Friday, April 27, 2007

Working With Real Estate Agents - Part I

I always receive questions from both Buyers and Sellers with regard to their relationship to their agent. Indeed, it can be confusing at times. I thought it would be a good idea to break it down into the 3 main types to help alleviate some questions or concerns that are floating about. Today, we'll start with Seller's Agent:

As an agent that represents a seller there are many duties that the agent has to the seller.
  • Promote your best interest
  • be loyal to you
  • follow your lawful instructions
  • provide you with all material facts that could influence your decisions
  • use reasonable skill, care and diligence
  • account for all monies they handle for you.

In addition to the duties owed to a Seller by an agent there are services:

  • help you to price your property
  • advertise and market your property
  • giving you all required property disclosure forms for you to complete
  • negotiate for you the best possible price and terms
  • review all written offers with you
  • promote your interests

For representing you and helping you sell your property, you will pay the listing firm a sales commission or fee. The listing agreement must state the amount or method for determining the commission or fee and whether you will allow the firm to share its commission with agents representing the buyer.

Once you have signed the listing agreement, the firm and its agents may not give any confidential information about you to prospective buyers or their agents without your permission so long as they represent you. But until you sign the listing agreement, you should avoid telling the listing agent anything you would not want a buyer to know.

Please remember, it is important to know whether an agent is working for you as your agent or simply working with you while acting as an agent of the other party. When speaking to a prospective agent be sure that you receive the "Working with Real Estate Agents" brochure. It is a wealth of information and it will help you to understand your relationship with your agent.

Until next time......

Happy Schucking!

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