Why You Want To Be A Client And Not A Customer To Your Tucson Agent

Dated: 01/20/2017

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I thought about titling this article The Value of Committing to a Written Contractual Relationship With Your Agent As Soon As Possible but I get the feeling most people would bypass reading it without a second thought. Why? Because C words—committing and contractual scare people away. In the early buyer-agent courtship stages, both sides may be a little reluctant to discuss a contractual obligation, especially if the buyer is in the “just looking” phase. On the other hand, an agent will want to interact with the buyer for a little bit to make sure it’s a good fit and that the buyer is ready and able to complete the transaction.  Image title

A real estate agent can only offer the full range of professional services that a buyer wants when that buyer is a client. Once the initial interactions takes place and both parties feel comfortable working with each other, it is in the best interests of both the buyer and the realtor to commit to a contractual relationship. This is when a customer becomes a client.

The services that buyers value most – expressing an opinion about the property value, evaluating properties, negotiation of purchase contracts – can be offered only in an agent-client relationship. This agent-client relationship is legally binding and the agent bears specific fiduciary duties to the buyer.

In Arizona, the document that clarifies the agency relationship is the Real Estate Agency Disclosure and Election form. The fiduciary duties specified in the document that become obligations for the agent are as follows:

  • Loyalty: The client’s interests come first, before customers, service providers or anyone else including the agent.

  • Obedience: Agents must follow all of the client’s lawful instructions. Agents don’t make decisions for the client or exceed their authority.

  • Disclosure: Agents must disclose affirmatively, fully and honestly all information concerning the transaction and property that might affect the client’s decisions.

  • Confidentiality: Agents may not reveal confidential information learned about clients or told to them by clients within the agency relationship.

  • Accounting: Safeguard money and property held on behalf of the client, maintain records and provide a prompt accounting when requested of money and property received and paid out.

  • Reasonable Care and Diligence: Protect the client from foreseeable risks or harm, recommend expert advice or assistance when the client’s needs exceed the agent’s expertise.

Reasonable Care and Diligence is the duty that shapes the relationship with the client, influences terms in the Purchase Contract, and offers protection to the buyer throughout the course of the transaction process and into home ownership.

All the information an agent provides regarding current market conditions, comparative market analysis on a given property, issues that may affect value or resale value of a property, and directing the buyer to investigate all issues of importance to him/her by reading through the Buyer’s Advisory document, all serve to help the buyer-client decide on the offer be made on a given property.

Discussing the need for protective clauses in the contract, discussion of current market acceptance or rejection of those clauses, obtaining a property disclosure from the seller as an offer condition, requesting a home warranty within the contract, recommending inspections, advocating that the seller make the needed repairs discovered during the inspection, and communicating the critical dates within the transaction timeframe, all influence the terms and evolution of the contract. It is a lot easier, less stressful, and less risky to stay on target than to have to make changes through Addendums to the contract.

Whew! That’s a lot of important work that an agent performs for the buyer! Committing contractually after establishing rapport and an open flow of communication ensures the buyer the highest level of service in a complex process involving a major financial commitment.

When I work with a buyer, I commit to finding him/her the right property, guiding the buyer through the process, securing the best deal, protecting their interests and safeguarding confidential information. That commitment is well worth preserving on paper.

To see how you can obtain the highest level of professional service in your home search, email maria@tucsonexpertagents.com for a no-obligation consultation session.

Maria Trujillo

Selling or buying a home is more than just a transaction—it’s a life changing experience for you! That’s why providing you exceptional, personalized service is imperative. By understanding you....

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