I don't represent Sellers, so why am I writing about this? Almost all Buyers will someday be Sellers and almost all Sellers buy after they sell. My clients may as well understand that what is true on one side of a transaction usually has its parallel on the other.
Just as Buyers often sign away rights and protections when entering a Buyer-Broker Agreement, Sellers are almost always asked to sign away their right to full representation when signing a Listing Agreement. Once again, Sellers, just like Buyers have a choice.
The law often requires the disclosure of this choice, but it is usually not presented as a choice when explained to the real estate consumer (if explained at all).
In a Listing presentation a Seller will often hear something more like:
"And your initials here allow me to find a Buyer for your property and help with the paperwork in order to get your home sold." (point and move on...)
"By initialing here you are agreeing to Limited Agency. If I find a Buyer and I want to simultaneously work for that Buyer and you as the Seller, there are inherant conflicts of interest. We will no longer be working exclusively for you on your behalf. We will also be attempting to work for the Buyer. Initialling here is your acknowledgement that you understand that you will no longer be receiving exclusive representation and the full array of agency level service and authorizes us to change our agency relationship from that of a full Agent, with full fiduciary duties, representing only you, to that of a Limited Agent, with limited levels of fiduciary duties, no longer working solely on your behalf. For example, at the full level of agency, if I learn information from Buyers that strengthens your bargaining position in negotiations, I am legally obligated to disclose that information to you. At the limited agency level, I am obligated to NOT disclose that information to you because I also represent the Buyer. Would you like to retain full representation, or allow me to become a limited agent? It will cost you the same."
This is just one of the ways that you effectively lose full representation when Buying OR Selling a home. It's called "Dual-Agency." Agents prefer to use the more consumer-friendly term "Limited Agency" if it is mentioned at all.
If you don't remember hearing about "Dual Agency" when you bought or sold a home, that isn't surprising.
According to "research by the National Association of Realtors, just 30 percent of all buyers in 2005 received disclosures about representation from their agents at their first meeting. Nearly half of all first-time buyers either received no disclosures during the sales transaction or were unaware of whether they did or did not." - Kenneth Harney, Agents Falling Short On Disclosure, Washington Post, Saturday, March 18, 2006; Page F01
Homebuyer Representation, Inc. is an Exclusive Buyer Brokerage serving Salt Lake and surrounding areas. We do not list homes and we don't represent Sellers. We work for you on the Buying side of the transaction at all times.
For more information, just call us at (801) 969-8989 or contact us via the link on this page.