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Agency Relationships Defined
Contracts can sure cloud the water, can't they? Defining verbiage of parties of the part sounds great when it's read out loud, but try to start figuring out who is identified, and you may just need more coffee. In the real estate transaction, there are several "Agency" relationships that will be important to know. Below, we take a look at who's who.
The term “agency” is used in real estate to help determine what legal responsibilities your real estate professional owes to you and other parties in the transaction.
The seller's representative (also known as a listing agent or seller's agent) is hired by and represents the seller. All fiduciary duties are owed to the seller, meaning this person’s job is to get the best price and terms for the seller. The agency relationship usually is created by a signed listing contract.
The buyer's representative (also known as a buyer’s agent) is hired by prospective buyers to and works in the buyer's best interest throughout the transaction. The buyer can pay the agent directly through a negotiated fee, or the buyer's rep may be paid by the seller or through a commission split with the seller’s agent.
A subagent owes the same fiduciary duties to the agent's customer as the agent does. Subagency usually arises when a cooperating sales associate from another brokerage, who is not the buyer’s agent, shows property to a buyer. The subagent works with the buyer to show the property but owes fiduciary duties to the listing broker and the seller. Although a subagent cannot assist the buyer in any way that would be detrimental to the seller, a buyer customer can expect to be treated honestly by the subagent.
A disclosed dual agent represents both the buyer and the seller in the same real estate transaction. In such relationships, dual agents owe limited fiduciary duties to both buyer and seller clients. Because of the potential for conflicts of interest in a dual-agency relationship, all parties must give their informed consent. Disclosed dual agency is legal in most states, but often requires written consent from all parties.
Designated agents (also called appointed agents) are chosen by a managing broker to act as an exclusive agent of the seller or buyer. This allows the brokerage to avoid problems arising from dual-agency relationships for licensees at the brokerage. The designated agents give their clients full representation, with all of the attendant fiduciary duties.
A transaction broker (sometimes referred to as a facilitator) is permitted in states where nonagency relationships are allowed. These relationships vary considerably from state to state. Generally, the duties owed to the consumer in a nonagency relationship are less than the complete, traditional fiduciary duties of an agency relationship.
List provided from "The Answer Book" from Realtor Magazine
Hopefully these help you get a better understanding of all of the parties to a real estate transaction. Still have questions? Call us! We'd love opportunity to talk with you. Our office is(423) 433-6517, or stop by our office inside Keller Williams Realty, 1033 Hamilton Place in Johnson City. We're here for YOU!
Wes Shields, Team Owner and Listing Agent for The Shields Team at Keller Williams Realty of Johnson City Tennessee, has a long and very impressive list of accomplishments in his 10+ years in the real ....
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