What is Limited Agency?

Most people understand that a Buyers Agent is the agent that represents a buyer through a real estate transaction and the Sellers Agent represents the Seller during the transaction. Often, buyers do not understand exactly what “Limited Agency” (sometimes referred to as Dual Agency) is and how it will impact their sale or purchase. In Utah, the exact definition of Limited Agency taken directly off a Limited Agency Consent Agreement from Utah Association of REALTORS® reads:

“A Limited Agent represents both seller and buyer in the same transaction and works to assist in negotiating a mutually acceptable transaction. A Limited Agent has fiduciary duties to both seller and buyer. However, those duties are “limited” because the agent cannot provide to both parties undivided loyalty, full confidentiality and full disclosure of all information known to the agent. For this reason, a Limited Agent must remain neutral in the representation of a seller and buyer, and may not disclose to either party information likely to weaken the bargaining position of the other; such as, the highest price the buyer will pay or the lowest price the seller will accept. A Limited Agent must, however, disclose to both parties material information known to the Limited Agent regarding a defect in the Property and/or the ability of each party to fulfill agreed upon obligations, and must disclose information given to the Limited Agent in confidence, by either party, if the failure to disclose would be a material misrepresentation regarding the Property.”

In Utah, it is legal to act as a limited agent, but is it in a buyer or sellers best interest to allow a Limited Agency? If you work exclusively with a Buyers Agent, that agent should be working to locate your home and negotiate the best deal on your behalf. They should be somewhat aware of your financial situation and how much you ultimately plan to spend for the purchase of a new home. The Sellers’ Agent is hired by a seller to market the property with the intention of producing a buyer. This agent is usually aware of the sellers’ position and how much they would be willing to take for the property.

This is where the conflict may present its self. If the Agent is representing both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction, they are bound by fiduciary duties to both clients. It would be impossible to obtain the best deal if the representing agent must remain neutral. The negotiation will only result a mutually “acceptable” deal. This may or may not be the “best deal”.

A Buyers Agent, who is representing a clients interest, will be able to share pertinent information they learn that can result in a lower offer than the client may have initially presented. Alternatively, a Sellers Agent may discover the buyer will likely accept a counter resulting in a higher net to the seller. Information learned can be shared during an exclusive agency, however when Limited Agency is a factor, this information can not be shared. In Utah, each client has the choice to decline or accept limited (or dual) agency. The Exclusive Buyer Broker Agreement has a designated section that fully explains (and requires a signature to accept) Limited Agency. Also, should the Limited Agency situation actually arise, the client will again have to sign an agreement to this. Each party (the buyer or the seller) has the right to obtain an independent agent.

Many clients often point out the fact that the Agent will be making double the commission. This should not be a consideration for either party involved in Limited Agency. You must remember this agent will make commission on their listing no matter WHO sells it, and if the Agent is already working with the buyer, then anything the buyer purchases the Agent will make commission on that as well. Essentially any deal could be a “double commission” when an agent works with both buyers and sellers independently. So it is unfair to make the Agents commission a factor or a negotiation tool, for either party.

Limited Agency… should YOU participate? I suppose it depends on how well you know your Agent. Will you get the best deal? Possibly. You may have to rely on some of your own instincts and research to determine what the best deal will be, as you will not have full disclosure and advice from your limited agency real estate professional.

Source by Paula J Smith

Top 10 Best Pen and Paper RPG Games

Here is a list of the ten best pen and paper roleplaying games of all-time. Although there is no scientific way to prove the ‘best RPG games‘ ever, this list takes into account the overall popularity of pen and paper roleplaying games since the industry was first created.

10 – Gamma World – It’s a post-apocalyptic game, but not in the style of Mad Max. This game fit more into the style of a science fantasy game. You could play all sorts of random mutant creatures, in addition to playing people that were mostly normal.

9 – Vampire the Masquerade – Some may argue which is the best World of Darkness product. But Vampire the Masquerade was the game that put White Wolf on the map. Vampire the Masquerade has also become the number Live Action Roleplaying Game in the world. Go LARP’ers!

8 – RuneQuest – This game was considered as one of the ‘Big Three’ at some point. The big three being D&D, Traveller, and RuneQuest. It provided a different setting and system than other fantasy roleplaying games at the time.

