Buying or selling a home can be a challenging and stressful experience if you're trying to do it alone.
Enlisting the help of an experienced, qualified real estate agent can help calm your nerves and guide you through the process. There are laws in place to help ensure that you are provided with exactly what type of relationship you need and what you can expect from an agent when buying or selling your home.
It's important to understand the different types of relationships and decide on which is the best fit for you. Here is a list of those relationships:
Buying or selling agents work exclusively with their client. In this relationship, agents must act on your behalf and promote your best interest. They can't disclose any confidential information, which includes anything that could have an adverse effect on your transaction to the other party. It's important to sign a buyer's agency contract or a listing agreement. These documents outline all the responsibilities the agent will perform.
Dual agency can occur under two circumstances. First, when a buyer and seller are working with the same agent, the agent can't share any confidential information with either party unless he or she has received written consent to disclose information. They may not support the position of one client over the other and must disclose any material defects of the property and prepare and present all offers and counter offers to each party.
Second, if the buyer decides to make an offer on a house that is listed under his or her agent's broker, the relationship could start out as a single agency relationship, but then change into a dual agency relationship. While most agents will continue to act as if it's a single agency relationship, it is important to be aware that type of information that is being shared with you and the other party could change.
In order to avoid dual agency, an agent may choose to be a transaction agent. A transaction agent doesn't represent either party, but acts only as a facilitator to the transaction. These agents are responsible for proving the proper paper work and purchase contract. Transaction agency gives the agent more protection and takes away some of the responsibilities of dual agency.
Agency relationships aren't always established at the first meeting of the broker and the home buyer or seller. The relationship is established when an agent decides whose interests they will be serving; this is usually done through a disclosure form. State law declares that an agent must disclose his or her representation before showing you any properties.
When deciding on an agent, it's important to know the facts and consider the different relationships you can have with your agent. Talking with a professional, qualified agent before making a decision is in your best interest. He or she will be able to provide you with more detailed descriptions about the relationships and the laws in your state.
If you are looking for an agent who will always look out for your best interest please give us a call!
The Cal Team of RE/MAX Country