Who Represents ME?!
It’s time to buy a house. It’s time to sell our home. When a buyer or a seller works with a real estate agent in Virginia, whose interest does that real estate agent represent? Is there a difference? Does it matter?
When a person signs a written agreement with real estate agent and selects “buyer agency” [i.e. a buyer brokerage agreement] or “seller agency” [i.e. a listing agreement] the real estate agent owes specific duties to that client. (Don’t worry; we’ll be explaining the ins and outs of both soon!)
This simplest explanation is that when an agent represents SOLEY the buyer’s interests, this is called “buyer agency”. If the agent represents SOLEY the seller’s interests, this is called “seller agency”. If there is no signed agreement, then an agent should require a customer to sign an “unrepresented agency disclosure”.
When the real estate agent represents a buyer they work for the buyer to locate a suitable property at a price and on terms acceptable to the client.
When the real estate agent represents a seller they work for the seller conducting marketing activities in order to obtain a sale at the price and terms acceptable to the seller.
In general, when a real estate agent represents their client they need to comply with the following duties:
For all offers, counteroffers, and amendments:
Presenting in a timely manner.
Draft and negotiation of terms
Assist client in satisfaction of contractual obligations
Drafting and negotiating offers, counter offers, and amendments.
Maintain the confidentiality of the client’s information.
Account for all money and property received in a timely manner.
Exercise ordinary care
Disclose material facts actually known about the property to the buyer.
But it can be more complicated than this. In upcoming posts we’ll be explaining the differences in the between standard agent, limited services agent, and non-agent. As well as diving in to specific types of agency!
And remember, with us, advice is always free. Reach us at [email protected]