Working With Realtors in Blue Ridge, North Georgia Mountains - What All Buyers and Sellers Should Know

By
Real Estate Agent with BHGRE - Metro Brokers

The job of a listing agent is to get the highest price possible, in the shortest amount possible, with favorable terms for the seller.

The job of a buyer's agent is to get the lowest price possible, with favorable terms to the buyer.

Simple right!?!  Well not so fast...

 

There are things you as a seller or a buyer should know:

Seller's Agent (Listing Agent)
If you want to market your property for sale with a brokerage firm, you will sign a listing agreement which authorizes the brokerage firm to represent you when dealing with buyers.  So you should avoid telling the agent anything you would not want disclosed to a buyer prior to signing a listing agreement.  The Seller's agent will provide many services for you which may include;

  • preparing a Comparative Market Analysis to help you price your property
  • advertising your property
  • providing to you all property disclosure forms for you to complete
  • negotiating on your behalf, the best possible price and terms
  • reviewing with you, all written offers
  • promoting your best interests

Duties to the Seller by the brokerage firm and its agents are:

  • to promote Your best interests
  • to follow Your lawful instructions
  • to disclose all material facts which could influence Your decisions
  • to be loyal to You
  • to use reasonable skill, care and diligence
  • to account for all monies that they handle for You
  • not to provide confidential information about you to potential buyers or their agents without your permission (once a listing agreement is signed)

                                                                            

Buyer's Agent (A benefit that costs you the buyer nothing)
When you the buyer contact an agent for assistance and the agent provides assistance to you, who do you think the agent is representing?  You may be surprised to know that the agent you contacted who is providing assistance to you is acting as a transactional broker and not Your buyer's agent.  The agent represents the seller!  That's right, the seller.  You the buyer; however,  may have several choices in which to choose how your brokerage firm and its agents will work with you.  Such as:

  • You may want them to represent only You as a buyer's agent
  • You may be willing to allow them to represent both you and the seller as a dual agent
  • You may agree to them representing only the seller (seller's agent or subagent)
  • You may agree to a designated agency where one agent within the firm represents the seller and another agent within the same firm represents the buyer
    Note:  Some agencies will offer you a choice of these services, others will not.  Be sure you understand what your relationship is with the firms and its agents, what the agent will be doing for you in a transaction and put the agreement in writing as soon as possible.

Duties to the buyer by the brokerage firm and its agents are:  

  • to promote Your best interests
  • to follow Your lawful instructions 
  • to disclose all material facts which could influence Your buying decisions
  • to be loyal to You
  • to use reasonable skill, care and diligence
  • to account for all monies that they handle for You
  • not to provide confidential information about you to the sellers or their agents without your permission (once a Buyer's Agency Agreement is signed)

So you should avoid telling the seller's agent anything you would not want disclosed to a seller prior to signing a Buyer's Agency Agreement.  Until you hire a brokerage firm and its agents as your Buyer's Agent by signing a Buyer's Agency Agreement, the firm and its agents work for the seller.

Remember, without a signed Buyer's Agency Agreement, the firm and its agents will be acting as the Seller's Agent and must try to obtain for the seller the best possible price, terms and provide the seller with any information about you (the buyer) even personal, financial or confidential that will help the seller.  Seller's agents are compensated by the seller.  Buyer's agents are compensated by the seller if the property being sold/purchased is in a multiple listing service.  If the property being purchased is a For Sale By Owner, the buyer may be responsible for compensating the Buyer's Agent in the event the For Sale By Owner refuses to pay commission.

 

Donna Yates, Realtor serving the North Georgia Mountains in Blue Ridge. Please see great mountain properties for sale
Move 2 North Georgia where there's no place like "a North Georgia Mountain" home!

 

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Rainmaker
231,925
Faith LaRosse
Springer Realty Group - Wyomissing, PA
Realtor(R)

Donna,

   Your explanation should be immediately inserted into the Real Estate Fundamentals/Practice Text Books!  I recently completed my RE classes and if "agency" had been described that clearly and succinctly, it wouldn't have taken over 20 minutes for most of the people in my class to grasp the concept!!  Have you ever considered writing educational materials? Great communication skills!! Kudos to you...

