I know this is a confusing issue.Â We, as REALTORÂ®s are required to
take a class about this very issue EVERY YEAR!!Â And, you, as the
consumer, probably don't understand why this is important to you.Â We
realize that your perception of our function to find you a house and
help you buy it is a valid one.Â In fact, that IS, in part, our
But, in order to inform and protect you, the whole country has been
on a mission to alter the way the real estate agents interact with the
public.Â Here's why....
Back in the day, ALL real estate agents represented sellers.Â That
was a fact, a given.Â The agents, no matter what company they worked
for, were there to get the best price and terms for the seller. Â Nobody
was representing the buyers.Â Thing is, when buyers were "working" with
agents to find a property, they didn't know that the agent was NOT
representing their best interests, too.Â They assumed, since they were
out riding in the car and had shared all of this personal information
about their lives and their finances, that the agent was going to "take
care" of them.Â Needless to say, that wasn't always the case.
Some very visible lawsuits ensued when one buyer decided to stand up
to the system.Â The results of that litigation elicited changes in our
industry.Â It became important to define WHO REPRESENTS WHO in a real
estate transaction.Â The initial response was to have agents enter in to
a conversation something like this:
- BUYER "I'd like to find a house to buy. Can you help me?"
- AGENT "Sure I can.Â Let's get started.Â But, before we get in the
car, I need to let you know that I'm NOT representing you.Â I'm here to
get the best price and terms I can for the seller.Â As long as you're OK
with that, we can proceed."
Needless to say, when that kind of disclosure came to light, consumer
action groups and home buyers across the board were up in arms.Â From
that backlash grew a movement to provide equal representation to BOTH
buyers and sellers.Â Along side the development of this kind of equal
representation, the disclosure of that representation has morphed in to
something that provides the information to the public in the most
succinct way possible.Â We call it "AGENCY".
The State of MN wants us to share this information with potential
clients at our "first substantive contact", meaning whenever price,
terms or motivation is mentioned.Â In this day of electronic
communication, this kind of disclosure is very challenging.Â If I get a
text from someone wanting to see my property, it's difficult to go in to
a long spiel about "agency" before I can show the property.Â That's why
I developed this link
on my website for people to read.Â I can send it as a link in e mail or
text message.Â That way, at least I've prepared the buyer/seller for
this conversation to be had.Â And, once I meet with people in person, I
can open the door to a more comprehensive explanation of this info.
When I hold open houses, the first thing I say when greeting visitors
is "Hello, I'm Susan.Â I'm with Remax Advantage Plus.Â I represent the
seller."Â Then, there's no question about my contractual obligation.Â I
try to caution folks not to mention anything about their terms or
motivation.Â That usually happens if they are inquiring further about
Not sure what to think?Â For more information, read here.Â Â And, here's more information from the State of MN Attorney General's office on why it's essential for you to listen to this info when the agent talks!!!
Need some advice?Â Want to bounce around some ideas?Â Want the latest
information about homes for sale in your area of Minneapolis?Â You need
to contact me right away!!!
is a seasoned real estate professional, providing real estate
consultations for home buyers and sellers in the Twin Cities
since 1994. Susan specializes in homes for sale in Lake
Calhoun/Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Plymouth, MN, Minneapolis
Western Suburban Cities and Downtown Minneapolis Lofts.