Why we ask you if you are working with an agent? It’s not all about the money…it’s about our Realtor® Code of Ethics
I know that when many of you hear we Realtors say, “Are you working with a Realtor?” the hair goes up on the back of your neck. You are thinking…what does it matter. Well it matters. It matters a lot, and it is not just about the money.
There are 2 ways in which you may be working with an agent. One is without a written agency agreement, and the second is with a written agency agreement.
Without a Written Agency Agreement…you are a customer, and the Realtor is entitled to commission as a Facilitator.
Even if you do not have a buyer’s representation agreement (a written agency agreement) any Realtor you’ve worked with has a Fiduciary responsibility to you, and is eligible for a commission, as a Facilitator.
In the State of Tennessee, by law any licensee or company who has not entered into a written agreement with either party in the transaction is considered a facilitator or Transaction Broker until such time as an agency agreement is established.
Here are the 7 things a Facilitator (any Realtor) must provide the customer.
- To diligently exercise reasonable skill and care in providing services to all parties of the transaction;
- To disclose to each part of the transaction and Adverse Facts of which license has actual notice or knowledge;
- To maintain for each party in a transaction the confidentiality of any information obtained by licenses prior to disclosure to all parties of a written agency agreement entered into by the Licensee to represent either or both parties in the transaction;
- To provide services to each party to the transaction with honesty and good faith;
- To disclose to each party to the transaction timely and accurate information regarding market conditions that might affect such transaction only when such information is available through public records and when such information is requested by a party;
- To give timely account for earnest money deposits and all other property received from any party to a transaction;
- a. To refrain from engaging in self-dealing or acting on behalf of Licensees immediate family or on behalf of any other individual, organization or business entity in which Licensee has a personal interest without prior disclosure of such personal interest and the timely written consent to all parties to the transaction
- To refrain from recommending to any party to the transaction the use of services of another individual, organization or business entity in which the Licensee has an interest or from whom the licensee may receive a referral fee or compensation for the referral.
With a Written Agency Agreement you are a client
In addition to the 7 items above we must:
- Obey all lawful instructions of the client when such instructions are within the scope of the agency agreement between the Licensees and the Liceness’s client.
- Be loyal to the interest of the clients. Licensee must place the interests of the client before all others in negotiation of a transaction and in other activities accept where such loyalty/duty would violate Licensess’ duties to a customer in the transaction.
- Unless the following duties are specifically and individually waived in writing by a client, Licensee shall assist the client by
- Scheduling all property showings on behalf of the client
- Receiving all offers and counter offers and forwarding them promptly to the client
- Answering any questions that the client may have in negotiation of a successful purchase agreement within the scope of the Licenses expertise and
- advising the client as to whatever forms procedures and steps are needed after execution of the purchase agreement for a successful closing of the transaction.
So why do we ask? To determine if you are a customer….or someone else’s client
So when we ask….we are just making sure that we are not engaging in a practice that is in violation of the Realtor Code of Ethics.