Home Buying in New Jersey>Question Details

KGordon, Home Buyer in Los Angeles, CA

Can someone explain the difference between an exclusive buyer agency agreement and a dual agency agreement,?

Asked by KGordon, Los Angeles, CA Tue Jun 17, 2008

and the others as well? thanks

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Answers

38
The reason that I do not care for your statments is that you assume that since you work with a group of people that may be living in an antiquated system that everyone this way except you.
My office and 90% of my collegues here in NJ are probably some of the most knowledgeable in the country. Because clients are directed to attorneys does not at all mean that agents here just turn clients ocver and wait to get paid. If that is the way it is in your area / office, then you should educate the office aor move on.

After reading the responses here, If I were a client.. I would find an agent that can adapt to the system regardless of her "I know more then all of you attitide" as that personality would probably interfere with any transaction and just not be a pleasure to be around with all the whining about how much she does.
You are right with one statement.. one should look at oneself to correct the problem.
Then maybe you'll "get it"
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
Hi KG -

Your agent should be attentive to your particular needs. Just like anything else, shop around find the person that is knowledgeable and concerned with your needs.

The hiring of an attorney varies by state, some states title companies close transactions, and other states attorneys close transactions. I personally would not close a transaction without an attorney even though I am a well seasoned agent and I could close a transaction form beginning to end. I would want someone experienced in every aspect of the law to watch my back.

One Realtor here states that she closes transactions in Colorado or someplace...and questions the competence of NY & NJ Realtors. Although this may be good enough for Colorado to have realtors close transactions, I believe that NY & NJ protects its buyers and sellers properly by offering an attorney to close a transaction. It just makes sense.

The agent that has been in another state closing deals on her own would be odd here as I would think that they would think they know more then the average Realtor and probably open themselves up to legal consequences by giving incorrect advice that can come back and haunt them at a later date.

There is a lot of common sense to be used in selling real estate and I love to read some of the postings here to see where it is lacking. Here in NJ, our licensing requirements are tougher then most states as far as education and testing and Realtors here understand dual agency and can handle all clients appropriately. I think that places NJ at higher level of competence in comparison.

But hey… just my thoughts. The main thing is to find someone that can help you find your home. Go see some houses and meet some agents .. find one that fits. You should have gained enough information from this thread alone to weed out a the good agents from the weekend warrior agents.

Good luck.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2008
Ken, if you have a buyer agency agreement with a client that is viewing a property, and another buyer enters the picture (later), it's incumbent upon the agent to use common sense/ethics, keeping the interests of buyer 1 first, and recommending to the buyer that came later a DIFFERENT agent. Does that mean that you might lose a commission in a once in a thousand shot? Perhaps, but I'll take integrity (having each party fully represented) than worrying about a referred out deal. We give up buyers every time a buyer views our listing, if they don't like the disclosure that we represent the seller only- it's just part of the program.
Web Reference: http://optionsrealty.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 20, 2008
Hi KG,

Congratulations. You have made the right decision. Dual agency is a bad deal for the buyer AND the seller. It is a legalized abdication of responsibility and advocacy.

As a buyer, you do not want simply honesty, or integrity, or a "smooth" transaction. You want a counsellor - an agent who is advancing your interests and ONLY your interests. Trying to figure out the seller's true motivation. Cutting through the marketing hype of the seller's agent. Learning the truth about the seller and the property, even if it's BAD. Looking for obfuscations and prevarications in the seller's disclosure statement. Getting the property for the lowest possible price.

A buyer's agent is an ally. A dual agent is, at best, neutral. NEUTRAL IS BAD when you are paying thousands of dollars for your agent to represent you. And you ARE paying.

The moment you are in a dual agency, your agent CAN NO LONGER ADVOCATE FOR YOUR INTERESTS. It is now ILLEGAL for your agent to do the things you NEED and WANT him to do. Oh sure, he can see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil. But what good is that?

That is why buyers should NEVER CONSENT to dual agency. It's really that simple.

