Duties of The Listing Agent.|
Agency Duties of a Listing Agent
Many people think of the real estate agent as a salesperson. Many
agents (perhaps most agents) would jump at the chance to be "just" a
salesperson. But they aren't just a salesperson. Most states have
legislated it so that real estate agents are also -- agents.
An agent is "responsible" to their clients. They have a duty, called a
"fiduciary duty." This means the agent is responsible to act in the best
interests of their client.
For example, an agent that holds a listing from the MLS, assuming the home is ready for sale, for even a day, is not acting in the best interest of their clients. In fact it may be unethical, because they are taking unfair advantage of other agents who may have a buyer for the property.
A car salesman does not have to act in your
best interests -- they just have to sell the car. It isn't that simple for
real estate agents.
Real estate agents not only have to sell the house, they have to be
responsible. That involves a lot of liability, which is one reason for all
the disclosures and the pages and pages of contracts, and why they
want to be paid for being more than "just" a salesman.
The listing contract will specify that your agent is acting as a "sellerís
agent." This means that, in the sale of your house, they are working for
you and only you -- and looking out for your best interests.
However, there may be times when your listing agent has a client who
wants to buy your home. For that reason, there is a little "wiggle room"
in the listing contract. If your agent also represents the buyer, the
listing contract should specify that they provide an additional
disclosure that details whether they continue to act as your agent or
assume the duties of a dual agent.
The contract also provides permission for your listing agent to act as
an agent for others on other transactions. They can continue to list
other properties, and represent buyers looking at other homes besides
copyright 2000 by Terry Light and RealEstate ABC, revised 2002