Real estate agents may come across many types of brokerage relationships. A part of your real estate training should be about how to work within these relationships while fulfilling all your fiduciary duties. You must know how to advance or protect your client’s interests within whatever brokerage relationship you have.
A transaction broker is focused on completing the real estate transaction. Although they can help buyers, sellers, tenants, and landlords, they do not represent any of these people’s financial interests. Yes, they must be ethical by legal and industry standards. However, they are there to assist every party in the transaction.
Responsibilities of Transaction Brokers
You may have gotten an introduction to brokerage relationships in real estate school. Beyond that, you can get more education from online real estate courses and real estate agent training. Through continuing education and experience, you will learn your duties as a transaction broker. Here are a few examples of what you must do to fulfill your responsibilities in this situation.
- Be honest and fair to everyone involved in the transaction.
- Keep track of all funds exchanged in the real estate transaction.
- Use your realtor skills and be diligent and detail-oriented to avoid costly mistakes.
- Always disclose anything you know about the home that would substantially change the transaction if the buyer knew.
- Present any offers or counteroffers promptly.
Confidentiality for Transaction Brokers
In addition, you must maintain limited confidentiality. Be discerning about what you share with the buyer or seller. Specifically, you must avoid revealing the following things to either party in the transaction:
- The seller will accept less, or the buyer will pay more than the list price.
- Why the buyer or seller wants to make the transaction.
- That the seller or buyer will agree to financing terms other than those offered.
- Any information requested by a party to the transaction must remain confidential.
- Anything else that you have signed a written agreement to not disclose.
Because confidentiality is so important, you must remain alert to requests from the buyer and seller. Pay attention to what they tell you in emails, texts, or other communications. Then, you will know what to keep confidential.
A single agent is a real estate professional who represents a specific client. This agent is responsible for representing that client throughout the entire transaction. They must keep this client’s best interests in mind from the time they sign the agreement until the home sale proceeds to its conclusion.
If you are working as a single agent, you must disclose and explain this relationship before showing the property or making the formal listing agreement.
So, what are the duties of single real estate agents? First, you must follow industry standards for honesty, fairness, loyalty, and confidentiality. You must do as your client requests whenever possible and legal. You must use your realtor skills and practice care and diligence throughout the transaction.
Another part of the job for solo agents is to complete their duties related to this specific transaction. You must give full disclosure, account for all funds, and present offers and counteroffers promptly. Additionally, you must disclose anything you know about the property that is not easily noticed if it will affect the property’s value.
Other Types of Brokerage Relationships
In addition to the two most common brokerage relationships, there are a few others to consider. Besides transaction brokers and single agents, you may have a brokerage relationship like the following.
- Dual Agency – The buyers’ and sellers’ agents are from the same brokerage in a dual agency. The broker represents both buyer and the seller. A dual agent must represent their client’s interests and be a fiduciary for the transaction, ensuring all funds are exchanged correctly.
- Designated Sales Associate – This agent has a real estate license but works under a broker’s supervision. The situation can arise when one agent from the brokerage already represents the buyer or seller, and another agent is needed to represent the other.
- No Brokerage Relationship – In an FSBO transaction, for instance, there may be no relationship with the seller. Real estate agents can represent buyers of FSBO homes. Yet, they are not dealing with a real estate professional, so they have no one to have a brokerage relationship with in this situation.
Building Relationships in Real Estate
Building relationships is one of the essential parts of becoming a master in the real estate industry. To learn more about brokerage relationships and understand your duties better, you can take online real estate courses such as Roadmap to Success: Foundation. As you gain more experience, you will become more and more familiar with how these relationships work and how to build them.