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Agency laws of 1994 laws enacted a big change in the way real estate agents represent their clients and customers.  Prior to that time, agents always had the Sellers best interest first and Buyers really had to "beware".  Now, basically, if an agent is working with you, they are to be working for you only, unless they inform you differently. 

Even with all the agency changes, the commission is still paid by the Seller, even though the Buyer technically shoulders some of the fee.  I have contracted with some Buyers who will pay my fees for service directly to my office and I can negotiate for them without taking a commission from the Seller.  It works well in some instance, such as a land purchase. 

It is my job to do what you, as the client, want. I represent both Sellers and Buyers, just not at the same time unless there are special circumstances.  Representing more than one party to a transaction presents a conflict of interest since both clients may rely upon the Licensee's advice and the client's respective interests may be adverse to each other.  Licensee will undertake this representation only with the written consent of ALL parties in the transaction.  Any agreement between the clients as to a final contract sales price and other terms is a result of negotiations between the clients acting in their own best interests and on their own behalf.

As a consumer, you have to see Realtors® and real estate agents as doing two very different jobs.  One job is to sell a home - the marketing, negotiating and advice.  Another job is to help purchase a home where the agent's knowledge of the market, experience, flexibility in showings and negotiating and advice.  Your agent may be capable of doing both for you just be sure to know your agent and keep a good dialogue going. Above all, you should trust your agent to do what's best for you.

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