• Understanding Agency Relationships

    Understanding Agency RelationshipsUnderstanding your agent’s role is important in real estate transactions. Many states require parties in a transaction to sign an agreement which provides disclosure regarding the role of the broker. In Georgia, the brokerage engagement agreement (BRRETA) is a written contract that provides information about agency relationships with a broker, informs clients of any conflicts of interest, supplies information about broker compensation and advises clients of the confidentiality provisions required by this agreement.

    Basics of an Agency Relationship

    A seller’s agent represents the seller as a listing agent. A buyer’s representative acts as a buyer’s agent. Both the seller’s and buyer’s agents operate in a single agency role. As such, the agent owes a fiduciary duty to his client. The fiduciary relationship between the agent and the seller or buyer means that the agent must maintain his client’s confidentiality, perform his duties using reasonable care and diligence and disclose material facts regarding the property.

    Buyer’s Agreement and Listing Agreement

    A buyer’s broker agreement is a signed agreement that establishes the duties and responsibilities of the agent. There are several types of buyer’s broker agreements. These include non-exclusive agreements that detail broker compensation and exclusive right-to-represent agreements that provide that the buyer will work solely with the broker or agent designated in the agreement. A listing agreement similarly stipulates the duties of the broker to the seller in a written contract. Among the different listing agreements, an exclusive right-to-sell listing agreement is the most widely used. In an exclusive agreement, only the broker may earn a commission by introducing a buyer to the seller either on his own or through another brokerage.

    Dual Agency Relationships

    A single agent can act as both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. This is referred to as dual agency. In a dual agency, the agent cannot maintain a fiduciary relationship with either the buyer or the seller. This type of relationship can pose challenges in obtaining the best price for the seller’s home or negotiating an offer from the buyer. Even though some buyers do not object to working with the listing agent, these relationships should generally be approached cautiously.

    The experienced team of attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C. can help you litigate your real estate claims. Contact Mark Weinstein and his colleagues at (770) 888-7707 or visit them at http://www.markweinsteinlaw.com to find out how they can advise you.

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