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Is My REALTOR Working For Me?

Is My REALTOR Working for Me? 

As professional real estate agents, we are often asked, "Are you working for me?" The answer is, "Well, that depends on our agency relationship with each individual."  

It's important to understand that there are different levels of agency relationships in the real estate industry, whether you choose to be a customer, or a client will have a significant impact on the services we are able to provide you with. 

Client vs. Customer 

When we meet with a Buyer or Seller for the first time, we are required to present a form called the Maine Residential Brokerage Relationship Form upon first substantive communication. This document describes the difference between being a customer and a client and essentially serves as the Miranda rights for Buyers and Sellers. The difference between a client and a customer is that a client has given a real estate agent written permission to advocate for them in a real estate transaction. 

  • As a customer, we cannot advise, advocate for, investigate any concerns that they have, or analyze any market data. We are there to provide information, answer questions with honesty, and provide mandatory disclosures. 

  • As a client, we are held to a higher standard of care and are bound by fiduciary duties of loyalty, obedience, disclosure, accounting, confidentiality, reasonable care, and diligence. 

Benefits of Becoming a Client 

We cannot advocate for a Buyer or Seller without written permission. Doing so would be a violation of license law, and as professionals, that's not how we like to handle our business.  

 We want to go into a home and provide expert opinions, express our concerns, and offer advice based on our experience and knowledge. We want to be able to share material facts that could impact a Buyer’s decision to purchase or a Seller’s decision to market their home for sale. 

 Agency relationships in Real Estate are critical to understand. As REALTORS, we are bound by specific standards and duties to our clients. Buyers and Sellers must understand the difference between being a customer and a client to decide how they want to be represented in the transaction. Ultimately, choosing to be a customer or client is an individual decision that will determine whether your agent is truly working for you.

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