Right Now you are a Customer
The law requires all real estate licensees to perform certain basic duties when dealing with any real estate buyer or seller. A licensee working with a customer is referred to as a non-agent. You can expect all real estate licensees you deal with to provide the following “customer-level” services, whether an agent or a non-agent:
To perform necessary and customary acts to assist you in the purchase or sale of real estate;
To perform these acts in good faith and with reasonable care;
To properly account for money or other property you place in his or her care; and
To disclose “adverse material facts” which are, or should be, within that licensee’s knowledge. These include facts that would significantly affect the desirability or value of the property to a reasonable person, and facts that would indicate to a reasonable person that one of the parties cannot, or will not, complete his obligations under the contract.
Unless or until you enter a written agreement with the brokerage for agency representation, you are considered a “Customer” of the brokerage, and the brokerage will not act as your agent. As a Customer, you should not expect the brokerage or its licensees to promote your best interest, or to keep your bargaining information confidential.
Whenever you speak to a licensee who represents a party on the other side of the transaction, you should assume that any information you provide will be shared with the other party.
If you enter a written agreement for Agency Representation, you, as a Client, can expect the real estate brokerage to provide the following services, in addition to the basic duties and obligations required of all licensees:
To perform the terms of your written agreement with skill and care;
To promote your best interest, in good faith, honesty and fair dealing;
If you are the seller, this includes seeking a buyer to purchase your property as a price and under terms and conditions acceptable to you, and assisting in the negotiation thereof; and upon your written request, asking for reasonable proof of a prospective buyer’s financial ability to purchase your property;
If you are the buyer, this includes seeking a property to purchase at an acceptable price, terms and conditions, and assisting in the negotiation thereof; and when appropriate, advising you to obtain professional inspections of the property, or to seek appropriate tax, legal and other professional advise or counsel.
To maintain the confidentiality of specific client information, including bargaining information, even after the representation has ended.
Limited Dual Agency
At the time you enter an agreement for Agency Representation, you may be asked to give written consent allowing the brokerage to represent both you and the other party in a transaction. This “dual agency” situation can arise when, for example, the brokerage that represents you, the seller, also represents buyers who may be interested in purchasing your property. When this occurs, it is necessary that the brokerage’s representation duties be limited” because a buyer and seller have built-in conflicts of interest. Most significantly, the buyer typically wants the property at the lowest price, while the seller wants top dollar. As a “limited dual agent,” the brokerage and its licensees cannot advocate on behalf of one client over the other, and cannot disclose confidential client information concerning price negotiations, terms or factors motivating the client/buyer to buy or the client/seller to sell. However, the brokerage must otherwise promote the best interest of both parties, perform the terms of the written representation agreement with skill and care, and perform all other duties required by law.
Buyers and sellers alike often find it desirable to consent to limited dual agency: buyers do not want the brokerage to be restricted in the search for suitable properties, and sellers do not want the brokerage to be restricted in the search for suitable buyers. Thus, when all parties agree in writing, a brokerage may legally represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction, but only as a “limited dual agent”.
Limited Dual Agency w/Assigned Agents
In some situations, a brokerage that has obtained consent to represent both parties as a limited dual agent may assign individual licensees to act solely on behalf of each party. Where this is the case, the sales associate, or “assigned agent,” is not limited by the brokerage’s agency relationship with the other party, but instead has a duty to promote the best interest of the client that he or she is assigned to represent, including negotiating a price. The designated broker remains a limited dual agent for both clients, and insures the assigned agents fulfill their duties to their respective clients.
Listing Representation Policy
Lakeshore Realty, LLC represents the seller as a limited dual agency without an assigned agent when selling a listed property.
Lakeshore Realty, LLC represents the seller as a limited dual agency when we are both the listing and selling agent.
Lakeshore Realty, LLC will offer compensation through the MLS to selling office who wishes to act as a buyer’s agents and represents the buyer exclusively.
Selling Representation Policy
Lakeshore Realty, LLC represents both the seller as a dual agent and will act as a “non-agent” for the buyer when we are both the listing and the selling agent.
Lakeshore Realty, LLC represents the buyer as a non-agent when we are the selling agent on properties listed with any other brokerage company.