Are You A Buying – Customer Or A Buying – Client?

The Mountain Life Team Blogger January 25, 2013

I really enjoy coaching recreational sports, especially my own children. I have to tell you though, it can be trying at times. Let me sum it up like this. There are players, and then there are players. The term “players” is used causally and can have different meaning depending on who you are talking to. Often times coaches refer to the more natural “players” as “gamers!”

The Buyer Agency Agreement

Buyer Agency StatusLikewise, there are agents, and then there are agents. However you must be careful, the term “agent” can represent two totally different relationships when buying a cabin or mountain home for sale here in the North Georgia Real Estate Market.

The term “agent”  is typically reserved for someone with whom you have established an agency relationship with. Until such a relationship is established, you are a customer and an agent (in the casual sense) may not have your best interests in mind.  I like how my Broker and Team Leader put it in a recent Contracts Class. “You are either dating or your engaged, and if you are engaged you better put a ring on it!” An agency relationship is created in writing, and the terms of that agency relationship are defined within that Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement. Once this agency relationship is established, the then true agent now has certain fiduciary responsibilities to the client. We will look at those in just a minute, but now an agent does indeed represent your best interest in a real estate transaction.

Agent requirements also include the following:

  • Loyalty
  • Obedience
  • Disclosure
  • Confidentiality
  • Reasonable Care and Diligence
  • Accounting

Determine The Relationship

It is vitally important that you determine the relationship with your “agent” early in your working relationship. You may want to consult with the Georgia Association of Realtors®to gain a better understanding about agency laws here in Georgia. You can also seek additional information from the Georgia Real Estate Commission. Another great document you should read is The ABC’s of Agency Relationships in the state of Georgia.

Below you will find some details on how your status may effect the level of service you are entitled to in each relationship.

If you are a Customer with No Agency relationship an agent will:

  • Maintain loyalty to the seller’s need
  • Tell the seller all that they know about you
  • Keep information about the seller confidential
  • Focus on the seller-client’s property
  • Provide just material facts only
  • Only provide price information that supports the seller’s listing price
  • Protect the seller
  • Negotiate on behalf of the seller
  • Attempt to solve problems to the seller’s advantage and satisfaction

If you are a Client with an Agency Relationship an agent will:

  • Pay Full attention to your needs
  • Tell you what they know about the seller
  • Keep information about you confidential
  • Focus on choices that satisfy your needs
  • Provide and research material facts as well as professional advice
  • Provide price counseling based on comparable properties and their professional insights
  • Protect and guide you at all times
  • Negotiate on your behalf
  • Attempt to solve problems to your advantage and satisfaction
*This is for general illustrations. Agency laws vary by state; and specific terms of individual agency will also vary from one agent to another.*

Questions For Your Agent?

  1. Do you represent buyers, sellers or both?
  2. What services are provided to (or excluded from) me, based on my status as a buyer-customer or buyer-client?
  3. When does representation begin? When does it conclude?
  4. If I’m not ready to commit to your normal term, can you offer me a one-day buyer agency agreement or a 24-hour opt-out clause?
  5. How is dual agency addressed in your firm?

The Mountain Life Team believes that no party to a transaction should go unrepresented, especially Buyers. Always seek the advice of a Realtor® whenever and wherever. We are Professional Realtors® and currently we have 4 Buyer Specialist  on our team that are focused on keeping our Buyer’s best interest in mind at all times. Our Buyer Specialist do not represent our Listing Clients. Their sole focus is on you, the Buyer. Please Contact Us to setup a consultation with one of our agents today, or if you have any questions or concerns with Buyer Agency Relationships that was not covered in this article.