Who Does That Agent Work For?

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

SignWho Does That Agent Work For?

We think who an agent works for is probably one of the most misunderstood concepts in Ohio's real estate arena, or at least it would seem that way based on the number of people that approach us directly about our listings.

And don't get us wrong, we'll answer questions all day long and do our best to facilitate selling that listing!  But does that caller think we work for them?  At the initial point of contact, it's a pretty clear NO.  Our responsibilities are solely to the sellers and protecting their interest.

Some years ago Ohio introduced the "Consumer Guide to Agency Relationships", a two page form that clearly defines how agents work with the public.  It's a mandatory form that needs to be presented at first substantive contact (exception made for open houses).  You'll walk away with a copy of the form.  It's NOT a contract obligating you to any actions, but merely as documentation that we've disclosed how we as agents work with the public.

What this means typically is when we first meet to talk the specifics of real estate regarding a property, we're producing this form.  We'll explain the specifics of our roles as REALTORS® with respect to the public.  How we align with you is pretty critical to understanding whether we're working for you, or you're totally unrepresented.

So here's the Cliff's Notes version of the form, and note this is ONLY valid in Ohio.  Other states are TOTALLY different.

Representing Sellers.
  If you see a yard sign with our name on it, we represent the sellers.  We've got a listing agreement signed and they have hired US to represent them.  We'll even warn you that we're working for them, and if you still decide to proceed with seeing that listing, understand we're NOT like the Miranda rights, but the un-Mirandas.  Anything you say CAN be used against you on behalf of our sellers.  You're unrepresented and on your own.  We'll be nice, BUT we ARE working for the sellers.  Capiche?

Representing Buyers.
  You WON'T see our name on the sign (with special exception we'll cover later).  Our job is help you find the just right home for you.  YOU have hired us for that purpose.  Our loyalty is now SOLELY to you.  You like a particular home and want to purchase it, we'll be digging for leverage and advising you the best strategy to make it yours.

Dual Agency.  This is totally different than the other two.  You're pursuing a home with OUR name on the sign (or that of our specific RE/MAX brokerage) and you're also our buyer.  Maybe we've been working with you for awhile and it just happens we've got a listing that matches you.  Trust us, we'll show you ANY homes no matter the brokerage, but if ours happens to be a match we're obviously not going to say NO if you're interested. 

Now at this point we enter into more of a neutral mode.  We have to protect your confidential information AND that of the seller.  We become more of an information conduit, a neutral facilitator of the process, working to bring the two sides together and following the process through negotiations, inspections and on to closing. 

And we enter into dual agency ONLY with the agreement of both buyers and sellers, and you'll be signing paperwork to state that.  And if either side isn't comfortable with dual agency, there's the option to bring in another agent to rep one side, or to have one party represent themselves without agent assistance.  Again, this will be documented in writing on the Agency Disclosure Form.

So basically, we as agents can operate in three modes:  Representing Sellers, Representing Buyers, or Representing Both Sides in Dual Agency.  You as the consumer have a say in who we represent, and always remember WHO we are representing.  It's in your own best interest to understand our role and yours too.

Serving Warren County's residential real estate needs,
Liz and Bill aka BLiz

Posted by

Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

 

The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  Liz@LizSpear.com

Search Homes:  Https://WarrenCountyOhioRealEstate.com

Our Website:  www.LizTour.com

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Advice for Sellers
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

so when does the form come into play with potential buyer questions via email or phone?  We don't have a mandatory form, but we do use one.  We present it in person only, not to callers or emailers tha we may/may not ever hear from again.

May 27, 2012 09:01 AM #1
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Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

That pretty much covers our Information about Brokerage services in Texas, although we don't have dual agency, we have what's called Intermediary which means that we have to step back and just be a neutral party.  We cannot advise the buyer or the seller.  There's other ways Intermediary can happen, but that's the gist of it :)!  This one's only one page for us :)!

May 27, 2012 09:07 AM #2
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Tammy, Same here.  We're presenting the form when meeting in person.  We're all going to have big trouble if it gets to the point that we have to present it with every email or phone inquiry.  I'm assuming the thought is that if you're not physically in a home with them or writing a contract, then they're not at true risk yet.

Brenda, It sounds like Intermediary in Texas and Dual here aren't all that much different.  Keep it neutral and facilitate the process.

 

May 27, 2012 09:23 AM #3
Rainmaker
820,770
Juli Vosmik
Dominion Fine Properties - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739

Liz/Bill - that's exactly the way it is here.  I'm glad you've reall spelled out our role's to the home buyers and sellers.  I agree that it's so mis-understood.  

May 27, 2012 09:45 AM #4
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Juli, I think it's VERY common for buyers to think that going straight to the listing agent will get them a better deal on the home.  Probably one of the biggest myths out there.  I'd suspect that even IF you could get the listing agent to rebate a bit of their commission the fact that there's no buyer's agent really breaking down pricing means the buyer ultimately pays more NET than by getting their own agent.

May 27, 2012 09:56 AM #5
Rainmaker
647,093
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

It is important to note that each state has their own rules regarding this issue.

May 27, 2012 10:40 AM #6
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Kathy, Definitely!  I've noticed the same, there's a wide range in how things are handled state to state.

May 27, 2012 12:30 PM #7
Rainmaker
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Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Liz & Bill what agreat post, my real purpose was to stop by and wish you a wonderful memorial Day weekend!

May 27, 2012 04:59 PM #8
Rainer
1,756,848
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Liz & Bill.  In Massachusetts both the buyer and seller have to sign an agency disclosure.  This defines our relationship with them.

May 27, 2012 08:45 PM #9
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Endre, Hope you're having a great Memorial Day weekend also!  We got our July weather early this year, in the low 90s here!

Conrad, Same here when an offer is presented.

May 27, 2012 10:34 PM #10
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John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Excellent!  You guys have rocked the Rain once again my friends. 

May 27, 2012 11:41 PM #11
Ambassador
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

John, The FAQ challenge has given us a great opportunity to cover some of the fundamentals of our local business practices.

May 28, 2012 12:22 AM #12
Rainmaker
528,731
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Our agency in Iowa works in much the same way. Very few buyers understand it and most agents find it difficult to explain as well. Great job making it clear to your buyers!
May 29, 2012 11:58 AM #13
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Karen, Understanding who works for who is a must for buyers and sellers both.  Avoids a lot of confusion and thinking an agent is doing something wrong when they're just acting on behalf of the person they're supposed to.

May 29, 2012 12:19 PM #14
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