UNDERSTANDING WHOSE  WHO

While you may never meet the broker/owner of a real estate firm you need to understand that all  contracts are the property of the broker/owner of the real estate firm. All real estate agents and associate brokers work for and under the direction of their broker/owner. Both the broker and the agent can be called Realtors if they are members of the National Association of Realtors. In a typical real estate transaction the broker is an agent of the seller.

AGENCY / REALTOR’S DUTY

The seller is the principal and the buyer is the customer. The listing broker is required to deal fairly with all parties to a transaction and to comply with all aspects of the license law; however, the broker is strictly accountable only to the principal, in this case the seller. The customer (in this case) represents himself or herself.

BUYER AGENCY

Buyers seeking equal representation in a real estate transaction began to demand more of a broker. In an effort to provide the services that customers/buyers demanded, brokers began to offer a Buyer Agency Agreement. Although required to deal fairly with all parties, the agent is strictly accountable to the principal, in this case the buyer. The seller is represented by the listing broker.

When you wish the services of a real estate professional to represent your interests in the purchase of real estate, you choose Buyer Agency. When entering into a contract for Buyer Agency, the real estate agency owes the client certain duties.

CARE AND COMPETENCE - The real estate agent must exercise care and competence when transacting the business of real estate. The client expects the Realtor's skill and expertise to be equal to or superior to other agents. The Realtor should help the client to locate suitable property, evaluate the property's value, and negotiate counter offers with the buyer’s interest in mind.

OBEDIENCE - The Realtor should act in good faith at all times obey the client’s legal wishes in accordance with the Buyer Agency Agreement.

ACCOUNTING - The Realtor is responsible to the client for all funds collected and must be accountable for these funds with information about the escrow account. The Realtor should provide copies of all checks and documents generated by the client.

LOYALTY - The Realtor owes the utmost loyalty to the client. This means the Realtor places the interest of the client above all others, including self-interest. Confidentiality about the personal matters of the client is a key element of the relationship and agreement. The Realtor may not disclose any personal matters about the client without the written consent of the client. The Realtor is always obligated to disclose any material facts about the property to all parties.

DISCLOSURE - It is the duty of the Realtor to keep the client informed about all facts or information that could affect the transaction. These facts include material facts or relevant information that the agent knows or should know. The buyer agent is obligated to discover facts that a reasonable person would feel are important in choosing a course of action, regardless of whether the facts are favorable or unfavorable to the client’s interests.

It is important that you feel your interests are represented when entering into a real estate transaction. Choose your agent carefully, and discuss Buyer Agency with your Realtor. The most recent study by the National Association of Realtors indicated that over 85% of all buyers have a buyer's agent representing them.

 

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