Canton MA Events and Real Estate

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Buyers Have the Right to their Own Representation

Buyers Have the Right to their Own Representation

There have been a couple of blogs recently - and one not so recently - that I have been meaning to re-blog.  They all deal with agency issues, disclosure & the right to buyer representation.  Rather than re-blogging each one, I decided to tie them all together in one blog post.  Please read the original posts.  They are all excellent.

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Most recently, there was Carol Ann Palmieri's It Is Always Your Choice Who to Use as Your Realtor where Carol tells of a "friend" who emailed her to apologize because she was buying her home from another agent.  The friend says that she emailed the listing agent to inquire about the house, went & saw it and felt that she had no choice but to use the listing agent's mortgage company and sign a Purchase & Sale Agreement right away or risk losing the house. Maybe the friend knew what she was doing or maybe she felt pressured by the listing agent.  Either way, she did have a choice.

 

photoBefore that there was J. Philp Faranda's What You Must Know About Dual Agency if You Are Selling A New York Home:  The lesson applies even if you are selling or buying a home in Massachusetts.  In this post, Phil does an excellent job explaining agency and who represents whom.  It was a clear, concise and honest explanation of the fact that the listing agent's client is the Seller.  A buyer who may come to him is a customer and without his/her own agent, is going through the transaction unrepresented.  It was such a good post that the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents recently linked to it on its Facebook Page.  

 

photoA few months ago, there was Nina Rogoff's Is Your Realtor Starting Off on the Right Foot? where Nina explains that all agents must present consumers with the Massachusetts Mandatory Licensee Disclosure Form, with an emphasis on MANDATORY, prior to working with that consumer.  The purpose of the form is so that consumers understand whom the agent represents.  A potential buyer, for example, must be informed if the agent is working as a Seller's Agent, a Buyer's Agent, a Designated Buyer's or Seller's Agent or a Dual Agent (among other choices).  

Believe it or not, I recently witnessed a situation where an agent had the buyer sign this disclosure AT THE CLOSING!  The agent was representing the Seller. The buyer was unrepresented.  (I was at the closing as an attorney, not as an agent & not on behalf of the buyer.) The buyer went through the entire process without it being disclosed whom the agent was representating - a clear violation in Massachusetts.

The listing agent represents the Seller and that is where his or her duty lies.  That is their obligation, plain and simple.  It should not be a secret.  The three agents I mention above are honest and ethical and are quite up front about how agency works.  If you are selling your home in one of their areas, you would do well to hire them.  They will represent you well.  If you are a buyer, I am confident that they will disclose and explain agency to you.

Buyers have the right to their own representation.  Just as the Seller's interests are represented, so should the Buyer's interests be represented.  If you are considering buying a home, then do your research and find a good buyer's agent to assist with your search.  If you are interested in a certain home, ask your buyer's agent to arrange a showing.  

I may be crazy but I tell my potential clients this at our first meeting, that it is important that they have their own represenation whether it is me or somebody else.  Of course, I think that I would provide them with the best representation as an Exclusive Buyer Agent and Attorney but if they choose not to work with me, I tell them please do not go it alone.

If you are considering buying a home in Canton MA, Milton MA or a surrounding Norfolk County community, contact your Canton MA Buyer Broker for 100% buyer representation.

 

 
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Christine Smith is an Attorney and Exclusive Buyer Agent with over 25 years of experience in the real estate field. 

 

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Comment balloon 33 commentsChristine Smith • December 22 2011 05:37PM

Comments

Thank you for re-blogging, Christine, and for the compliment! Realtors need to understand the real estate laws so they can act according to those. Carol Ann and Phil wrote two excellent posts, too! Buyers who are looking for a buyers' agent in Canton will be fortunate to have Christine Smith, Buyers Brokers Only, representing them! Happy holidays!

Posted by Nina Rogoff, Sells Real Estate! (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 7 years ago

Hi Christine.....three nice selections......and my office has two of the three which makes it even nicer!!!  I too have seen agents scurrying around just before closing to have an agency disclosure signed by the buyer.....we do all of that at the first meeting as we are suppose to.....the first conversation is about representation and who represents who.....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 7 years ago

Nina...you are welcome.  I meant to write about yours sooner but time got away from me.  The other two posts reminded me of it.  Thanks for the shout out!

