“AGENCY” is a term that refers to the relationship between two parties.
There are several types of “agency”.
You could be a “client”or a “customer”.
Your Agent could be a “Seller’s Agent”, a “Buyer’s Agent” or a “Disclosed Dual Agent”.
Whether you are a Buyer or a Seller,you can choose to have the advice, representation and assistance of your own Agent.
Do not assume that an Agent is working on your behalf unless you have contracted them to do so.
All Real Estate Agents are required by law to present all properties fairly and honestly.
They must disclose any known defects in the property regardless of Agency Relationship and treat all parties fairly and honestly.
CLIENT vs. CUSTOMER
A customer is serviced by an agent but without contractual agreement.
Customers must be treated fairly and honestly by agents and given truthful responses to their questions.
An agent may only give advise or opinions to a client.
To become the client of a REALTOR° and receive the full benefit of REALTOR° services, you must enter into an Agreement with the REALTOR° such as a Listing Agreement or a Buyer Agent Agreement.
When a Seller engages the services of a Listing Broker, the Seller becomes the Brokers client.
This means that the Broker and the Agents that work in the Broker’s firm represent the Seller.
They owe the Seller undivided loyalty, utmost care, disclosure, obedience to lawful instruction,confidentiality and accountability.
They MUST put the Seller’s interest first and negotiate for the best price and terms on behalf of the Seller.
The Seller may also authorize sub agents ( agents who work for other firms) to represent them in showing and selling the property to their prospective Buyers.
By doing so however, the Seller is liable for any information that the sub agent may present to their Buyer.
When a Buyer engages the services of A REALTOR° by way of a Buyer Agent Agreement, that Buyer becomes the client of that REALTOR°.
This means that the REALTOR° represents the Buyer.
The REALTOR° now owes the Buyer undivided loyalty, utmost care, disclosure, obedience to lawful instruction,confidentiality and accountability.
They MUST put the Buyer’s interest first and negotiate for the best price and terms on behalf of the Buyer.
DISCLOSED DUAL AGENT
The last type of agency relationship to understand is Dual Agency.
A REALTOR° may work for both the Buyer and Seller on the same property provided that he/she obtain the informed consent of both parties.
The REALTOR° is then considered a Disclosed Dual Agent.
The REALTOR° owes both Buyer and Seller the duty to deal with each fairly and honestly.
In this type of relationship, the REALTOR° works exclusively with neither party and neither party can expect undivided loyalty from the REALTOR°
DUAL AGENCY MUST BE DISCLOSED
The duties of a REALTOR° do not relieve the consumer of the responsibility to protect his/her own interests.
Consumers with questions on how agents share fees should present those questions to the REALTOR°.
Questions regarding taxes,insurance or other legal matters should be presented to your Attorney or other professional in those areas.