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Old 05-09-2008, 11:09 PM
4,710 posts, read 7,114,457 times
Reputation: 5613


Thanks. It looks like a good website. If I do decide to change realtors, how do I do that without feeling guilty? I first contacted this realtor over a year ago. At the time, we were thinking we wanted to be around Wimberley, so we chose a person in Wimberley whose website we liked. When we visited at Christmas time, she took us out looking for most of a day. Since then, she has e-mailed a list of homes that meet our criterea perhaps twice, in response to my e-mails. But we have decided that Wimberley is not for us. She knows we are now looking more at places between Spicewood/Lakeway and SW Austin, and I'm sure she would be capable of showing us places in those areas. But she isn't an Ecobroker, and the eco part of our search is really important to us. We need to have someone who can help us figure out how Texas deals with "green", since we are from out of state. So if we change to another realtor, should I just write her a thankyou note telling her that we are switching, send her flowers, go grovel at her office when we come to Austin next month - or are realtors really used to having people just drop them like that? What is a polite and respectful way to do this?
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Old 05-10-2008, 08:33 AM
Location: Central Texas
20,958 posts, read 45,463,330 times
Reputation: 24746
Well, I certainly don't want to encourage you to change realtors if you've been working with one. Is she aware of how important the "eco" aspect it to you? Have you signed a buyer's rep agreement with her? Perhaps she could refer you to an agent in the area you're looking in who IS an EcoBroker, or perhaps she could consult with one, or she could even take the courses and become one! (Though that last might not be in your timeline.)

Don't just drop her, at least give her a reason why you're going to be working with someone else, if you do make that choice. We are used to people choosing to work with another buyer's agent, for whatever reason, but it's nice to know why when that's possible. My best feedback, in fact, comes from those who choose NOT to list with me or use me as a buyer's agent - it helps me to improve in those areas where improvement is possible (though sometimes it's just a matter of the chemistry being wrong, and that's something that I can't really fix, though I'm usually already aware of it by the time a decision is made).

Let her know your issues, if you haven't already, and see what she comes up with. She might surprise you.

If not, and if you haven't signed a buyer's rep agreement, you can move on - just do so nicely, and it's clear that you're the kind of person who's inclined to do just that. Good hunting!
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Old 05-10-2008, 12:35 PM
Location: Austin and Round Rock
8 posts, read 21,723 times
Reputation: 10
I agree with TexasHorseLady.

I would explain your situation and reasons and give her a gift basket/gift card letting her know you appreciate her assistance but you are looking in a different area and would feel more confident with local representation. That is what we used to do in the past prior to getting my license and most realtors were understanding and greatful for the extra steps we took to show our gratitude.

Wimberley is over an hour away from Spicewood so she may not want to drive that far to show homes anyway (with the price of gas now).

As for "ecobroker" I wouldn't really consider that a true source to find a "green realtor". Anyone could go signup to that to be considered an "ecobroker" all it costs is $400 and to take 3 online courses offered by them. Just like anything else some of them are legit and some are not. I would ask quite a few questions about green /eco homes to the agents to see who is truly knowledgeable about green living and who just uses it to gain extra business. The reality is that any agent who puts more effort into helping their buyers find homes other than setting them up with basic searchs should be able to help you.

I agree with you on green homes - its a great feeling to know your carbon footprint on the earth is minimized. Mueller Airport in Austin, TX is a new development which is highly green as well. From your criteria it doesn't really sound like something of interest to you, but thought I would mention it for anyone else looking on this forum for "green" living.

Oh PS: you asked "how Texas deals with green" and I thought I would mention a bill that will most likely pass soon called "The Point Of Sale". In short any seller in Austin who tries to sell their home will be required to get a permit to sell their home. An inspector will verify the home is up to code to be considered "Green" before it can sell. This is good and bad.

It could end up costing most sellers $2,000 to $20,000 to update their home prior to selling. I think If this happens the average prices of homes in Austin will go up, inventory will go down, and realtors will have to be more competitive in their listing presentations; hence the reason most realtors are completely against this. I just wish they would focus more on public transportation since vehicles are the biggest cause of the environmental issues we are facing today.

The bill hasn't passed yet but its looking like it may. Once it passes in Austin it will spread to the other cities in Texas most likely.
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Old 05-10-2008, 12:49 PM
Location: Central Texas
20,958 posts, read 45,463,330 times
Reputation: 24746
EcoBroker is a place to start. The courses are not as easy as I expected them to be (I'm an ace at online courses, but these guys actually expected me to THINK about it!) They're a good source for resources once you've signed up (don't recall it being $400, but, then, I'm used to paying constantly for continuing education as part of the price of continuing to have my license - no continuing ed, no license renewal). But it is, indeed, only a place to start looking for someone who specializes in what you're looking for and thus has more training/experience in it - you have to interview EcoBrokers just like you would interview realtors who aren't EcoBrokers to find the best one for your needs. It's just that those who have been through the course are more likely to know the resources and where to find the information you're looking for if they don't already have it readily to hand.

At a local EcoBrokers meeting recently, Point of Sale was discussed. I'm thinking both sides need to take a deep breath and calm down. The details are far from being worked out, so ABOR jumped before they should have, in my opinion. The proposal is still under discussion (and ABOR has a representative at the table, something I don't recall them mentioning in the email they sent out). The members (at least some of them) of the task force that is charged with coming up with something are likewise overreacting to the natural concern of the people whose pocketbooks are being eyeballed, which doesn't help the situation any.

And, no, I don't agree that if Austin passes it, it will be most likely to spread to other cities in Texas. We tend to be a bit more independent than that here!
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:40 PM
4,710 posts, read 7,114,457 times
Reputation: 5613
Thanks, all, for the information. My original message is over a year old. As we decided not to move to Wimberly, we also decided not to build, but to buy a house. So we will still need to be looking at energy audit results, and we still want to be as green as possible. So we will be looking not only at how energy efficient a home is, but also what it will take to bring it closer to an ideal of low energy use. I will keep those companies in mind.

So did the "Point of Sale" pass? I think I have heard that it did, but would be interested in hearing more about this. Was it just the city of Austin, or all of Travis County?
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