BrokerageIndustry News

‘Are you my Realtor?’ Consumer confusion in agency laws

Beyond Dual Agency

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Homebuyers and sellers looking to negotiate the best commission rate, obtain the highest level of service, and protect their legal rights in the event of a dispute can start off on the right foot by making sure they understand the form of representation their broker or agent is providing. Consumers may assume that, like a lawyer, a real estate agent always represents their interests and their interests alone. But the rules governing the agency relationships between consumers, real estate brokers and their agents vary from state to state, and have been completely rewritten in the last 25 years. Laws in most states allow real estate agents to "double dip," representing both the buyer and seller in the same transaction without owing either party their undivided loyalty. Licensees in 25 states are now permitted to provide services to one or both parties as non-agency "facilitators" or "transaction brokers," owing limited or no fiduciary duties to act in their clients' best inte...