7 – Champions – Although it may no longer be the most popular comic-themed roleplaying game ever, this game has been around a long time since it was first published in 1981. The game set the stage for many other comic book and super hero related roleplaying games.

6 – Tunnels & Trolls – Right after D&D was T&T. Tunnels & Trolls was the second roleplaying game ever created. The game was created as an alternate, and hopefully easier to play, version of Dungeons & Dragons.

5 – GURPs – The Generic Universal RolePlaying System is able to adapt itself to any game environment. Any setting you can think of has been created for the system. Its creator, Steve Jackson, is one of the most well-known game designers in the industry because of this game.

4 – Star Wars – Based on the movies carrying the same name, the Star Wars Roleplaying Game was first created by West End Games using the d6 system. Eventually it moved on to other companies and saw some play time under the d20 system, and then finally the Saga Edition. It is the premiere sci-fi, or space opera, themed roleplaying game due to George Lucas dominating the minds of nerds all over the world.

3 – Traveller – Not as famous as its other space opera buddy, Star Wars. This game, however, did come out as a roleplaying system before George Lucas’s creation did. Traveller was first created in 1977 and has been going strong ever since. The game is definitely considered one of the ‘original’ RPGs.

2 – Call of Cthulhu – A unique entry into this list. This horror-based roleplaying game is based off of the works of H.P. Lovecraft. There really isn’t a popular, comparable game out on the market now. Instead, different gaming companies have chosen to create Call of Cthulhu in a variety of different systems under a variety of different publishers.

1 – Dungeons & Dragons – The most famous pen and paper roleplaying game of all time. This fantasy game still dominates the market with all of its various incarnations, from the original D&D to 4th Edition. D&D creators Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson are legends in the industry, just as the game itself is.

Some people may disagree with the overall placement of some of these games. Others may ask why certain games are even on here. Why haven’t other games been included, like Shadowrun, Robotech, Palladium Fantasy, Rifts, or many newer games? Well, they weren’t. This list was created by veteran gamers and apparently they had a little nostalgia in them. So what do you think of the list of best RPG games ever?

Source by Samuel Van Der Wall

10 Top Tips for Non US Residents Buying a Vacation Home in the USA

If you are considering purchasing a vacation home in a resort area of the USA, you are certainly not alone, in fact ownership of US vacation homes has never been more popular with investors from around the world. Many times, investors will look to purchase a residential home in a sunny beach, ski, mountain, or other resort area to use when on holiday. It is common practice to then rent the property out to other vacationers or holiday makers when not in use by the owners, it’s kind of the best of both worlds really, enjoy your own home and then rent it to help support the cost. There are certainly many factors to consider when looking at this kind of arrangement so here are just a few to help you begin.

1. Find a local Realtor who specializes in working with International clients and resort properties – not all local Realtors do and you need the expertise of a seasoned pro.

“Foreign real estate buyers have a variety of questions and concerns that require specific expertise and knowledge. A well versed International Realtor will connect international clients with an entire network of locally esteemed and highly specialized professionals to ensure that they are well guided through the buying process.” – Casas na Florida

2. Type of Property – Identify your needs and intention with this purchase. There are no rights and wrongs but be clear and realistic with yourself and your Realtor about your expectations. If you intend to use the home to holiday or vacation in, it is unlikely that you will get rich on the rentals but you should look at this potential income to offset your expenses instead. If you are simply looking for an income producing property, then be clear and understand that it maybe a different type of property. Commercial buildings can also be considered.

3. Mortgages – Consider if you will need financing in advance as non US resident mortgages are not always easy to obtain – again, this is about expertise as most mortgage brokers, lenders and banks will not offer these mortgages as they are considered a niche within the market – Let your local, seasoned Realtor guide you here as they will know who does them and help you connect early to get pre-qualified.

4. Property Rental – It all goes back to the Realtor – You need to understand the rules regarding rental of the home – many areas have specific rules about how short a term you can rent your home for while some allow it almost as a hotel would. You need a Management Company that specializes in short term rental.

5. Currency Exchange – How do you bring your money over? They say cash is king but not in this scenario, all funds must be in the bank and adequately sourced in their journey to the US. You can choose your bank to do the exchange or alternatively work with a specialised currency exchange company.