-Marc
Web Reference: http://www.marcpaolella.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
For heaven's sake, let's finish this. Clearly, our disparate positions and experience will arrive at a zero point. As a builder rep, just so you're aware, it was disclosed to all buyers that I represent the seller (builder)- our real estate licenses were put "on ice", so we were outside of the boundaries that are expected of Realtors. My thoughts are that you simply don't "get it", and that's OK- being prepared for a consumer that does is where you'll discover that you'd better get on the ball. End of conversation from my end- we have an offer to prepare.
Web Reference: http://optionsrealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 23, 2008
Laurie (Options)
you state ...we can facilitate transactions rather than defer to others, when there are some people that would prefer to save money..."
Do you also encourage your clients to not have inspections, title searches or surveys done? After all, maybe there are old copies of these available, and they arent always required.

As agents we certainly have a fiduciary duty to our clients, we also have ethical considerations and legal constraints.

I noticed from your profile that you spent time as a sales person working for Pulte as well as WCI communities. As a builders rep/sales person, I would have to think many buyers across the table from you were with out representation (agent or attorney). No ethics dilemma here?

I always recommend a good attorney, in addition to other professionals. In addition to having me as an advocate they have an unbiased attorney paid in any event. As Realtors we should be more like conductors of an orchestra. Making certain the players are all compatable, in sync, in tune and most important show up for the performance. Perhaps you can play any instrument, you cant play them all.
Yes, 38 states can be wrong. It's not about savings, its about value.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 23, 2008
Clearly, John, you took offense at the delivery, and that's OK. The idea is to get consumers to view what we (collectively) do, and to make the system friendly, so that as agents, we can facilitate transactions rather than defer to others, when there are some people that would prefer to save money. You're not going to be on the bandwagon (as I'm seeing some new agents are)- and that's certainly your choice. I am certain that you do your best, but looking outside of "what's been done forever" is what will increase our collective value to consumers, instead of perpetuating (by unwillingness to learn enough to save consumers money and time) the notion that we as a group are unable to facilitate a transaction. Best to you!
Web Reference: http://optionsrealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
And lastly, don't take it personally. There is a "broken" and antiquated system here- the PROCESS is ridiculous, and not consumer friendly (despite many, MANY really smart real estate agents).
Web Reference: http://optionsrealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
John, it's not Realtors that make the savings choice, it's CONSUMERS. While you might not care for the comments that I've offered, consumers from out of state are often appalled, as I was, at the lack of comprehension from the real estate contingent in "certain" states. Don't shoot the messenger; it's always better to look at oneself for the problem. You are in a HUGE minority using lawyers- are 38 states wrong? Nah- just consumer-friendly. The hours of education are being increased to match those of the other states- this might help you with understanding the process, and assisting consumers. We had nearly double the hours in Co. twenty years ago- once certain states catch up, you'll "get it".
Web Reference: http://optionsrealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
Angela, I would remove the glasses long enough to view how consumers, particularly from out of state, view Realtors here, in a market providing consumers with many of the tools that, absent the paperwork, are often accomplished by Realtors. It's not just me- as mentioned, the Dept. of Justice also questions the practices that cost consumers here more money, due to the unwillingness (is that a better word?) of Realtors to step up to the plate and actually DO the paperwork without benefit of an attorney, should a consumer want to save that money. In New York, Realtors are NOT "filling in the blanks" in order to accomodate consumers that make a savings choice. They can, and they don't.
That's a choice made by Realtors, not consumers. Attorney review isn't something that HAS to happen, particularly if both sides of the transaction have an agent that understands FIDUCIARY to their client (not "customer"). Angela, have you done contracts for your buyers? If so, my apologies. If not, I didn't think so. No Realtors are permitted to give "legal advice", however in most states (I spent 23 years in Colorado- came to NY six years ago and was shocked) agents explain each area of the contract; buyers are told to get legal advice if they don't understand it; buyers understand it, and it's facilitated with fewer problems, and much comprehension by all. Just my experience, and certainly a debate that is understandable- it's a message that I relay on behalf of consumers. It's that pesky fiduciary thing.
Web Reference: http://optionsrealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 20, 2008
Laurie,

I don't typically get into "debates", but I just had to say something. I honestly thought you were a little harsh in your comment to Ken. You stated "Ken, with respect, you use attorneys because you don't know how, or as in NY, aren't permitted to do the contract and all addendums. In most states, all properties are immediately in the mls......"........

