Home Selling in 16901>Question Details

Maddernhell, Home Seller in Tioga County, PA

Pennsylvania agency ?s

Asked by Maddernhell, Tioga County, PA Sun May 3, 2009

Hello all,

Somehow my questions I had posted prior were deleated, not sure why or how.

Anyways, we have a standard residential sales contract in which the listing broker appointed an agent for seller and a subagent of seller both of whom work for the listing broker.

Pennsylvania Act 112 The new 'agency' law, Nov. 1998.....states:

""Subagent." A broker, not in the employ of the listing broker, who is engaged to act for or cooperate with the listing broker in selling property as an agent of the seller. A subagent is deemed to have an agency relationship with the seller."

""Dual agent." A licensee who acts as an agent for the buyer and seller or lessee and landlord in the same transaction."

My question is; if there is only one broker is this considered dual agency?

I have contacted the broker and they have refused to answer my questions.

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Answers

15
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 10, 2014
I guess I should clarify the situation a little better.

We are the seller's.

The agency (broker) we listed the property with wrote the sales contract as:

The agent we listed with being agent for the seller.

The broker then listed another agent from the same office as subagent for the seller.

There are 2 buyer's listed in the contract, one buyer is the son of the subagent, the other buyer is a licensed real estate broker in PA.

We were never told the subagent had a family tie to one of the buyer's and why did the buyer who is a broker not represent the buyer's himself.

WEW!!! Hope I didn't complicate this more than it is!

Does something smell about this deal or am I worried about nothing?

Thanks!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 6, 2009
Thanks all,

No they did not check the designated agent box. They checked the subagent for seller box. Here again is how the (owner - broker) of the agency explained the question.

"Agency is not a component of the actual contract because the contract is between seller and buyer not the agencies(if 2 are involved) It does not make the contract invalid it is a statement concerning representation only of the parties involved. The contract would be valid if this part of the contract was blank."

Here is some more of what the listing broker said about her agent being a subagent:

(blank) did not feel comfortable representing a Broker of another competing company as their agent...whether a family member is involved or not It is definately wrong to represent a licensed Broker from another agency located right here in Tioga County. And I am pleased she was an agent representing your interests. As a matter of fact: a new sales agreement is currently being drafted in Harrisburg that puts Seller Agent/Subagent on the same line with only one check mark available. In any case right or wrong it means that the agent is working for the seller.


Notice she doesn't answer the question of it being proper or not for an agent in the employ of the listing broker to represent themselves as a subagent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 6, 2009
Maddernhell

If you are unhappy with how your listing is being handeled then:
First complain to the listing Broker, not the agent, ask for the managing Broker
If not satisfied file a complaint with the PA Department of State licensing bureau
http://www.dos.state.pa.us/bpoa/cwp/view.asp?a=1104&q=43…
If you have suffered financialy consult an attorney

FYI The Broker employs agents,licensees, to represent the Broker. If two licensees employed by the same Broker are involved in a transaction, then normaly each is Designated to represent one of the parties. One is designated as the seller's agent the other as the buyer's agent. This is a normal,acceptable and legal arrangement in PA. How are the agents identified in the Agreement of Sale. Did they check off the designated agency box?
Even if it is determined that the buyers agent is not required to acknowledge their relationship to the buyer we believe that they should have.
Good Luck we hope you can work this out without litigation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 6, 2009
It is my understanding That most Real Estate Brokers do not allow sub agency, sub agency is when an agent represents the client under the listing agency's business and The company is liable for any wrong doings. etc. Therefore especially in NJ no commission is usually paid to a sub agency. In the listing agreement you will see the commission distribution. In NJ we can but are not advised to work in a dual agency situation. In Pa if the listing is in the same office or the company's ( francise not brand ie Prudential) then the sale constitutes dual agency and in Pa they appoint another agent at the brokers discretion to represent one of the sides of the transaction to safe guard a fidicuary relationshop and not give 1 side an advantage, Dual agency is when the broker of records transaction has both sides regardless of the agents involved,however if the same agent has both sides then 1 side is represented by another agent. The selling broker of record is paid by the listing broker. The sales agent is mearly a representative of the Selling Broker, This is only an opinion and I am not a lawyer making or defending law
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 6, 2009
Maddernhell,
If you signed the agreement of sale there probably isn't much you can do. If you signed it, I am assuming you agreed to the price and terms. I am not sure what the "mess" part is about. If the buyer is having financing problems or needs an extention, you don't have to allow it. Maybe the buyer will get you out of the contract because of other contingencies of their own?.
The only other thing to do would be to get a lawyer, but you may be just throwing your money away by not just fulfilling the contract.
Good Luck,
Michael
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 5, 2009
Our broker just sent me another answer concerning the question of a subagent working for the listing broker. This seems to state that the contract is valid.

