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Who Does That Agent Represent?

Great post on Buyer agency.

 

Here in Ga. agents are PROHIBITED from representing a buyer unless there is a buyers agency agreement. So if a buyer does not have a buyers agreement with the agent they are working with then by law, that agent does not represent them!

 

Here is what the Georgia buyers agreement has in bold right on top of the front page:

State law prohibits Broker from representing Buyer as a client without first entering into a written agreementwith Buyer under O.C.G.A. § 10-6A-1 et. seq.

Yes, Mr. Buyer, I CAN show you that house - I can show you any house. No, I am not the Agent for that HOUSE. Agents do not represent HOUSES; Agents represent PEOPLE. confusion  We represent our clients.

If our CLIENT engages us to represent them in Selling their home, we are the SELLER'S AGENT. We MARKET THE HOUSE but we REPRESENT OUR CLIENT.

If the SAME CLIENT engages us to represent them in the purchase of their next home, we are their BUYER'S AGENT in that transaction.

If a different CLIENT engages us to represent them in Buying a home, we are the BUYER'S AGENT.

We represent the Best Interests of OUR CLIENT throughout the transaction.

Whether Our Client is Selling or Buying, we  "Promote the interests of our Client with the utmost good faith, loyalty and fidelity."

We Protect OUR CLIENT's confidences unless disclosure is required by law.

We Disclose, to OUR CLIENT, any information we may glean about the other party.

Can the SAME AGENT represent BOTH the SELLER and the BUYER?  How would that work?  Read the Contract. "Dual Agency ...inherent conflict of interest..."  Dual Agency is not legal in Kansas; it is still practiced in Missouri - not by myself, my broker, or our company. We are known as "Designated Agent" for either the Buyer or the Seller. The contract reads "...designated agent cannot represent both SELLER and BUYER..."  Even if it was not spelled out, common sense tells us that one agent cannot represent the best interests of two people vying for opposite outcomes.

Now, "with INFORMED CONSENT, a Designated Agent may act as a Transaction Broker." What does that mean?  That means that if the Designated Agent represents a Buyer and a Seller and the Buyer decides to buy a house that is owned by the Agent's Seller Client, the agent can convert to Transaction Broker. A Transaction Broker cannot disclose to either party confidential information known about either party. The Transaction Broker can only conduct the transaction. So neither party is represented, right?  None of my Clients like this idea and I agree with them.

There are agents who still conduct transactions as Transaction Brokers. That is their business; not mine. A few, I know, have spent many sleepless nights in what was expected to be an 'easy transaction.'  Situations arise and they have knowledge that would help one or both parties but they cannot disclose to either party.

If you are preparing to buy a home, think about this: The SELLER AND THEIR AGENT may have spent weeks or months together before the home is ready to put on the market. During this time, they bond. They become fond of one another. They share the experiences of hiring contractors to work on the house. They may share meals together. They chat. They like one another. They may become friends. They may have been friends since grade school. If a BUYER enters the picture with no agent and insists upon making an Offer To Purchase that house, where is the SELLER'S AGENT's allegiance?

Also, keep in mind that if the BUYER views the home without their own BUYER'S AGENT present, the BUYER may be giving up some of their rights of representation.

 

Maria Morton, Realtor. Leading Edge Society 2010 

 

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Bob Southard
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Comment balloon 4 commentsBob Southard • September 26 2011 08:27AM

Comments

We just had an agent change agency in the middle of a transaction....hmmm...call in to the attorney this morning...grrrr

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 7 years ago

Hi Bob. Can an agent in GA work with the buyer as a customer?

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) about 7 years ago

Bryant,  Yes, there is a customer acknowledgement that a buyer can sign.  Of course that is very different from being represented.  If we are selling our own listing to an untrepresented buyer then they would acknowledge they are a customer and not a client.

 

Sally and David,  In most states the agreement is actually with the broker.  Likely that buyer is still yours even though the agent moved.  You' right to contact an attorney.

Posted by Bob Southard, e-Pro - Cobb, Cherokee, North Fulton (Atlas Realty Service, LLC) about 7 years ago

Ok cool. The reason I asked is that in Florida we are transaction brokers by default. We can work under an agreement without being an agent. A transaction broker is a type of representation albeit limited (no fiduciary). So I can have a binding BBA without being an agent. And I can "represent" both parties in the same transaction without being a dual agent.

OR we can choose to work as an agent. Most don't.

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) about 7 years ago

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