Greetings once again! We hope that 2012 has been good to you so far. Generally, in real estate, we are witnessing the continuation of a balanced market in Greater Vancouver as total listings climbed modestly from about 12,500 to just over 14,000 since Dec. 31, 2012. Prices are holding steady, especially for detached dwellings, while condo and townhouse prices may be down a little -- depending on where you live in the region. Mortgage rates remain very low, and this has encouraged a fair amount of buyer activity as we turn the corner toward spring...Okay, on to today's blog topic!
WHAT IS "AGENCY" REPRESENTATION?
Today we wish to draw your attention to the typical situations where agency representation is involved and one situation where it is not (but can be.) When you work with a Realtor, you can choose the kind of agency relationshiop you and your Realtor are most comfortable with. So let us answer today's question simply:
1. When you sign a listing agreement with a Realtor for the sale of your property, you are agreeing to agency and representation for the sale of the property.
2. When you have a Realtor "buyer's agent" help you to purchase a re-sale property, you are agreeing to agency and representation. The best way to have this representation defined is by signing an "Exclusive Buyer's Agency Agreement" with your Realtor.
3. Now what about when you go to a new development/presentation centre/show home, and the sales person prepares an offer for you? Is this also agency? NO, IT IS NOT! That salesperson is there to represent the builder/developer. They are not legally obligated to discuss "agency" with you. In this scenario, you do not have representation and you are on your own in the world of "buyer beware," (or "caveat emptor" for fans of Latin!)
So CAN you have representation at a new development? ABSOLUTELY. All you need to do is ask your Realtor ("buyer's agent") to accompany you to this sales office, preferably on the first day you go there.
As always, a good buyer's agent will help you to evaluate the (new) homes, suggest market value, review all the costs involved, negotiate a "buyer friendly" offer for YOU, and oversee the many details that are part of this, and any other, trancaction. Note that virtually every builder/developer offers a commission to your Realtor for helping them find a buyer for one of their new homes. It is best to ask your Realtor to come with you so this agency is clearly understood by the sales staff.
Take Home Points:
1. Agency representation is established when a property seller signs a listing agreement with his or her "Listing Agent" Realtor.
2. Using a Realtor to help you purchase a property also creates an agency/representation relationship -- best defined in an "Exclusive Buyer's Agency Agreement" contract.
3. Sales people at a new development/sales centre are not obligated to discuss agency with you as they represent only the builder/developer. You may, however, take you "buyer's agent" Realtor with you to represent you as you contemplate the option of buying a newly constructed home.
Best wishes from Paul Yaskowich and Tom kilik at "The Breakfast Club." Paul and Tom are Realtors with Prudential Sterling Realty (see contact info page)
Thank you for reading our blog. We welcome your questions or comments. Send us an email or leave information on the website. We will do our best to answer your questions or raise any issues at the next breakfast! - Paul on behalf of Tom.
("The Breakfast Club is a blog communication intended to help people learn about real estate topics in British Columbia. It is not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract.)