Working With a Real Estate Agent
Buying a home is probably one of the most important financial transactions you will make in your life. So, it is necessary to understand the kind of relationship you might be entering into with a REALTOR®, from an agency such as RE/MAX Sea to Sky Real Estate.
Your Relationship with the Agency
A REALTOR® working for RE/MAX Sea to Sky Real Estate works within a legal relationship called agency. The agency relationship exists between you (the principal), and your agent (the company), under which the individual salesperson, who is representing you, is licensed. The essence of the agency relationship is that the REALTOR® has the authority to represent the principal in dealings with others.
Agents and their salespeople are legally obligated to protect and promote the interests of their principals as they would their own.
Specifically, the agent has the following duties:
Undivided loyalty. The agent must protect the principal’s negotiating position at all times, and disclose all known facts which may affect or influence the principal’s decision.
To obey all lawful instructions of the principal.
An obligation to keep the confidences of the principal.
The exercise of reasonable care and skill in performing all assigned duties.
The duty to account for all money and property placed in an agent’s hands while acting for the principal.
You can expect competent service from your agent, knowing that the company is bound by ethics and the law to be honest and thorough in representing a property listed by their own agents in a single transaction.
When There Is No Relationship
You may also choose to use the services of a REALTOR® without having any kind of agency relationship. This might occur for example, when you are being shown a property by the seller’s agent.
However, if you choose to work with a seller’s agent, that agent must still work within a manner which is legal and ethical. Their duty is still to provide you with accurate, honest answers to your questions, as well as access to all of these services:
Explain real estate terms and practices.
Provide and explain forms used.
Assist you in screening and viewing properties.
Inform you of lenders and their policies.
Identify and estimate costs involved in a transaction.
Assist you in establishing your range of affordability.
Prepare offers or counter-offers at your direction.
Present all offers promptly.
A REALTOR® who is not your agent cannot:
Recommend or suggest a price
Negotiate on your behalf
Inform you of his/her principal’s top/bottom line
Disclose any confidential information about his/her principal unless otherwise authorized
You should not provide a real estate agent who is not your agent with any information that you would not provide directly to his or her principal.