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Buyer agency in the information age

Service is the real solution to the crisis at the heart of real estate

I suppose my first return column for Inman two weeks ago ("Agency is at the heart of syndication debate") was wildly successful in one respect: It burnished my reputation for stirring the pot. I do appreciate the robust responses from readers, especially the ones saying I'm out of my mind and flat out wrong on certain things. One thing I'm apparently clueless on is buyer agency. I wrote in my first column: "Here's the thing: When you dig deeper into the root cause of the syndication kerfuffle, what you run into is the inherent problem of contemporary real estate. And it isn't lack of mentorship. It is buyer agency, in the information age." That resulted in Ray Wilson, the author of "Bought, Not Sold: Single Agency, Buyers' Brokers, Flat Fees, and the Consumer Revolution in Real Estate," to say (to a reader who then posted his thoughts, with permission): "Hahn is flat out wrong when he says 'buyer agency wasn't created to serve consumers; it ...