“Billions of dollars of currency per day moves around the globe and although the majority of that is still directed through banks, increasingly foreign exchange companies are becoming a very popular alternative. A currency exchange company offers numerous options for the clients making the process cheaper, faster and just as secure as bank. It’s not unusual for a client to save up to 5% over using a bank when it comes to transferring money internationally” says Simon Plumb, Head of US at Currencies Direct.

6. Bank Accounts – Yes you should have one and by now, hopefully you are beginning to see why you need a very strong and experienced local team. Some banks are more accustomed to working with International clients than others and these are issues that you don’t want to deal with from thousand’s of miles away.

7. Consider pros and cons about buying a resale home and one that is new construction – sometimes you can get a price break on an older home but make sure that you are aware of any pending upkeep or replacement items that might be coming of age. A new air conditioner or a leaky roof in the middle of summer is a big pill to swallow and a costly one at that. New homes come with warranties and can often be designed according to your taste.

8. Tax considerations – Remember the old adage ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ – Again you need to consult a local professional who specializes in taxation for Non US Residents – It is not expensive nor should it be a reason not to proceed and the best ways to manage your situation will depend on the amount of money you are investing. It is wise to meet a tax accountant / CPA and if you are making considerable investments, a tax attorney to help structure the purchases may be a good idea – Your Realtor should be able to make introductions to these professionals as well.

9. Immigration – Many Non US resident real estate investors have questions about immigration. It is worthwhile consulting a very good immigration attorney especially in the current environment with many changes afoot. This does not affect your real estate purchase however and also worth noting that you cannot get an immigration status just by purchasing real estate. If this is a consideration in your mind, I would suggest seeing an attorney early in the process even if you don’t plan to make a move yet. Allow them to help guide you appropriately and you may save money, time and frustration in the future.

10. Enjoy – Don’t get so caught up that you make this stressful. Your initial research goes into choosing a Realtor and a team of professionals, let them do their work to make this an enriching experience and then enjoy the process. After all, this is a home that you intend to escape to!

Source by Justine Assal

Why Home Buyers Must Evaluate The Listing Price

After more than a decade, as a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in New York State, I have observed the behavior and perspectives of many actual and/ or potential home buyers. One of the stumbling blocks, has often been how many of them, rigidly look at their negotiating stance, considering all listing prices, as something to bargain down from. While there are certainly times when that is the case, it takes far more finesse, understanding, perception, etc, to properly review what a particular listing price, might mean, in a specific situation. This article will examine 4 different scenarios, and should help one better understand that this initial pricing is not a one – size – fits – all scenario, but, rather there are various situations, needs, conditions, economic times, personal issue, and strategies, which might go into, how these houses are initially priced.

1. Priced low, to sell: There are situations when it might be deemed best, to use a low – end, pricing strategy. In order to do so, a real estate professional should understand the competition, economic and market conditions, homeowners needs and desires, etc. It may be done to create a bidding war, attract far more potential buyers, attract a specific niche, etc. I have had clients who want to sell their house relatively quickly, reducing the ordeal, stress, and hassle. Sometimes, the listing price, is the lowest price, one might consider. A buyer should not follow the same strategy always, and understand when this is the strategy, plan accordingly, and prepare his offer, if he is interested, with that understanding and knowledge.

2. Priced middle – of – market: This strategy is often a successful one, because it attracts more potential buyers, and prices the subject property, in the middle range of the competition! A potential buyer, once again, should know the competition, and how this particular house, compares, and determine any offer accordingly.

3. Priced at higher end of competitive market: There may be many reasons for this, including the belief, this house has certain features (location, lot, land, rooms, condition), which make it worth more. If this is the case, the real estate agent must hire an upper – end photographer, who will provide a specific feel, to those who make their minds up, in advance, often sight – unseen!! Other reasons are the belief it will bring a higher offer, although it often has a reverse effect! Buyers should know and understand how this house compares, and base any offer on those factors.

4. Priced unrealistically high: Often referred to as hopeful, aggressive, or pie – in – the – sky, I have observed far more times, this strategy backfires than works. It’s often the result of a seller’s overly – inflated opinion/ bias of his home. This often reduces the number of viewers, and offers made. In this scenario, any offers should be based on what you believe the home to be worth, not the listing price. Remember, listing and selling price are far different: the first is a proposal from the seller, and the latter, what a particular buyer is willing to pay.

Just as homeowners must have a pricing strategy, potential buyers should have one, as well. These should be based on homework, comparing, and the competition!

Source by Richard Brody