Do You Have Representation?

Dated: October 11 2021

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Are you “represented”? This means “do you have a real estate agent who works FOR you or WITH you”?

The Buyer
If you, the Buyer, have an agent working FOR you, it means you have a contract in place that verifies this fact. If you have not initiated an agreement, the agent is working WITH you, but not FOR you. These are the facts: facts that you as a Buyer and Seller need to know. It is imperative either to have representation or to know and understand why you do not have representation.

Without a contract in place, you can only receive information, not advice, on how to proceed as a buyer. However, if the Buyer signs a Buyer contract, the Buyer then has “contracted for” specific representation and is now a Buyer “client” to whom an agent can “give advice,” rather than just the “information” he would otherwise receive.
With a “Buyer Contract” in place, the agent is working “for the Buyer,” not tthe Seller when the desired property is located.  It means the Buyer agent works exclusively for that Buyer to find suitable property that the Buyer seeks. During a specific period, the property is located in a particular area of town, a particular price range, and other attributes.

Part of the purpose of the Buyer having representation is the Buyer’s information is held in confidence, the same way the Seller’s personal information is held in confidence. So that all the research done on behalf of the Buyer is to enable the Buyer to get the best deal possible. The best deal possible is related to the sale price and other issues that enter into the transaction. When working under contract “for a Buyer, none of the Buyer’s information should be divulged to the Seller, since the information could and does impact the final outcome for the Buyer. The Buyer Agent is being paid to work FOR the Buyer and WITH the Seller, not FOR the Seller, when a Buyer has his contract.

The Seller
When you list your house for sale having signed a listing agreement, you are by default “represented.” Representation flows with that contract. By contracting for the services of a listing “company” (Real Estate Agent), the company now has a fiduciary duty to you and only to you. The salesperson/agent now represents you exclusively, unless stated otherwise in the contract.

There are many facets to the “sale” transaction that most homeowners do not know about, or they do not understand the real estate terminology. That is where a listing agent comes in. Realtors are advised that right up front when they meet would-be Buyers or Sellers for the first time, or at least at the first logical opportunity, that they must have the Buyer (s) and Sellers sign off on a document that says they understand agency – that they know whether or not they have “representation.” Otherwise how does the agent know what kind of conversation to have with the Buyer or the Seller; what type of information can or cannot be released. Only clients get advice; those without a contract are customers, and as such, are entitled to and must get general information only.

Aside from listing your property, the agent also markets your property to ensure the highest possibility of generating interest leading to the sale. However, listing the agent educates the homeowner on the process, their role, and other pertinent information to help the process go smoothly. Advice, negotiations, and paperwork are all handled by the agent on your behalf. Without a qualified Real Estate Agent to work on your behalf, the selling process can be daunting.

The bottom line is: Are you represented? And if not - why not? It costs you nothing to have this definition of terms explained to you, and in fact, may save you tens of thousands of dollars. How can an agent negotiate for you when you have not given them the tools to do the job properly?

If only you had known, you would have asked for “representation.” Use this information to your advantage. Next time you meet an agent, ask the agent: WHO are you working for? Me or the other side? Tell them: I want you to work FOR me. What do I have to do to make that happen? I like the best deal. How can we work together to get me the best deal? Prove to me that you are working FOR ME. Please show me the contract. Where do I sign? Where’s my contract?

You can always call Jewel Johnson, and I will take the necessary time and go through the steps needed to help educate you, so you will know what to expect and from a Real Estate Agent. As your agent, whether buying, selling, or renting, I will make sure you understand exactly what you are “contracting for.” The keyword is “representation”. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE IT.

This is not legal advice. If you have any legal questions, hire an attorney – not just any lawyer, but rather one who specializes in just real estate law. It would be best to put a team in place where everyone is working in “your” best interest.

Ph:  832-800-4760

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Jewel Johnson

Helping people and Real Estate is my passion. My goal is to make sure your real estate transaction is an enjoyable process by giving you an understanding of every step along the way. Having a better u....

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