If you ever noticed when a real estate agent sends you
listings via email that there is a form that you must elect to accept in order
to proceed. This for is the called the Consumer Information Sheet. The
importance of this form is more than a piece of paper that must be presented
prior to showing a property under Delaware Law (24 Del Code Â§2972). In this
document, sometimes as a tri-fold brochure and other times a 3 page document
contains terminology and the responsibilities between the buyer, the seller and
the agent. But what impact does this document have on the buyer?
Because I am not a lawyer it would behoove me to interpret
law. However, I can tell you according to the CIS, page 1, states that signing
the form creates a statutory duty between you and the real estate agent. What this
document does not do is COMPELL you to use this agent if you decide to buy a
home. Yes, agents have a job to do and we should get paid for doing it. So,
upfront, let the agent know whether where you are in your journey with buying a
home. Whether it is just looking or need to buy now be fair and expect fairness
in return. What do I mean by this?
I cannot defend any agent who displays the characteristics
of a Used Car or Condo Weekend Salesperson. This is true pressure sales. Hot,
heavy, and in your face tactics that will assure to give you buyerâ€™s anxiety. Some
may not like this technique; but it works and agents get paid for it. In fact,
some buyers/sellers prefer this style because it portrays boldness and
confidence. But is this sort of agent a good fit for you? Now, if you look
again at page 1, only a written statement may create an exclusive relationship
between you and your agent. In doing so, you agree to work only with this
particular agent until you either complete a real estate transaction or
terminate the agreement. Again, this agreement is neither verbal nor something
you scratch on a posted note.
The form that will bind the buyer and the agent is an
Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer agreement. The upside for the agent is that
the buyer works exclusively works with him/her. Some companies make it a
practice of asking the buyer immediately or shortly after the first meeting to
sign this agreement. This makes work more purposeful for the agent. Any consumer
can ask the agent to show property without the purpose of making a purchase or
are already working with an agent and refuse to disclose this information.
However, if you are not ready to commit, be forthcoming about it. If an agent
tries to brush you off because of your refusal, whether subtle or overt, just kick
off the dirt from under the soles of your shoes and move on. (Then come see
On the flip side, there is an out clause in the contract
that allows the buyer to get out of the contract by giving written notice. Is
that all? Maybe not? Remember, the agent has invested time in providing the
buyer a service. Therefore, an agent may request compensation for properties
shown during the exclusive agreement if you should decide to purchase any of
those properties through your new agent at a later date. Donâ€™t shoot the
messenger. This is just an FYI. Following through is up to the agent. Make it
your business when dealing with legal documents, if you do not understand it,
then consult a lawyer.
Buying a home should not be a stressful experience.
Understanding the forms used in the process can make the journey smoother.
Remember, the CIS is not a chokehold. It is a document that agents are required
to give to consumers, under Delaware Law, prior to showing property. Now go
online, find some homes, and tour, tour, tour.Â