Barbara...I like how Phil is sandwiched between the two agents from Re/Max Executive!  Boggles my mind that someone would not have that MANDATORY agency disclosure form signed at the beginning.  I have agents ask me for it when I submit my offers & of course, I have it already signed & scanned in & ready to go.

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com) over 7 years ago

Wow, I didn't know I got the link love from the NAEBA! And that you Christine! 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 7 years ago

Phil...Oh yes!  NAEBA loved your post!  They had lovely things to say about you!

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com) over 7 years ago

Oh my, I cannot believe that that agent got away without that disclosure.  That is a clear violation.  Great post, Christine and you cited three great supporing posts.

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) over 7 years ago

Jane....I sat there speechless! 

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com) over 7 years ago

Christine, sometimes the agent "representing" them hasn't even seen the house!

Posted by Yvette Chisholm, Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500 (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 7 years ago

Agency is so important but unfortunately you can watch people's eyes glaze over while you explain it! I try to make it as interesting as I can so they actually listen. 

Posted by Rosalie Evans, The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale (Meritus Group Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Christine,

Some very savvy buyers insist on having the listing agent in order to compromise the seller's representation and save some money on commissions.

Brian

Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) over 7 years ago

Love the format of your post. Very easy to follow!

Posted by Doug Rogers, Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent (Bayou Properties) over 7 years ago

Great re-blogs! Definitely putting these on my to-read list! Thanks!

Posted by Ben Blonder, Buyers, Sellers, Investors! (Broker/Owner, Keller Williams) over 7 years ago

Great information and great way to represent this topic.  I always get this sign up front. 

Posted by Luis Iniguez, Search Inland Empire Homes For Sale - Short Sale Agent (Option One Real Estate) over 7 years ago

California allows dual agency by law. So a Realtor can represent both buyer and seller – legally. I stress “legally” because many Realtors are uncomfortable with dual agency and many buyers are also. As a dual agent (I have acted in that role in the past) the Realtor’s relationship with the seller changes. The relationship with the buyer is also different that if the Realtor was only representing the buyer. It can work. It can also be a problem. It certainly can raise questions in the minds of both buyer and seller about who the Realtor is really representing.

Posted by John Juarez, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN (The Medford Real Estate Team) over 7 years ago

I am surprised how many folks do not see value in having buyer representation.  They just don't get it!  Often, they think it will cost them more.. which it may... however, they don't get they will have someone protecting their interests.  I find it frustrating that after all these years, buyer agency is not understood my most of the public. 

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 7 years ago

Many buyers think that they can go it alone....and perhaps they CAN - or perhaps not.  For the most part its a bad idea to use the listing agent. You are negotiating with a pro whose JOB IT IS to represent the SELLER!!!!  Don't mean to shout - but it just gets so ridiculous.  GREAT BLOG...l

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) over 7 years ago

I have come across many buyers and sellers who had left their current agents or had talked to others before me and surprising enough, they never recieved the disclosure from them. I give that at the first meeting. Great posts from all!

Posted by Stacia Whatley, StaciaSellsHomes Your Western WA Realtor® (Hawkins-Poe Inc.) over 7 years ago

People don't know what they don't know and until something bad happens. Usually by than the damage is done. It's interesting that some buyers don't want represenation especially when it doesn't cost them anything in about 99% of the cases. I think there is a belief by some buyers that think if they negotiate their own deal they will save money. The only person that might save is the seller if there was some deal worked out between the listing agent and the seller. 

Unfortunately there is a lot of bad information on the internet and sometimes in those goofy books like " ....... FOR DUMMIES".

Posted by Raymond Kennedy (Keller Williams Preferred Realty) over 7 years ago

Hi Christine.   Thank you for showcasing my story.   I will check out the others.   On the disclosure thing.  That happens so often it is freaky.    When I meet a prospective client for the first time and take out the disclosure,  I usually start with, if they have seen homes before, that they must have seen this paperwork already.  You would be surprised at how many have not!!!   Floors me!    Congrats on the star!!!

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 7 years ago

Great topics to featured. Buyers do need to understand between being a client and a customer in the real estate world.

Posted by Mike Yeo (3:16 team REALTY) over 7 years ago

Christine, three very good posts. Agency is always an area where agents seem to forget some of the principles. Disclosure up front is important.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 7 years ago

Yvette....not sure what you mean.  As a buyers agent I have always seen the house that my clients are buying.