I find it odd that you comment alot about how things are done in New Jersey and how other's do their business since you are from NY. You state Ken uses attorneys because he doesn't know how to do contracts or isn't permitted - I never read him say that?. Just so you do know...In New Jersey our clients are NOT required to use an attorney. We explain that it is their option and in their best interest to use one but they are not required to do so. Our listings are put immediately into the MLS - and yes, I do that myself too. I was just taken back that you would assume he and other New Jersey agents didn't know how to do contracts? I do EVERYTHING for my clients..... that includes holding their hand from the beginning until the very end. And really I thought we were all here to help each other, not judge each other? I guess that goes back to me seeing the world through my rose colored glasses again... I know I should take those dang things off - I just don't want to! :o)

Take care,
Angela "Angie" Allchin
Century 21 Rauh & Johns
856-582-0366 x 172
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 20, 2008
Hopefully, the Department of Justice will continue their inquiry into the "requirement" of attorneys in both states- they have indicated that there is inherent unfairness relative to costs to consumers to require it when it works so successfully without them elsewhere. In the meantime, we'll continue to fill-in-the-blanks in NY for those that don't want the cost- it's perfectly legal to go without in NY. Coming from out of state has been an eye-opener, as we were well versed (with commensurate hours) in Colorado because the course demanded comprehension of ALL aspects of the transaction. Wow, KG- sorry for digressing. Back to: GET AN AGENT TO WORK WITH FIDUCIARY FOR YOU (buyers agent). :) I'll leave now!
Web Reference: http://optionsrealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 20, 2008
I should add that the contract DOES advise atty review; the agents are so well versed that consumers simply don't use them. In my mind, THAT'S a Realtor doing their job.
Web Reference: http://optionsrealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 20, 2008
Ken, with respect, you use attorneys because you don't know how, or as in NY, aren't permitted to do the contract and all addendums. In most states, all properties are immediately in the mls, and all buyers come in with a buyers agent. It's a competence level that will not be achieved in NY and NJ until real estate agents understand and operate with comprehension of fiduciary. The "old school" thinking is being argued (at least in NY) by consumers to a degree, because they are STUCK paying for attorneys, and the fees, because real estate agents refuse to participate in the paperwork. A real estate agent from either of these states would be an incompetent in most areas (Denver was where I was licensed in 1985)- and consumers are completely accustomed to the integrity level (as well as the competence level) of the transaction without an attorney. They don't use them because they don't need them (unlike NY and NJ). The DOJ is pressing the issue, alerting consumers that adding an atty fee is also adding to closing costs that aren't found in other areas. It's the choice of NY and NJ Realtors to either become familiar with ways to save money for a consumer that doesn't want to pay an atty (we just closed a seller without) or to remain dinosaurs at a time where consumers are looking for competence, and fees not forced because an agent is incompetent to perform standard paperwork and addendums.
Web Reference: http://optionsrealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 20, 2008
A dual agent has loyalties to the seller through a contract. That person is not able to look out for the best interests of the buyer. In many states, it is illegal to be a dual agent.

If you sign a contract with a buyer's agent, you are obligated to buy your home through that realtor. If you would purchase a home through another realtor, the realtor with whom you signed the contract can sue you for his or her commission, Why limit your possibilities? In many cases, even after your contract expires, you could still be sued for the commission for up to a year later.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 20, 2008
Well, to echo Angela. "I guess I come from the glass is half full side of life and while I realize there are agents out there who are unethical, I just can't not help a person when they need it. "

It sounds if though most agents can not behave approriately. Well, I sell homes to people and act as a dual agent, I respond in an ethical and educated manner. Neither sides were hiding anything from each other and the transactions worked for both the buyers and sellers.

I choose to change the image of the business and I am able to act appropriately for both sides of my clients. I get referrals because of my honesty and integrity. It is how I work and my clients follow the letter of the law / guidelines. We are not attorneys, we are Realtors and our job is to create transactions and help people buy their home and do so in a trained and ethical manner. We recomend our clients hire an attorney to represent them during the contract stage, make that contract for their best interest and close the deal.

My ultimate loyalty is NOT the double commission.. it is to the people that want to buy their homes, If I make both sides, better for me. But not the goal. With my listings I don't care who sells the house. If I get the lead I will sell that home.

I guess I am one of the few that can act appropriately and help both the buyer and seller in an ethical manner. If you act accordingly in any business your business will do well. I choose to act accordingly, so guess what?

