This blog piggy-backs on the previous article, “Buyer Self-Representation.” The answer to the question Can I represent myself? is Yes, but why would you?
That article naturally leads to the question of agency, and specifically for this article, buyer agency. A buyer’s agent represents and has a fiduciary duty to the Crown Point, Hobart, and Dyer buyer in a Real Estate transaction. That’s the simple answer. The listing agent represents and has a fiduciary duty to the seller in a Real Estate transaction. This way each side has their own representation.
Here’s where it gets a little sticky. As the buyer, and to establish the agency relationship with a buyer agent you must have a contract with that agent stating explicitly that you and the agent have an agency agreement (Buyer Agency Agreement.) Without this formal, signed agreement all Realtors default position in the transaction are to represent the best interests, and hold a fiduciary duty to the seller.
That’s right. The default status of any and all agents participating in a Real Estate transaction is to have an agency relationship to the seller unless stated otherwise in writing. It doesn’t matter that the agent took you through twenty homes last Sunday, or gave coloring books to your kids to keep them busy while you toured all those homes. It doesn’t matter if they are your neighbor, your cousin, or belong to the same PTA board. If you do not have an agency agreement, in writing, stating that the Realtor is working on your behalf and as your agent THEY ARE NOT YOUR AGENT. They are just the Realtor who drove you to all those home showings.
Good Realtors want that agency agreement too. Transactions close more smoothly when each side has someone watching out for their best interests. Be sure to request a buyer agency agreement from your Realtor.