Whom Do We Represent?
The Vermont Real Estate Commission changed the rules for our industry on Dec 1, 2015. They wanted to encourage more options for Buyers and Sellers and for agents to clarify these options. With your first substantial contact, a real estate professional should describe your choices. You’ll be asked to sign a Consumer Disclosure which describes these choices and that you understand representation in Vermont. This disclosure is not a contract for services; it is merely telling you about options. So whom do we represent?
We Represent Buyers
With a signed contract to represent you, we can perform a variety of important services in a purchase. We always helped buyers look but now we can perform more duties to you, the fiduciary. One of the most important jobs a buyer’s agent does is helping you understand the value of properties. You may want to change a property or its use and the minute you do it has tremendous implications. An experienced agent can help protect your interests in a negotiation. Your agent can provide comparable market data, suggest negotiating strategy, even show properties that are not officially listed on the market. If you sign a Buyer Brokering Agreement, the agent you sign with now represents your interests, with all listings and potentially non-listed properties.
We Represent Sellers
The properties we feature are usually listed by an agent in our firm who represents that owner. We market and show them and are charged with making sure everyone involved in the transaction is treated professionally and must disclose anything we know that could substantially affect the value. We’ll get you any information we can. You should be fully informed in your decision to purchase.
We Represent Other Agents
Unless you’ve signed a Buyer Brokering Agreement, when you look at properties, the agent showing you various listings is actually representing other agents. Once you sign a Buyer Broking agreement, that agent now represents you, the Buyer.
Vermont Agents Within A Firm Can Now Represent Both Buyers and Sellers In The Same Transaction
An Explanation About The Recent Change
As of December 1, 2015 the Real Estate Commission in Vermont made a change in the way agents and brokers are allowed to interact with you, as members of the buying and selling public. It’s called Designated Agency and most realtors in the state had been asking for this change for quite awhile. It eliminates a lot of prior issues between firms and agents.
Many states, including New Hampshire, have been practicing a form of this internal representation of both sides of the transaction for some time. Vermont calls for a Supervising Licensee so as to make sure all stays fair for both buyers and sellers. The principal broker will be the Supervising Licensee for most transactions, except if they are involved in the transaction as an agent.
So here’s the difference in a nutshell. Buyers can now be represented by us even if they’re interested in pursuing one of our listings. Before this, even if one of us had a buyer broker agreement with a buyer and they wanted to pursue one of our listing, we had to send them to another agency and this caused all kinds of issues. Now an agent at Vermont Homes Real Estate can represent the buyer and another can represent the seller.
What does this mean to you? In practice, very little. Your listing agent will still do everything they’re doing now if you are a seller and your buyer broker agent will do everything they’re doing now if you are a buyer. It’s really a win-win for everyone and makes transactions much easier for all concerned.
Some agencies because of choice or size cannot practice Designated Agency. If you are initially looking at different properties with different firms and agents, you might want to ask each if they practice Designated Agency as it could effect your decision about representation.