If anyone is interested, contact me for email addresses of many of my clients that I have acted as a dual agent. I am positive that every response will be absolutely A+.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 18, 2008
John, it's not about a battle between a buyer and a seller. It's about the best interests of each, without being at the expense of the other. The majority of seasoned agents comprehend the issue, and simply do not perform dual agency. NY and NJ have agents whose training is lacking (understatement) due to the reliance on attorneys (unlike most areas where the entire transaction is performed by the agent) so it makes sense that agency relationships are of less consequence- after all, "the buyer/seller has an attorney watching out for them". Obviously, in these states, they NEED the lawyers!
Web Reference: http://optionsrealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 18, 2008
In Illinois, we recognize a difference between "dual agency" (one agent representing both sides) and designated agency (one AGENCY representing both sides)...

Both are legal here, but dual agency deprives the buyer and seller of their personal agent's ability to properly advise them. Designated agency assures that each agent can give them adequate representation, and advise them on all issues regarding negotiation, inspection and even whether to pull out of the deal. Designated agency allows for the necessity of the client being well represented and well advised.

Yes, they are represented by the same agency, but have opposing advocates who do not share any inside information about the property, and will keep all proprietary information separate.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 18, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
Contact
Marc P.,

Here, Here! Nice synopsis. One final point, do we all realize that attorneys and real estate agents operate under the "Law of Agency". The same law, there are not 2 versions of this law, one for each profession.

In the profession of attorneys, they clearly realize that their client's best interests CANNOT be served by representing both sides of the same case, either individually, nor through the same firm. That's why they run a conflicts check before they take on a new client.

Wouldn't that be a hoot if real estate agents actually had to do a conflicts check before they took on a new client. Then we'd have to explain why we cannot represent their best interests, and we'd have to refer them to another firm, but those words would come out like cold molasses.

Dual agency, intermediary, or otherwise, should never, ever happen. EVER!

Regards,

Jeffrey
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
You will turn your buyer over to your Broker and he will represent the buyer??????? Absolutely not. Your broker CANNOT LEGALLY advance the interests of the buyer. That's the point. Turning over the buyer to someone else in the same agency is phony window dressing. The buyer is still in a dual agency and the firm cannot legally advocate for either party. I know it is real estate tradition to double end deals and let the consumer fend for himself, but that is not the way an agent should be thinking in 2008.

Can you imagine Michelle Pfeiffer's agent also representing Paramount in a movie deal? Of course not.
Can you imagine Scott Boras representing Derek Jeter and the Yankees in a baseball contract? Of course not.

But wait! We'll invent "dual agency" for baseball where Scott has to act fairly and honestly but not advance the interest of either Derek or the Steinbrenners. Oh yeah! THAT has a chance of being accepted by the MLB players union. Right!

I favor a system whereby all potential dual agencies should result in an outbound referral so that each party has their own dedicated and independent representation. A party in a real estate transaction should be able to count on pure advocacy. And should not have to fear falling into a dual agency where the agent's ultimate loyalty is to the DOUBLE COMMISSION and get the deal done "smoothly" no matter what it takes.

The ethical procedure in the event a buyer walks into your open house and wants to make an offer is to refer him to another firm. You can ethically do that and collect a referral fee with full disclosure.

My advice for all buyers is to Google dual agency and understand its true meaning. The obvious impropriety of it should take all of 10 minutes to comprehend. Most real estate agents do not understand it, do not WANT to understand it, and simply want to collect 2 commissions for the price of 1 effort.

After gaining that understanding you should retain your own agent, NEVER call the listing agent on the yard sign to see a property, and ALWAYS tell the agent babysitting the open house that you will have your own representation and do not want the listing agent or his firm to represent you in ANY WAY for purposes of that home.

-Marc
Web Reference: http://www.marcpaolella.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
An "exclusive buyers agent agreement" in NJ is for an agent who gets paid regardless of whether the agent finds their buyers the home they want to buy or not. That means that if I get you to sign one.. and Marc shows you a house....and you buy it.... I GET PAID, No matter if Marc shows you the house or anyone Else. It is a docment that binds you to me and me alone.

Now if you mean a buyers agency agreement.. that is different. Example: If I am sitting an open house and you walk in.. I ask you to sign in and explain to you that I will be acting as your buyers agent on this property.. then if you buy that property.. I get paid.. even if you then call your cousin the realtor and have them write the contract.. you are indebted to my showing you the house or any other "I" show you THAT DAY.