"Agency is not a component of the actual contract because the contract is between seller and buyer not the agencies(if 2 are involved) It does not make the contract invalid it is a statement concerning representation only of the parties involved. The contract would be valid if this part of the contract was blank."

It does not clear up the question of the listing agent and subagent working for the same broker being proper or not unless I am missing something.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 5, 2009
Yes, and it has turned into a mess.

It seems near impossible to find out if the "subagent" in question has misrepresented herself and if she did, what effect this may have on the contract.

I just received an "answer" from our broker but she really did not answer the questions. She said she is concerned I am trying to use her words against her. If there is nothing improper in this contract how could I possibly use anything she says to clarify the matter against her?

Am I wrong for asking the broker to explain things I don't understand?

If the relationship we have with the broker is considered fiduciary shouldn't she be obligated to answer my questions?

Thanks
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 5, 2009
Maddernhell,
Not sure on the legalities there. Did you accept an agreement of sale?
Michael
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 5, 2009
Thanks again,

Could you tell me, if the agent in question cannot be a subagent but represents themselves as such on a sales contract, does this have any bearing as to the legality or validity of the sales contract?

By the way, supposed subagent is the mother of the buyer, of which we were not informed until way after the fact.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 5, 2009
Maddernhell,
I am not sure why the agent from your broker would refer to him/herself as a subagent. By definition this isn't possible. I am sure they would like to keep the sale of your home "in house", who wouldn't? But you have to ask yourself, are they marketing your home to other offices? If they are not, and trying to sell it within their own office, they may not be working in your best interest. (just my opinion) I don't think what they are doing is improper, but if you don't like how they are marketing your home, you may want to ask to get out of your contract. They may or may not allow you to do so. If they have a contract to list your house for a certain amount of time, they can hold on to your listing until the contract runs out. So you will either accept the offers they bring you and pay them or refuse all offers and wait til your contract runs out.
Again.... this is not legal advise.
I hope this makes some sense to you!
Michael

Michael D Delp
Mortgage Pro
4802 Old Bethlehem Pike,
Telford Pa. 18969
Ph- 215-453-1025
Fax- 215-453-1012
Cell- 610-762-0318
michaelddelp@aol.com
michaelddelp@verizon.net
http://www.mortgagepro.instantlender.com -
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 5, 2009
Thanks again Michael,

I am also wondering why our broker will not respond to my questions. It would seem to me they have a duty to keep our best interest in the forefront. That being said, if they cannot answer questions are they acting in our best interest?

My questions concerning subagency are these:

If the subagent is in the employ of the listing broker and as such would not be considered a subagent what would be any possible reasons for them representing themselves as a subagent?

Is this some kind of slick way for the broker to keep all of the comission in house?

If this is a misrepresentation by the broker or agents of the broker, what effect would this have on the sales contract?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 5, 2009
Maddernhell,

A subagency, by my understanding, is when another broker cooperates with the listing broker to sell his listing. for example, if one office lists a property, they put it on the MLS listing. By doing this through subagency, they agree to pay another office a portion of the commission. Agents are all paid through their broker, so they would be in the employ of the broker and wouldn't be considered a subagent.
I am not sure of the specifics of your question, but am curious why the broker won't answer your questions.

Michael
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 5, 2009
Thank you Michael,

What about a listing broker who appoints a subagent who works for them?

The definition of subagent:

""Subagent." A broker, not in the employ of the listing broker, who is engaged to act for or cooperate with the listing broker in selling property as an agent of the seller. A subagent is deemed to have an agency relationship with the seller."

seems to imply this cannot be done. Any idea about this being improper?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 5, 2009
Maddernhell,

I am not a lawyer so please don't take this as llegal advise, but from my understanding of the law, It is not dual agency unless the same agent is handling both sides of thre transaction. Both agents can work for the same broker without it being dual agency.
I hope this helps. the very best of luck to you!
Michael
PS- sorry your posts were deleted. Not sure how that happens here. Perhaps you could writhe the Trulia people.


Michael D Delp
Mortgage Pro
4802 Old Bethlehem Pike,
Telford Pa. 18969
Ph- 215-453-1025
Fax- 215-453-1012
Cell- 610-762-0318
michaelddelp@aol.com
michaelddelp@verizon.net
http://www.mortgagepro.instantlender.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 5, 2009
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