No real estate agent? Why risk it?

There are no laws requiring you to use a real estate agent to complete your real estate transaction, so why bother, right? Wrong!
A recent article on tackled this subject in great detail, and we’ve condensed the most important elements in the article down to some simple bullets points for your consumption.
  • Trying to buy a home without a real estate agent can carry risks and lead to issues that you may not be aware of, making the benefits of having an agent immeasurable.
  • A buyer’s agent represents your best interests and owes you undivided loyalty, confidentiality, obedience to lawful instruction and accountability.
  • A significant benefit of having a buyer’s agent is knowing you have someone in your corner who can analyze market value for you. Overpaying is a substantial risk of buying a home without a real estate agent.
  • If an agent knows about a problem with a home, it must be disclosed! There are very few instances where an agent can avoid disclosing a condition that would make a buyer think twice about purchasing a home.
  • Without an agent, you might not be aware of the different types of inspections that are advisable for your area, or for that matter how to pick the right home inspector for your property transaction.
  • Another advantage of a Realtor is that he or she is an expert on the neighborhoods in the area you are buying, including issues such as school districts, property taxes, HOA rules, commutes, property values, etc.
  • Real estate law is complex and varies from location to location. Your real estate agent and attorney have been through this before and are skilled in reading contracts and completing necessary documents.
  • When you have your own agent, you are insulated from the persuasiveness of the other agent. Your agent knows what you want and need, and he or she knows how to avoid being taken in by salesmanship.
In most circumstances, it does not make a lot of sense to purchase a home without the services of a qualified agent. Keep in mind in the majority of circumstance you do not pay a real estate agent to represent you when buying a home. Real estate commission is almost always paid for by the seller. 

Practical reasons why you still need a Realtor to buy a house

Buying a house is a major financial undertaking — probably the largest financial decision of your lifetime! Still, some people entering the real estate marketplace will question whether or not they need a Realtor to help them buy a home. A recent article on answers that question with an emphatic “Yes!” and offers several reasons to support their case.
  1. Better access, more convenience. Searching for a home takes time and effort, so why burden yourself with countless hours of homework? Your Realtor does this for a living and has easy access to properties listed by other agents. It is their job to act as a liaison between buyers and sellers, so let them do what they do best!
  2. Negotiating is an art. An experienced real estate agent is trained to convey your wishes and concerns to the seller and his or her agent. An agent can also play the role of the “tough guy” in the transaction, preventing bad blood between the buyer and seller. A good agent will speak for you in tough transactions and keep deals from going sour.
  3. Contracts can be tricky. However, an experienced Realtor deals with contracts on a regular basis and is familiar with certain conditions that should be used, when they can safely be removed and how to use the contract to best protect your interests!
  4. The trust factor. When an agent agrees to represent you, he or she will be bound by common law, in most states, to a fiduciary relationship. In other words, the agent is bound by law to act in their client’s best interest. Additionally, most Realtors rely on referrals and repeat business, so being dishonest in any way during your transaction will have future business consequences.

In a nutshell, real estate transactions are not as simple as many people assume. When and if you get into a difficult situation, it can really pay to have a professional on your side.

Experts say real estate market continues to look healthy

If you’ve been following news about the current housing market, you may be wondering: is this pace of home sales sustainable? Fortunately, a recent article from Keeping Current Matters explains why we are indeed looking at a very healthy real estate market!
According to Dave Liniger, Re/Max CEO, “We expect a seasonal uptick in sales this time of year, and March certainly met and somewhat exceeded that expectation. We don’t anticipate the tightening inventory to ease up in most markets until new home construction can catch up to its pre-recession pace. Until then, sellers will enjoy a fast-paced market and buyers will need to work with their agents to get in the right home.”
So what’s the bottom line? The current pace of residential home sales definitely seems maintainable, and every family should feel confident when buying and selling a home now and in the immediate future!


How to find a home that meets your needs

Finding your dream home can be difficult for many reasons, one of which is that your budget often restricts your choices,” said a recent article on “Keeping a healthy budget, coupled with strategic house-hunting practices, can yield the best possible property that not only fits your personal budget, but also meets your lifestyle needs.”
This informative article went on to provide additional tips for finding a house that meets both your need and price range. Here are the highlights:
  • Establish a budget. Sit down and calculate some hard numbers. What do you earn and what do you spend every month? You’ll want to make sure you have a healthy margin between your income and expenses that will allow you to make your mortgage payment every month. A trusted financial adviser or mortgage loan officer from your bank can also provide insight on what you can afford. 
  • Work with an agent. An experienced Realtor will help you tailor your choices to a specific set of properties that meet your personal criteria, and point out the pros and cons of each property in an objective manner.
  • Know the neighborhood. When looking at potential homes, focus on a location that you know is safe and allows access to the facilities and services you will need, such as a good school system for your kids, libraries, hospitals, stores, restaurants, etc.
  • Declutter your house. Unnecessary possessions result in higher moving expenses and can take up valuable space in your new house. Consider selling some items and putting a little extra cash in your wallet!

Michael Olear Honored by UB Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership

Michael Olear of the Olear Team at MJ Peterson was honored by the University at Buffalo’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (UB CEL) as their Entrepreneur of the Month for June 2017. UB CEL, part of the UB School of Management, provides an individualized and interactive education in entrepreneurship for business owners. Michael is a 2007 graduate of the program and past chair of the UB CEL Alumni Association.

As part of his recognition as Entrepreneur of the Month, UB CEL included an interview with Michael in their monthly newsletter “CEL Happenings.” The interview covered Michael’s beliefs on entrepreneurship, including this quote:

UB CEL: What are the top 3 skills you believe are needed to be a successful entrepreneur?


  • Listening. The people that work for you and your customers/clients might have a better way to do things
  • Focus – So critical to make a plan and stick to it instead of continually chasing the next seemingly attractive idea
  • Block Scheduling – Until you allocate your time, others will allocate it for you