Monday, February 12, 2007

Types of Realtor and Client relationships

What is a buyers agent? A buyers agent is just that, they are representing the buyer. Their whole purpose is to help their client find the right house for them. You better believe they are looking out for their clients best interest, not yours. So if you are a FSBO (for sale by owner) seller and an agent approaches you and asks to show someone your property (in return they will probably ask you to pay them 3% for bringing you a buyer) they are working as a buyers agent. Buyers agents are a great tool for the home buyer to use though. The best part for the buyer is its FREE!!! The sellers have to pay your buyers agent, is that a great deal or what?? Most people love to use Realtors as buyers agents when they buy a home, but why are they so reluctant when they sell?

What is a sellers agent? A sellers agent is the Realtor that represents you when you are selling your home. Remember how good of a job your Realtor did for you as a buyers agent? So why do most people shy away from Realtors when it comes to selling. The honest answer, people think they can save money if they do. Did you read my blog on "Are Realtors worth the money?" I recommend it. They are responsible for marketing your property. Which sounds like an easy thing. But if you think that all that takes is putting an ad in the paper and have an open house, think again. Or better yet, read my blog on "Biloxi FSBO (for sale by owner) mistakes."
Just like with a buyers agent, the sellers agents purpose is to look out for their clients best interests. I have a philosophy, if you look at clients as a paycheck you will always be chasing a paycheck; but, if you take care of people the money will eventually come. That's how I treat my clients. I'm looking out for you. Sorry got off on a tangent. That pretty much sums up a sellers agent.

But what is disclosed dual agent? This usually works like this and this is how I explain it. Lets say after I have listed your property mister seller, a gentlemen calls me because he saw my sign in your yard, or ad in the paper, or TV ad or whatever. He says to me "I love that house, I don't care how much it is, I want to buy it right now. Where do I sign?" Wouldn't you want me to get him a contract and sell your house to him? Naturally you say yes. Well Mr Seller, when that happens I would then become a disclosed dual agent because now I represent both of you. The good news is I'm still going to be looking out for your best interests, but I will also now do the same for him. But I can't tell him anything that would be detrimental to your position nor can I tell you anything that would hinder his negotiating position. Also, if another agent in my office sells your home as a buyers agent for another client, we would become a dual agency. The reason being is because we are still under the same brokerage. I hope that all makes sense.

As a final note, regardless of the relationship you and your agent have they owe you certain rights. We call these fiduciary responsibilities. They are as follows;

Loyalty- means your agent is looking out for your best interests

Obedience- means your agent has to obey your lawful instructions.
Disclosure- means your agent will tell you everything they know about the property, the situation or whatever it may be that will help you.

Confidentiality- means that anything you tell your agent is told in confidence and will not be shared with the public. ie, your going through divorce, your spouse died, you have to move by next month, or you are willing to pay 3 times what the house is listed for, etc. The agent protects their clients interest.

Reasonable care and diligence-means your agent will use their skill and education to take care of you throughout your transaction and be there as a guide throughout the process.

Accounting- means your agent will carefully and diligently handle all moneys or entrusted documents you place into their care.

I hope this has shed some light on the types of relationship you and your agent may experience.
Remember the perfect agent for you is the one that takes care of your needs and you feel comfortable with.

Blog Done, Carry On!!

1 comment:

Jonathan Greene said...

Wow... Dual agencies, disclosed or otherwise, are forbidden in most states. Here in Florida, we transition to a transaction brokerage in order to represent both parties.

Of course Mississippi would be the most backwards state in the union, right?