Understanding Agency in Connecticut
Connecticut law requires a real estate agent to enter into a written Buyer Representation Agreement with a buyer before showing properties to a buyer. This agreement is a contract. Exceptions: Buyers may choose not to sign a Buyer Representation Agreement and rather prefer to sign an Unrepresented Persons Disclosure form. This can happen only when the buyer is seeing that firm’s listings. This form discloses that the buyer understands that the firm represents the seller’s interests and chooses to be unrepresented. The disclosure is not a contract.
Exceptions: Buyers may choose not to sign a Buyer Representation Agreement and rather prefer to sign an Unrepresented Persons Disclosure form. This can happen only when the buyer is seeing that firm’s listings. This form discloses that the buyer understands that the firm represents the seller’s interests and chooses to be unrepresented. The disclosure is not a contract.
The Buyer Representation Agreement is with a firm
The parties to a Buyer Representation Agreement are the buyer and the real estate firm, not a specific agent. The benefit to the buyer is that other agents of that firm can work with the buyer if the original agent is unavailable.
The Four Types of Agency Relationships
A Buyer’s Agent exclusively represents the interests of the buyer in a real estate transaction. A Buyer’s Agent…
- Arranges property showings that meet the buyer’s needs.
- Helps the buyer obtain information about the home or property, community, schools, taxes, utilities and zoning.
- Counsels the buyer on what price to offer the seller.
- Assists in making an offer with the buyer’s interests in mind by showing what other buyers are paying for similar properties in the area.
- Negotiates the best price and terms for the buyer.
- Keeps the price capabilities and objectives of the buyer confidential.
- Assists in the loan application process, if needed.
- Monitors all dates, events and requirements for the buyer.
- Attends the closing with the buyer.
A Seller’s Agent represents the interest exclusively of the seller in a real estate transaction. A Seller’s Agent….
- Prepares a competitive market analysis of the seller’s home or property.
- Develops and implements effective marketing strategies for the seller, including asking price, staging and positioning.
- Informs the seller of how much other similar homes and properties have sold for in the area.
- Presents all offers and counsels the seller on what price to accept.
- Negotiates exclusively on the seller’s behalf.
- Updates the seller on current market conditions.
- Works closely with the seller to assure a smooth closing.
- Monitors all dates, events and requirements for the seller.
- Attends the closing with the seller.
Dual agency occurs when a Buyer’s Agent shows a property to a buyer that is also represented by that Realtor’s firm, or when the Listing Agent shows real estate to a buyer who is also represented by the same firm. In Dual Agency situations, both the buyer and the seller will be asked to sign a consent agreement. A Dual Agent owes both buyer and seller equal representation and must….
- Treat both parties fairly.
- Not knowingly represent one party to the detriment of the other.
- Disclose facts each party needs to make an informed decision.
- To assist, as the Buyer and Seller are empowered to negotiate on their own behalf.
- Assure confidentiality on each party’s price, terms and personal information.
A Realtor firm may provide a Designated Buyer Agent for the buyer and a Designated Seller Agent for the seller from within the firm. The Designated Buyer Agent may perform all the services described under buyer agency for the buyer and a Designated Seller Agent may perform all of the services described under seller agency for the seller. The agents so designated are not dual agents, but the firm itself continues to be a Dual Agent.