"I'm not signing anything!"
How many times have I heard this from people who contact me to shop for property? I lost count long ago!
The thing is, I understand where they're coming from. I am very wary of signing any paper that is shoved in front of me. However, I understand that I usually find myself in this scenario because I want something from the person asking for my signature. So, I try to keep an open mind. My response is typically, "Convince me why I should sign." - or in more blunt terms "What's in it for me?" (aka. WIIFM).
Here's what's in it for you.
Representation in Real Estate is defined by the concept of "agency". This is how agency works in North Carolina...
Part 1 - What is "Agency"?
This is the first in a series of articles describing the concept of agency, as it applies to real estate transactions in North Carolina. The purpose of these articles is to educate people who are interested in buying or selling a home in the Gaston County, NC region about the value of representation when buying or selling a home. This information should be of particular interest to first time home buyers who have not previously gone through the process of buying a home.
An agency relationship is established when a principal (this is you, the buyer or seller) in a real estate transaction enters into a brokerage contract with a real estate broker. An agency relationship requires the broker to represent and act on behalf of you, the principal. This relationship is known as a fiduciary relationship. As a fiduciary of a real estate client, an agent is placed in a position of trust and is required to act at all times for the sole benefit and interests of that client.
So, there you have it. It's really that simple. When you enter an agency agreement with a real estate broker, they are making a formal commitment to act in your best interest as it relates to your real estate transaction.
In future installments I will discuss how the agency relationship varies with different roles an agent may play in real estate transactions.