Friday, May 22, 2015 / by Katherine Kiernan
- The sign in the yard: The sign identifies the party that represents the SELLER. The sign reflects both the brokerage that backs the sale of the property as well as who the individual agent is working with the seller.
**** As a buyer can you call the name/number on the sign? Yes! Absolutely! However, know that when you do that dual agency applies and it is important for you to be clear as to what that means for you as the buyer. We will get to that in just a minute. ****
- The buyer’s agent: This person is your new best friend. The buyer’s agent is responsible for showing you houses, updating you on the market, and assisting you with negotiating the deal once you have found the house of your dreams. The buyer’s agent is also backed by their own brokerage. Their brokerage will back and insure the buyer’s side of the transaction. The person who called you after you created a log in to look at houses online? That’s your new buyer’s agent! We’ve all been there. We want to look at beautiful houses, we don’t really have serious plans to move, we go to the website, find a house we love, want to click on the pictures, a box pops up and asks you for your personal information, you answer the questions and voila! Pictures! The person on the other end of the line is the buyer’s agent. If you meet with them and you don’t connect with ease, rest easy… You are not obligated to keep hanging out with them just because they showed you a house or two. The exception to this is if you signed an exclusive right to represent buyer agreement with that agent. For more on this, feel free to contact us directly or stay tuned for future blog posts. However, it is very important that you find a buyer’s agent that you thoroughly enjoy working with and who understands what you are looking for, what your motivation is, your ideal time line and budget, and the area you would like to look at it. If you meet somebody that fits this bill with you, be loyal. They will be to you! This person is in place to ensure that you get into that house with ease. Rest easy, they aren’t expensive either! As a matter of fact, in the majority of situations you don’t pay a dime for their services! When a seller lists their house with an agent they agree to a contractual obligation to compensate the buyer’s agent for ensuring everything is conducted smoothly on your side of the transaction as well as theirs.
- The FSBO – The for sale by owner seller is the seller who thinks that listing their house by themselves without professional assistance is the easiest and cheapest way to get the job done. Often times you will see a For Sale By Owner sign in the yard. Rest assured, you can still use your buyer’s agent to assist you in purchasing for sale by owner properties as well. The For Sale By Owner individual is an unrepresented seller. Often times we see people sell their houses in this manner when they want to save money on their real estate transaction. Before I was in the business I didn’t think twice about this. Why wouldn’t you want to essentially use a big old coupon when selling your house? Well I respond to this differently now..If you were told that you needed to have open heart surgery, would you seek out the top cardiologists in the business or would you go straight to your general practitioner to have them perform the procedure? If you are anything like me, I would seek out the specialist. They know what they are doing, could do it in their sleep, and ensure a successful outcome.
**** If you have a home to sell and you are still contemplating the for sale by owner option, ensure that you seek professional guidance from an attorney or other real estate professional to assist you with this process. There is a wide margin for accidental oversights that can be made in real estate transactions that can result in catastrophic lawsuits. Protect yourself and seek guidance and assistance!****
- Dual Agency – Dual agency occurs when one broker represents both parties to a transaction, or when both agents licensed to the same broker each represent a party to the transaction. Dual Agency requires the informed consent of all parties, and means that the broker owes the same duties to both the seller and the buyer. This role limits the level of representation the broker can provide, and prohibits the broker from acting exclusively for either party. In dual agency, the broker’s knowledge regarding either party’s willingness to negotiate further on price or terms, or regarding motivation for pursuing a transaction, will be kept confidential, unless the buyer and or the seller instructs the broker in writing to disclose specific information about him or her. Dual agents cannot advocate for one party to the detriment of the other. Dual agents also must disclose to buyers material facts, of which broker is aware that could adversely and significantly affect buyer’s use of the property. The exception to this piece is if the brokerage has an appointed agency policy. An appointed agent represents both the seller and the buyer in the same transaction and is considered to be a disclosed dual agent. This person has duties to both parties and must get permission from both parties to act as such.
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