Every state varies with how real estate agents can handle transactions and the clients they represent. Currently, in Vermont, agents can represent you the seller, another real estate agent, or the buyer. During your initial visit with a real estate professional, you will be given a disclosure about representation and asked to sign a form. This form and a brief discussion about your relationship with agents and their firm should occur before discussing your property and reasons for selling, especially if you are undecided about who will list your property.
Until you sign a formal marketing agreement with the agent, you are not represented. If you interview more than one agent, they may go on to represent a buyer. Until you pick decide who will list your property you don’t want to tell the agent anything you wouldn’t want a potential buyer to hear.
Here’s another consideration. In our small communities, it’s not unusual for you to know two or three real estate agents. Just like when interviewing various agents, you should be mindful of representation. If you bump into an agent, other than the agents in the firm in which your property is listed, you don’t want to discuss anything that the agent might tell a Buyer their firm is representing, that isn’t in your best interest. Your Listing Agent will maintain the proper confidences but outside agents are not so obliged.
In Vermont it is not allowed for a firm to represent both a Seller and a Buyer in the same transaction. Your agent will discuss their company’s policy if a Buyer they are representing becomes interested in your property for sale. And besides the discussion, the Listing Agreement will contain the Office Policy For Avoiding Dual Agency, as it’s called. We can’t represent you and a Buyer during negotiations. Vermont Homes Real Estate’s policy is that we always represent you, the Seller. If we’re representing a Buyer and they become interested in your property, we will represent you. Regardless of timing, we always will represent your interests.
Remember, before deciding which agent and firm will represent you be careful that you don’t discuss motivation, timing, your ‘bottom line’ or anything you wouldn’t want a buyer to know. Likewise with outside agents after you list. And if you list with us, we will always represent your interests.