If you go to another open house and sign one with that realtor.. they get paid.. on that house... or any other that they show you.

Everybody here is making nonsense regarding dual agency. Dual agency means two things..
1) I am the listing agent and I sell you my property.
2) I am the listing agent and another person from the same office sells you my property.

When I enter into Dual Agency.. say you call me about my listing and want to see it and make an offer... I will show you the house and if you want ot make an offer I will turn you over to my broker or office manager for you to make the offer and negotiate with you as any other buyer... so I can represent my seller fairly. Once we agree on a price and sign the contract I will take on both the seller and the buyers needs.
It is that simple. Once you are out of attorney review.. the attorneys handle the rest of the Inspection and other issues directly with both the buyer and seller, so, the agent has no input at this point anyway.

Any Realtor that says Dual Agency is not good.. does not understand the what it the situation is and needs to be educated further. To say it is bad and you can not figure out the sellers motivation is ridiculous.

It is a HOUSE... and the seller wants to sell it. The buyer wants to buy it. Negotiations are the only stand between the buyers and sellers. It is not a fight. This notion that sellers want to cheat the buyers and you need someone fighting your battles is just dopey.

In NJ, You agree on a price and hammer out the rest through your attorney. Although there is a lot of work to be done to get to closing, none of it involves your realtors input..just legwork. The rest are your decisions through your attorney . That is why you hire one.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
Thank you for all the answers...it seems we will look for a Buyers Agent...but for sake of argument....despite the fact that I understand the legalalities and all....wouldn't one think that even if someone was a dual agent they would still want to do the right thing to make the sale go through as well as have a smooth and happy tranistion between Buyer and Seller....Furthermore, anyone can be a Buyer one day and a Seller the next...if you make enemies or play games, etc. as a dual you certainly ruin your business in the future...no one will refer or use you when they sell....you have to have good business sense....
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
Dual agency (whether designated, or transactional) goes beyond the conflict of interest involved in "treating both parties fairly and not divulging confidential information.

Buyers hire us, in part, for our negotiation and our experience with the process.

Seller's hire us, also in part, for our negotiation ability.

Buyers and Sellers both, are denied our expertise in those areas, because as a dual agent (or transactional agent) we can no longer advise or counsel them on negotiations, or inspection issues. All we can do is respond when they ask us what to do is "I don't know.... what do YOU think we should do"?

That is not what they hired us for.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
Contact
KG, the fact that it's practiced in NY and NJ does NOT make it OK. In NY, it isn't "designated agency", it is designated DUAL agency. It's getting lots of bad press, because consumers are smart enough to figure out that it is a conflict of interest, to the detriment of both parties- you are relying solely on the integrity of the real estate agent involved rather than having an accountable party representing your best interest, and an accountable party representing the seller. Clearly, the most beneficial for the consumers involved.
Web Reference: http://optionsrealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
Exlcusive buyer agency means that the Realtor that you engage represents you in a fiduciary manner (watching out for your best interest). Dual agency is an agency that is discouraged in NY, but available- the department of state urges "caution" on the part of the consumer. Dual agency is typically engaged in when the selling broker is seeking BOTH SIDES of the commission, as opposed to offering the buyer their own full representation (with their own agent receiving compensation from 1/2 of the fee agreed to by the seller). If you are buying, and you are involved with a company that encourages dual agency either by utilizing one agent, or an inter-office second agent to "represent" you, RUN. Find your own representation. In most states, dual agency has been eliminated, because it creates a conflict of interest for BOTH buyer and seller.
Web Reference: http://optionsrealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
In NJ, in an exclusive buyer agency agreement is a contract whereby the agent works for the buyer and the buyer only. (Advise the buyer, get the best deal for the buyer). A disclosed dual agency situation develops when the brokerage company that the agent works for has a listing that is shown to the buyer. There is an agency contract (the listing agreement) where the brokerage represents the seller. To deal with this conflict of interest, NJ allows the agents to work as "disclosed dual agents", with the written consent of both parties. The agents may not put one party's interests ahead of the other party's. All confidential information remains confidential. Agents relay offers and counter offers WITHOUT coaching the parties on how to get an advantage over the other.

There is a Consumer Information Statement the State of NJ requires agents to give to buyers and sellers when they first meet.