Aug 26, 2007 01:50 PM #1
Rainmaker
315,726
James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move

Great post.  Education is power!  Too many times buyers are out flying without any protection and THINK the agent is working for them - but as your said, without a signed Buyer Agency form - the agent is working for the seller (at least in my market of DC, Maryland and Virginia).

 

Aug 26, 2007 01:53 PM #2
Ambassador
1,011,853
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation
Excellent post, Donna, for Localism and rookie agents.  Lots of work and thought went into this, and it shows!
Aug 26, 2007 08:43 PM #3
Rainmaker
367,957
Donna Yates
BHGRE - Metro Brokers - Blue Ridge, GA
Blue Ridge Mountains

Faith:  Thank you fo ryour comment.  It took me almost a year after being in sales to fully grasp the agency relationships.  I admit, I can stil be "iffy" when it comes to dual, designated, etc. but I have learned my lesson (once again the hard way) about buyer's agency!  I now understand and doubt that I will forget the power and importance of having a buyer's agency agreement.  I did write some training aides for the company I retired from through the years that I was there.

James:  Same here in Georgia.  Not only do buyers not realize how it works but sometimes, I even have to catch myself that I'm not working for the buyer either without a Buyer Agency Agreement.  It seems so natural to just represent the person you drive around multiple counties, researchng a myriad of topics and questions.

Margaret:  I've been writing this blog over a period of a week, or a little more actually.  Adding a little here and a litte there.  Tweaking it along the way and double checking myself to make sure I had a correct understanding as well.  I appreciate you reading my post and commenting. 

Aug 27, 2007 12:43 AM #4
Ambassador
489,050
Tracy Santrock
Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc. - Cary, NC
Raleigh - Cary Realtor/Broker In Charge
This is a nice way to describe agency law in a very simple way.  I certainly wish that everyone understood agency.
Aug 27, 2007 02:19 PM #5
Rainmaker
367,957
Donna Yates
BHGRE - Metro Brokers - Blue Ridge, GA
Blue Ridge Mountains
Tracy:  The first time I heard about agencies was of course, during the pre-license sales class and I have to tell you that it sounded like double talk.  I remember reading it over and over because it sounded so odd.  Thank you for checing out my post and leaving a comment.
Aug 28, 2007 09:39 AM #6
Ambassador
372,512
Karen Hurst
RICOASTALLIVING.COM - Warwick, RI
Rhode Island Waterfront!
Donna, Excellent article and I think Faith poses a good question. Hmmm teaching and Real Estate? Where does that path lead?
Aug 29, 2007 04:26 PM #7
Rainmaker
367,957
Donna Yates
BHGRE - Metro Brokers - Blue Ridge, GA
Blue Ridge Mountains
Karen:  Teaching and Real Estate is quite a concept isn't it!!! :-)  Thank you for your comment and reading my post.
Aug 30, 2007 03:31 AM #8
Rainmaker
344,045
Yolanda Hoversten
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties - O'Fallon, IL
Broker - O Fallon, IL Real Estate

Hello, Teach!  Great post, Donna!  This is very helpful to the buyers especially, since they seem to want to talk to the listing agent without representation.  

You may want to post this excellent information to localism, Donna.  Thanks! 

Aug 31, 2007 08:55 AM #9
Rainmaker
367,957
Donna Yates
BHGRE - Metro Brokers - Blue Ridge, GA
Blue Ridge Mountains
Yolanda:  Coming from you, I take this to be a true compliment.  Thank you very much for your thoughts.
Aug 31, 2007 11:23 AM #10
Rainer
32,032
Ken Stampe
iBrandPlan.com - Grow your e-Profile & Brand - Dallas, TX
iBrandPlan
great post, great topic!
Sep 02, 2007 04:23 PM #11
Rainmaker
183,067
Christina Cavins
Irongate Inc. REALTORS - Centerville, OH
www.BuySellOH.com Search Ohio Homes For Sale

Not using a Buyer Agency Agreement is like not having a Seller sign a Listing Agreement. Why would you work for free?

Christina

Jul 21, 2008 07:22 PM #12
Rainmaker
367,957
Donna Yates
BHGRE - Metro Brokers - Blue Ridge, GA
Blue Ridge Mountains

Christina:  Good point.  Thank you.

Jul 22, 2008 02:33 AM #13
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Rainmaker
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Donna Yates

Blue Ridge Mountains
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