Understanding Agency Relationships
Buying or selling a home may be the most important financial transaction you'll ever make. So it's a good idea to take a moment and consider the kind of relationship you will be entering into with a Realtor®.
Realtor®s work within a legal relationship called agency. The agency relationship is established through a contract between you, the client, and your agent, the company under which the Realtor® is licensed. Most Realtor®s use a blue brochure titled Working with a Real Estate Agent to disclose the nature of the agency relationship with their client.
A Realtor® can act for a seller or a buyer, or to a limited degree, both. Whomever they represent, Realtor®s have a legal obligation to uphold the integrity of their clients, while protecting and promoting their interests.
Realtor®s also commit to:
In order for your Realtor® to list your property for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver requires completion of a listing agreement. By signing the listing agreement with you, your Realtor® has committed to uphold the obligations mentioned above. The listing agreement also states the amount of compensation that the seller will pay the Realtor®.
The contract of purchase and sale is initiated when an offer is made by the buyer to purchase the seller’s property. The contract outlines the terms and conditions of the offer, such as offer price and any subject conditions. The seller may reject the offer or make a counter offer. Once all terms have been accepted and both the seller and the buyer have signed the contract, each party is legally bound to fulfill the conditions of the contract.
A dual agent must be impartial to both the buyer and the seller and fully disclose all information pertinent to the transaction. A Realtor® can be a dual agent only if both the seller and the buyer agree in writing.
Remember: always read all contracts and disclosure forms before signing!