Once in a while, someone refuses to allow a dual agency situation. I think that is foolish because it limits the properties the buyer will be able to consider. Advice and coaching can take place in generalities prior to looking at properties. The agent can (and must) answer factual questions honestly. (How long has the property been on the market? What other houses like this are on the market? What have neighboring properties sold for?) The agent cannot answer questions like: Why is the seller moving? Is the seller in financial difficulty? Those can only be answered if the seller gives the agent permission to share that.

Joan Prout, MBA
Broker Associate
RE/MAX Villa REALTORS
Jersey City, NJ
mailto:Joan@JoanProut.com
800-671-0596x1
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
Link below is one of many that has the consumer Information statement which is pretty self explanatory.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
Joan Prout said: "Once in a while, someone refuses to allow a dual agency situation. I think that is foolish because it limits the properties the buyer will be able to consider."
This is only true if you use an agent that works for a company that lists homes for sale. If they list and can't be a dual agent they then can't show you their company listings. But, if you have a buyer agent that works for a company that is an EXCLUSIVE BUYER OFFICE then they can show you any home for sale - including FSBO homes.
--------------------------------
John said, "An "exclusive buyers agent agreement" in NJ is for an agent who gets paid regardless of whether the agent finds their buyers the home they want to buy or not. That means that if I get you to sign one.. and Marc shows you a house....and you buy it.... I GET PAID, No matter if Marc shows you the house or anyone Else. It is a docment that binds you to me and me alone. "
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There is no legal definition of an "ExclusivevBuyer Agent Agreement" in NJ. John has used a definition that some companies that list homes use. Another (and I think more appropriate) definition is the one I use. An exclusive buyer agent agreement is an agreement that I will work exclusively for you as a buyer and never work for a seller. The New Jersey Consumer Information statement only defines "Buyer agents". It does not define "Exclusive Buyer Agents" which is what I am. Exclusive Buyer Agents work for companies that never list ANY homes and so the Dual Agency between conflicting buyer and seller interests never comes up. A 'Dual Agency" agreement would allow (at least as an option if the agent got the chance) the agent to represent both the buyer and seller in the same transaction.
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In NJ, whether or not you use an attorney depends on: Your needs, your situation, and where you are in the state. In North Jersey virtually all transactions have an attorney on both sides...one for buyer and one for seller. NEVER use an attorney that isn't doing a LOT of real estate business. The quality of attorneys (like Realtors) varies - A LOT. In South Jersey, probably less than 20% of the transactions have an attorney on either side. An attorney can be brought in at any time though.
===============

Paul Howard
Web Reference: http://www.naeba.org
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 30, 2008
KG,

Just keep in mind.... even though in NJ where you are not "required" to hire an attorney, most agents will recommend that you hire one to protect your interests. If you are comfortable with your agent and the title company doing the closing then by all means you do not "have" to hire an attorney. Some people just want that piece of mind.

As far as saving money goes, sellers can sell their houses by themselves to save money, but again, I would still recommend to them to go with a real estate agent.

Take care!
Angela "Angie" Allchin
Century 21 Rauh & Johns
856-582-0366 x 172
Email: Angela.Allchin@Century21.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
My what a spirited debate this question has turned into...I thank you all for your responses, but as you can see, as the consumer looking to buy, it can get very confusing with the differing opinions. Also, in my meeting and greetings with Agents....they are all not equal. We have met some good and some bad...some are quite motivated and some honestly seem to care less....and some could care less about the 'hand holding" that has been mentioned. Which by the way we do look for all these things in a Realtor. Furthermore, so far I was never told I don't have to hire an attorney. So thank you for that information...although if my investment is at minimum 400K, I certainly would want to be legally protected... At the end of the day I do believe most Realtors work very hard....for if they don't they cannot be successful. That being said any streamlining in the industry to make the process work better would be MUCH appreciated for the consumer. So again, thank you all for your responses all the information is much appreciated....we learn more everyday!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 20, 2008
Also keep in mind that attorneys DO NOT allow us to practice law in NJ. And anything beyond the most basic additions to the form contract is considered the "practice of law". Before we as Realtors can assume more of this responsibility, and thereby enhance our value to buyers and sellers in the process, we will be left to the current system where ethics are an afterthought. I do not think that attorneys in New Jersey are anxious to lose this business. Therefore change is unlikely.