Rosalie...it can get complicated.  They just need to be aware where the loyalties lie.

Brian...I would not call them savvy buyers - maybe misinformed.  Since the buyer is not paying commission (not usually anyway around here) they are not saving anything.

Doug....thanks.  I thought it was easier than reblogging all three separately.

Ben...they are good bloggers to read & follow.

Luis...that is the right way to do things.

John....MA allows dual agency as well, with consent - thus the purpose of the form.  I'm not sure why a Seller would consent to it or a buyer either for that matter.

Joan...what they think they might save may end up costing them a lot more. And since the Seller has a contract with the listing agent to pay a certain commission, it really isn't the buyer that is paying it anyway.

Ruthmarie...thanks.  It drives me nuts too & makes me want to shout as well! :)

Stacia...I am starting to find that out.  I just cannot imagine risking my license over that.

Raymond....exactly!!  And the small amount they think they save may not be worth it in the end.

Carol Ann....It is scary that this happens so often.  As I said above, these people are risking their licenses.

Mike...it is a very important distinction.

 

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com) over 7 years ago

Michael....Disclosure up front is good for the consumer & the agent as well.

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com) over 7 years ago

I was working on the floor and 2 times received calls with the buyers telling me they want to work with the listing agents.

Florida also allows dual agency, but we can not call it "Dual Agency" but you have to have them sign a Transaction Disclosure Form, explaining the limited representation duties.

I also tell my sellers, I don't want to know their bottom line price that they will accept, because if I bring them the buyer they can't say I told them what the seller will take.  I also tell them if I bring the buyer I will give them 1% off of commission (only on a 6-7% rate)

Posted by Kathy Dowd, Consider it SOLD (RE/MAX Realty Team, 239 220 4133) over 7 years ago

Thanks for the links to earlier posts, they're all excellent. This is a great topic that should be brought up repeatedly. The easy choice is to...  - only represent one side of the transaction, always. Why risk the liability of representing both sides? Besides, you have a duty to represent your client to the best of your ability...can you be confident that you are doing this while also representing the other party in the transaction? Service to the customer is paramount, dual agency compromises your service whether permitted by law or not.

Would an attorney represent the plantiff and defendant?  ---- Can you say - Conflict of Interest!

Greg Fischer - Fort Worth, TX

Posted by Greg Fischer (Fischer Real Estate Services) over 7 years ago

Christine - Thx for the heads-up on these great posts. I reblogged JPs because it was such a clear example of why buyers need to get their own Realtor.

Seasons Greetings

Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) over 7 years ago

Kathy....sounds like you do the right thing by disclosing it to everyone.

Greg....your last line says it all!  Or - would you want the same attorney to represent both husband and wife in a divorce?  I think not.

Donne....that really was a great post that JP wrote.  Thanks for reblogging it because I do think he makes some important points that everyone needs to know.

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com) over 7 years ago

Christine -- I would like to reblog this after it makes its way down the roll. This is such an important topic for buyers to understand. You have offered solid information all in one place. A majority of buyers really do not understand buyer representation vs. going to the listing agent for representation.  We cannot publicize enough the fact that buyers must have their own  representation and what it means NOT to have it! Thanks for a great post.

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) over 7 years ago

The topic of "agency" always makes for good debate.

Good post, thanks for sharing it.

Posted by Anthony Daniels, SF Bay Area REO Specialist (Coldwell Banker) over 7 years ago

Barbara...thanks so much for the re-blog.  The more we can get this information out to consumers, the better.

Anthony...agency migh make for a good debate but disclosure should not.  It should be done every single time.

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com) over 7 years ago

Hello Christine:

 

I began my real estate career in Massachusetts and always thought the disclosure was the easiest part of meeting a new prospect, in part because it was mandatory and it allowed me to be the authority on a subject. This is a major problem in MA (and probably other states too) highlighted by a study done in the fall of last year see 94% of Massachusetts agents not in compliance with agency disclosure.

Demonstrating one is a true professional is so easy to do and it starts with the proper disclosure.

 

Happy Holidays

Posted by Brian Rugg, Sun City TX Real Estate - Georgetown, TX Real Est (Rugg Realty LLC Sun City Texas 512-966-3200) over 7 years ago

It's amazing what people think they can get away with, isn't it?                                                            

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) over 7 years ago

Brian...that is a scary statistic.

Eric...it really is!

 

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com) over 7 years ago

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