Saturday, March 15, 2014

What is a Realtor?

Did you know that as a Realtor representing a client I owe certain duties to the client? 

These duties are part of what we provide in an agency relationship with the client.  This relationship is usually created when the agent has the client sign either a listing agreement or a buyer’s agreement.  These documents are not created to bind the client to the agent, although there is some of that.  We agree to work together, and the client agrees that I am their agent, at least in the specific houses I have shown them or for the specific time we agreed on.

In this relationship with the client, I, as the Realtor, owe certain duties: loyalty, obedience, disclosure, confidentiality, reasonable care and diligence, and accounting.  So, what does this actually mean?

Loyalty states that as your realtor, I will act in your best interests at all times.  In other words, all my actions in our real estate endeavors will be for and in your best interests; not mine, not my friends, not my family.

Obedience:  As an agent I represent you and will follow all lawful instructions in the marketing or buying of real estate.  You are the boss.  Final decisions and directions are determined by you, the client.  An agent should not push you to a more expensive house, or refuse to make an offer because it is too low, for example.  I am the trained professional in Real Estate, and I have trained in order to be your advisor, guide, teacher, and negotiator, but not to make your decisions for you.

Disclosure:  An agent is always honest and I will always be honest with all people, whether they are clients or not.  But, to my clients I must disclose all known and relevant facts that will help you make good decisions.  I owe my loyalty to my client with whom I share my information.  At the same time I cannot keep secret known material facts, this is part of being honest.  And, at the same time I owe the next duty, confidentiality, to my client for all time.

Confidentiality:  I will, and must, keep my clients lawful confidences and secrets.  As an agent I know how low a client is willing to go, or perhaps I know the urgency the client has for selling a house.  This is a confidence I never share.

Accounting:  As an agent I must account for and be responsible for all money and property that has been entrusted to me.

The last duty is reasonable care and diligence.  This means I need to know what I am doing and do it to the best of my ability.  I have taken 90 hours of real estate classes just in the first year.  These classes are in real estate law, ethics, finance, measuring and appraising, and much more.  We have to keep taking classes every two years. 

By the way, there is a difference between real estate agents and a Realtor.  All Realtors are real estate agents, but not all agents are Realtors.  A Realtor is held to a higher standard of ethics and training.

With all the trust and information you give a Realtor, it is good to know we will take care and honor your trust.

So, lets find you a house, or lets get your home sold!  Call me and let me know how I can help.