.  The home was listed for $350,000; we offered $360,000 for the home.  My Market Analysis which you can view suggested that the value range was $360,000 to $364,000.  Most agents just do a push button CMA.  In the end, the home appraised for $362,500.

Strategies That Reflect Advocacy for Your Client

  • In order to have strategies that work for your client, we must listen to understand and not listen to respond.  Once the client’s goals are clear then we should be able to share various options that will allow them to accomplish their goals.

  • In order to accomplish this, it will require a deep comprehensive understanding of real estate, a history of applying strategies to our clients. 


As a result of the Financial Crisis, there have been many changes made to how appraisals are performed.  The reality is that lenders usually do not have the ability to order an appraisal directly from the appraiser.  They are now required to contact an Appraisal Management Company to order an appraisal. 

The Process

Once the lender has ordered the appraisal for the AMC, the AMC assigns the appraisal to an appraiser.  Once an appraiser is confirmed, the appraiser will reach out to the listing or selling agent.  I always make sure that I am the contact for the appraiser; whether representing the Buyer or the Seller.  Once the appraiser reaches out to confirm an appointment; I always meet the appraiser at the home.  Once the appraisal is complete it goes back to the AMC for review, and then it will be sent to the lender.

Accepted Protocol

I can’t tell how many times I have received calls from other agents asking how our listings appraised.  The agent is the only party that has the right to engage the appraiser.  We received a call last week from an agent and wanted to know how our home appraised for the contract price.  We asked the agent if she had identified comps to provide the appraiser, and she said she did not have any.  Her listing was listed at $249,000 and the appraisal came in at $245,000.  She had no idea what to do.

We subscribe to two Appraisal Databases; which is a result of the appraiser uploading the appraisal after the deal is closed.  This property defines the square footage which is a big factor in appraisals. We are allowed to provide the appraiser with our comps, and the prior appraisals that have been done on the comps. 

As agents, we are not allowed to tell the appraiser what the house is worth (because we are not appraisers), but we are allowed to provide comps that reflect the value of the home.  This is huge because it provides us with the ability to influence the appraisal.

The End Results

Over the last 37 years of being in real estate, I have had only one property that did not appraise.  This was because the appraiser refused to meet with me.  This is a violation of the appraiser.  We as agents are allowed to meet with the appraiser and to provide the appraiser that which would reflect the contract price.

On a Friday in February of 2016 my brother Roger, realizing that his declining health prevented him from continuing to care for his dog Polly, he entrusted her to me for her care.  The bestowing of his most loved and cherished possession in this world was not easy for him, nor was it easy for me. For it reflected the release of that which was his greatest treasure, which reflected his acceptance that he was no longer able to be her master, providing the love, care, and affection that she was accustomed to.  Likewise accepting the new role of master for Polly brought me face to face with the imminent loss of my brother and the significance of that which he had entrusted to me.                                                                                                                  

One week later Roger passed away. 

At 7:30 this Sunday morning I took Polly for a walk at Big Creek Park.  We did a 45-minute scamper through the woods, which is reflective of the time that Roger walked her.  Once unloading her from the truck and heading to the trails she darted off exploring the new environment.  This meant that she was either sprinting ahead of me or lingering behind taking in the new scents.  Each time I would have to summon her to return to me, and each time she returned.  As our time on the trail neared an end rather than taking off or falling behind, she walked alongside me.  She now knows she has a new master.

Thus the trust that was appropriated to me by Roger is now being experienced by Polly.  For me, I am reminded that trust is something that is appropriated to us by another and not assigned to ourselves by ourselves. And that which is entrusted to another shall begin to know why they were entrusted to that person, and shall embrace them as trustworthy.