• Are you new to the real estate buying or selling process?
• Has it been many years since you bought or sold real estate?
• …if so, then you need to know more about Agency Relationships…
In order to be represented by a real estate Agency you must have a signed representation or listing agreement with the Agency in order to be entitled to the benefits of a fiduciary relationship. It is not mandatory that you sign such an agreement but unless you do, the real estate licensee (Agent) will be unable to provide you with advice, counsel and the benefit of the Agent’s judgment.
A representation or listing agreement makes you a Client of the real estate Agency and thus, that company’s agent or agents are working for you. In Maine, real estate agencies are allowed to practice one or more types of agency relationship with Buyers and Sellers. In your initial encounter of substance, the Agent is required to present you with a copy of the Maine Real Estate Commission’s “Real Estate Brokerage Relationships Form” which explains your options as a “consumer” and is intended to encourage a conversation with the Agent about those options.
Sellers who list their property for sale with an Agency are more likely to take the time to discuss agency relationships with their Agent than are Buyers, but it is just as important for Buyers to sit down with the Agent and discuss agency relationships. Buyers tend to focus on arranging to visit properties at first contact with a real estate Agency and typically skip a consultation about agency relationships until they find a property of interest.
Here is a summary of the different types of agency relationships allowed in Maine:
Single Agency – With the Buyer’s or Seller’s written consent, the entire Agency represents only one party in a transaction, either the Buyer or Seller.
Appointed Agency – With the Buyer’s or Seller’s written consent, the Agency may appoint one or more Agents to represent a Buyer or a Seller.
Disclosed Dual Agency – With the Buyer’s and Seller’s written consent, one or more Agents may represent both Buyer and Seller in a transaction.
Single Agency with Disclosed Dual Agency – With the Buyer’s and Seller’s written consent, the entire Agency may represent both Buyer and Seller in a transaction.
Appointed Agency with Disclosed Dual Agency – With the Buyer’s and Seller’s written consent, the Agency may appoint one or more Agents to represent both the Buyer and Seller in a transaction.
Transaction Brokerage – In this type of relationship, the Agency does not represent the interests of the Buyer or Seller in a transaction and the Transaction Agent’s job is facilitate the transaction, giving advice to neither party. Written consent is not required for this type of agency relationship as the Agency/Agent is not providing representation.
So there you have it – a primer on Agency Relationships in Maine. We encourage more in depth conversations about those relationships between Buyers, Sellers and Agents in the early stages of contact.
Morton Real Estate ~ offers Seller Representation, Buyer Representation through Single Agency with optional Disclosed Dual Agency to Buyer and Seller Clients.
Written by: Edward Nista, Broker with Morton Real Estate