The State of Maryland feels that consumers need to know a little bit more about vendors that real estate agents suggest to their clients. I don't disagree. The State has chosen to codify common sense. With all the press about the biggest team in the area being under investigation for violations of RESPA and sordid behavior involving kickbacks, it does not surprise me that stronger protections are being put in place.
While it does make assisting clients a bit more laborious, it does not change how I support my clients. I have always believed that my position in the transaction is more than opening doors and preparing paperwork. My job is to assist from the first meeting with a prospect throughout the process until they receive the keys at settlement.
The public generally assumes that real estate agents might know a bit more about neighborhoods, schools, crime, home inspectors, appraisals, title companies, lenders, etc. If it involves purchasing a home, the general public not only assumes we might be more knowledgeable, they expect it.
Backing off sharing information under the guise of "I really can't share that information" is the lazy persons way of avoiding their job. It is not supporting your client. Rather than back off any subject, a good agent knows how to frame answers that will not violate the law but will at a bare minimum give the client an answer they can work with.
I would never suggest any firm that I did not have a thorough knowledge about. I don't want my clients to pick names out of a hat and I wouldn't offer a name unless I had personal knowledge about the firm. I want what I believe to be the best for my clients. I am the Realtor and they expect me to provide them with the best information.
This is the content of an email that I send clients if the ratified contract includes a home inspection or a general inspection contingency. I have always believed the request for a recommendation deserves a thorough answer and not just a name pulled out of a contact list.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Johnson
Your offer, that has been accepted (once the sellers signed it became a ratified contract) included a contingency allowing you to have a home inspector view the home. (more)