Weichert Agency Information
Agency: An agency relationship is formed when one person represents the interests of another person. Connecticut & Rhode Island real estate agents are licensed to represent a person for the sale, lease, or purchase of a property. The person represented is the client.
Agent responsibility to the client is defined by state law, the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and general principles of agency law.
The relationship created between the agent and the client is a fiduciary relationship. A fiduciary relationship is based on trust. The agent owes the following duties to the client:
- Reasonable Care
Courts enforce agency duties. This ensures that the client can rely on the agent putting the client's interests before those of anyone else. Courts also require that the real estate agent be fair and honest with all parties involved in the transaction.
On June 1, 1997, the Connecticut Real Estate practices on agency changed.
Previously, by law, Real Estate Agents always represented the interests of the Seller - even if they were working with the Buyer and had never met the Seller. Legally, that meant that the Agent who had a relationship with the Buyer could not disclose any information that might have harmed the Seller's interests and, at the same time, that the Seller was being represented by Sub-Agents that he or she had never met. Under the new law, agency is defined by contractual obligations.
Seller Agency: The listing agency (Weichert, Realtors Suburban Properties) represents the Seller when it enters into a contract to sell his or her home. In this case, all fiduciary responsibilities are owed to the Seller/Client.
However, the agent must be fair, open and honest with the Buyer with regard to all known material facts. Disclosure of such facts is required by state law, the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, and company policy.
Dual Agency: A dual agency situation arises when one of Weichert, Realtors Suburban Properties "Buyer Clients" wants to purchase a listing from one of the Weichert, Realtors Suburban Properties "Seller Clients". In this case, the Agents involved must treat all parties fairly and impartially. They may not disclose any information that would create a negotiating advantage for either client.
Designated Agency: Designated agency occurs when the Weichert, Realtors Suburban Properties contractually represents both the Buyer and the Seller and either parties declines dual agency. In this case, all parties consent to "Designated Agency". Although the Weichert, Realtors Surburban Properties Principal Broker assumes a dual agency position, the individual Agents within the company will represent their clients according to their original contracts. Each client will then receive personalized and confidential representation.
Who Pays the Commission?
In almost all cases, the commission is still paid to the Seller's Agent, who then pays a "Buyer Broker Commission" to the Broker that represents the Buyer. The commission is paid out of the proceeds of the transaction (technically by the Seller), as it has always been paid. The final price is understood to include the cost of commissions.
Buyers are not the only ones who benefit from Buyer Brokerage. Sellers have fewer liability problems because they no longer are faced with "vicarious liability" for anything a "Sub-Agent" say to a potential Buyer. Previous to the new law, the Sellers had no direct contact with many Agents who were showing and disclosing things about their homes. Now, if a Buyer remains unrepresented, the listing Agent must ask the Seller to agree to show his or her home to an "Unrepresented Buyer" and must disclose to the Seller that he or she will incur liability.
A Win Win Situation
Buyer Brokerage is a win win situation:
- For the Buyer, who receives all the added benefits of the Agent's research and knowledge of the market.
- For the Seller, who is relieved of some liability.
- For the Agent, who can now comfortably disclose much more and work much harder for his or her client.