The first and most important decision you have to make when you are thinking of buying a new home is if you want a True Real Estate Agent to represent you or not?
Most people are not aware of the fact that most realtors (over 95%) in the state of Florida are not true agents…as they do not fulfill the legal and fiduciary obligations and other duties of agents. Most realtors in Florida are Transaction Brokers. What the heck is the difference and why should I care…you may be asking? A true “Agent” works for one person or entity for one reason or purpose, no matter what.
At For Buyers Only Realty we are Single Agents that only work with Buyer Clients. We never take listings of work for sellers. Most other Realtors are simply transnational brokers that only facilitate a transaction (pushing papers without attention to any of the details).
Please compare the two forms listed below to compare the differences. Also please click this link to watch a great video and learn about the differences…Remember, you are getting ready to spend a very large sum of money…do not leave the outcome to chance; protect your new home and your money!
So….how do you know if that Realtor on the sign in front of the house…or the nice realtor that you got that catchy postcard from in the mail…or your best friends brother that happens to be a Realtor is a true real estate agent or one of those transaction brokers? You will need to ask that realtor if they are a single agent or a transaction broker. Transaction brokers do not have to disclose to you the fact that they will not actually be representing you as their agent…it is assumed that you would know.
If you realtor does not give you a copy of the SINGLE AGENT NOTICE (pictured below)….then you are working with a realtor that does not represent you.
If they do not give you this SINGLE AGENT NOTICE….then they are a TRANSACTION BROKER. What is the difference? Here is a copy of the transaction broker notice (not that you will ever see one because most realtors don’t want you to know that they don’t represent you.
As you can see by comparing the two….you will receive extra benefits by working with a SINGLE AGENT that you will not receive when working with a TRANSACTION BROKER.
- FULL CONFIDENTIALITY
- FULL DISCLOSURE
But what does that really mean…does it really make a difference? Who cares? Well….you…as the Buyer Should!
If we were to represent you in a SINGLE AGENT capacity, and we end up finding the perfect house for you and we decide to make an offer on it. If I were to call the listing agent to discuss the property (before making an offer) and if the they were to mention to me that the seller is very motivated and would be willing to accept a lower price than the asking price. Since I am loyal to you, I would pass that information along, as it will be very helpful in framing our offer to the seller.
Now, if I were a Transaction Broker and that same situation occurred, the story would have a different ending. Reason being, according to the transaction brokerage agreement, “This limited confidentiality will prevent disclosure that the SELLER will accept a price less than the asking or listed price, that the BUYER will pay a price greater than the price submitted in a written offer, of the motivation of any party for selling or buying property…” So, I am legally obligated not to share that information.
If you’re wondering why a real estate brokerage would NOT want to represent their buyerss as a single agent, the reason is simple… Added liability and risk. With increased representation responsibilities comes increased risk.
So what should you do?
- Make sure your realtor is truly an agent….meaning that they represent you as a single agent, and are not a transaction broker where they do NOT represent you.
- If that’s not possible, be aware that the realtor has certain restrictions on the information that they can share with you, and be careful of the information that you share with them (remember that they offer you only LIMITED CONFIDENTIALITY)
- If the realtor you’re already working with is unwilling or unable to be a single agent, and you’re not in a position to do the research necessary to make a completely informed decision – find an realtor who will represent you as a single agent.