Q: What is this form, Information About Brokerage Services?
A: The Information About Brokerage Services form is used in all real estate transactions in Texas when there is at least one licensed real estate agent involved in the transaction. Signing it ONLY acknowledges that I presented it to you and explained it to you. It does not commit you to anything or anyone!
This Information About Brokerage Services form is presented at the first "substantive" discussion about buying or selling property in Texas. Basically, it says that unless you are my "client" (we make a distinction between clients and customers), I represent the seller and can share with you, the buyer, only factual information about the properties. If you would like to become my client, instead of me working on behalf of the seller, I'd be representing you and would share with you everything that I know about the property and the seller, all conversations with the listing agent, the seller, the seller's neighbors, etc. If you become a client and are interested in a property that is listed by me or another agent in the same Keller Williams office that I'm in, essentially I'd be wearing two hats - one representing the owner and the second representing you. Dual agency isn't allowed in Texas, so in the event of this "intermediary" position, there are 2 choices. 1) You and the seller represent yourselves and I'd just guide the process, or 2) my broker can appoint one agent from my office to represent you (probably me!) and another agent to represent the seller (probably the listing agent). It's like being the coach in an athletic event. I owe my allegiance to my team. My broker has chosen to only practice intermediary with the second scenario so that you will be represented.
I'd really prefer to represent you rather than the sellers of the properties you'll be considering. Should you elect to have me represent you (and there is no cost to you; the seller pays the commissions) I'll send you the buyer representation agreement.
In the meantime, if you would be so kind as to sign the Information About Brokerage Services form and return it, I'd appreciate it! Fax, scan, or snail-mail. Or if you prefer, I can send it to you for your electronic signature.
Information About Brokerage Services
Before working with a real estate broker, you should know that the duties of a broker depend on whom the broker represents. If you are a prospective seller or landlord (owner) or a prospective buyer or tenant (buyer), you should know that the broker who lists the property for sale or lease is the owner's agent. A broker who acts as a subagent represents the owner in cooperation with the listing broker. A broker who acts as a buyer's agent represents the buyer. A broker may act as an intermediary between the parties if the parties consent in writing. A broker can assist you in locating a property, preparing a contract or lease, or obtaining financing without representing you. A broker is obligated by law to treat you honestly.
If The Broker Represents the Owner:
The broker becomes the owner's agent by entering into an agreement with the owner,usually through a written listing agreement, or by agreeing to act as a subagent by accepting an offer of subagency from the listing broker. A subagent may work in a different real estate office. A listing broker or subagent can assist the buyer but does not represent the buyer and must place the interests of the owner first. The buyer should not tell the owner's agent anything the would would not want the owner to know because an owner's agent must disclose to the owner any material information known to the agent.
If The Broker Represents the Buyer:
The broker becomes the buyer's agent by entering into an agreement to represent the buyer, usually through a written buyer representation agreement. A buyer's agent can assist the owner but does not represent the owner and must place the interests of the buyer first. The owner should not tell a buyer's agent anything the owner would not want the buyer to know because a buyer's agent must disclose to the buyer any material information known to the agent.
If The Broker Acts As An Intermediary:
A broker may act as an intermediary between the parties if the broker complies with The Texas Real Estate License Act. The broker must obtain the written consent of each party to the transaction to act as an intermediary. The written consent must state who will pay the broker and, in conspicuous bold or underlined print, set forth the broker's obligations as an intermediary. The broker is required to treat each party honestly and fairly and to comply with The Texas Real Estate License Act. A broker who acts as an intermediary in a transaction:
- shall treat all parties honestly
- may not disclose that the owner will accept a price less than the asking price unless authorized in writing to do so by the owner
- may not disclose that the buyer will pay a price greater than the price submitted in a written offer unless authorized in writing to do so by the buyer; and
- may not disclose any confidential information or any information that a party specifically instructs the broker in writing not to disclose unless authorized in writing to disclose the information or required to do so by The Texas Real Estate License Act or a court order or if the information materially related to the condition of the property.
With the parties' consent, a broker acting as an intermediary between the parties may appoint a person who is licensed under the Texas Real Estate License Act and associated with the broker to communicate with and carry out instructions of one party and another person who is licensed under the Act and associate with the broker to communicate with and carry out instructions of the other party.
If you choose to have a broker represent you, you should enter into a written agreement with the broker that clearly establishes the broker's obligations and your obligations. The agreement should stat how and by whom the broker will be paid. You have the right to choose the type of representation, if any, you wish to receive. Your payment of a fee to ab broker does not necessarily establish that the broker represents you. If you have any questions regarding this duties and responsibilities of the broker, you should resolve those questions before proceeding.
Real estate licensee asks that you acknowledge receipt of this information about brokerage services for the licensee's records.
Buyer, Seller, Landlord or Tenant