It seems that the most competent and ethical agents are those who have had exposure to the ethics of other professions, such as law, or accountancy, or appraisal. The ethics in those fields far exceed those of real estate practitioners, and individuals with that exposure tend to bring those ethics with them when they become Realtors.

-Marc
Web Reference: http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 20, 2008
Ken,

To answer your question about how I handle it when one buyer is looking at a property and they want to put a bid on the property and in the meantime another buyer of mine wants to see the same property.. I honestly tell them BEFORE showing the home that I will be more than happy to show the property to them but explain to them that should they like the property and want to put in a bid, I would refer them to another agent since I am working with another buyer who is also interested. This way it gives them the option to get another agent if they want to and if they are just looking I am still servicing them and they don't feel like I don't want to help them. Most of the time they just want to see the house and never put a bid on it.

Take care!
Angela "Angie" Allchin
Century 21 Rauh & Johns
856-582-0366 x 172
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 20, 2008
Hi KG,

There is no shortage of buyer's agents. Every Realtor in the state can act as your buyer's agent. Ken can do it. I can do it. John can do it. There is no special "Buyer's Agent" license or anything. All you have to do is interview a few of us and pick who you like best. Most of the active agents here on Trulia are going to be tech-savvy and are probably way above average compared to the entire population of available agents.

Good luck!

-Marc
Web Reference: http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 18, 2008
Thank you Kenneth for the link you sent to the Consumer Info.....Wow, this is quite a confusing topic...I mean it seems the best thing is to get a Buyers Agent, but that doesn't always happen...it seems in NJ, many many people use dual agents....
Why is there a lack of Buyers Agents?...or maybe we haven't looked hard enough....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 18, 2008
While I do understand the concerns regarding dual agency, I think it is up to the buyer.

If you have a potential buyer contact you and wants to see a home that your AGENCY - not you personally has listed, am I understanding you correctly that your broker recommends that you tell that person you can't help them and to contact another agency?

As long as I explain in full upfront to the potential buyer that even though I personally do not have the listing, my agency does and that makes our broker a dual agent. I still represent that buyer and the listing agent represents that seller and our office represents both. I do see where it can become more of a sticky situation if you represent both the seller and the buyer.

I guess I come from the glass is half full side of life and while I realize there are agents out there who are unethical, I just can't not help a person when they need it.

Take care,
Angela "Angie" Allchin
Century 21 Rauh & Johns
856-582-0366 x 172
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
From the PA Consumer Notice:
Buyer Agency is a relationship where the licensee, upon entering into a written agreement, works only for the buyer/tenant.
Dual Agency is a relationship where the licensee acts as the agent for both the seller/landlord and the buyer/tenant in the same transaction with the written consent of all parties. Dual agents can take no action that is adverse or detrimental to either party's interest in the transaction.
Seller Agency is a relationship where the licensee, upon entering into a written agreement, works only for a seller/landlord.
In Designated Agency , the employing broker may, with your consent, designate one or more licensees from the real estate company to represent you. Other licensees in the company may represent another party and shall not be provided with an confidentil information. The designated agent(s) shall have the duties as listed above under Seller Agency and Buyer Agency.
Transaction Licensee is a broker or salesperson who provides communication or document preparation services or performs other acts for which a license is required without being the agent or advocate for either the seller/landlord or the buyer/tenant.
Before signing an agency contract, make sure that the details are thoroughly explained to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
Hi KG,
In New Jersey it is quite common to be represented dual agency. Joan did a great job of explaining things for you and Ken posted another link to help you. In New Jersey, our Exclusive Buyer agreement does have an option on there for dual agency to be checked. This just means that our Broker is the Dual Agency which has agents that are representing both the buyer and the seller.

Take care!
Angela "Angie" Allchin
Century 21 Rauh & Johns
856-582-0366 x 172
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
You are asking a question pertaining to NJ real estate. Are you purchasing in NJ or LA. I can email you the agency relationships form for NJ so that you can review. These specifically spell out agency relationships.

Jeremy S. Hill, Realtor Associate
Keller Williams Realty
jeremyhill@kw.com
http://www.southnewjerseyhomes.com
1814 Route 70 East
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
Office: 856.685.1651
Fax: 856.321.1414
Direct: 609.876.5817
"Your Interest 1st Always!"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
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