Do you really need to hire a Realtor ®

Dated: 02/12/2013

Views: 1146

You have two choices in the state of South Carolina and most other states under the laws of agency in real estate.  You can choose between being a customer or a client in the relationship with the real estate professionals you do business with.


I only mention this now since by the time you’re actively involved in viewing homes and land you will need to have made this important decision. As a matter of fact the state requires that upon our first significant encounter with you as a consumer we must by law present a written disclosure and description of your choices. This is the law in most states now.


In essence the choice is whether you choose to be a client or a customer. In South Carolina a real estate agent must be hired by either the seller or the buyer. If you haven’t hired your agent by agreeing to a buyer representation contract – then your agent must represent the seller in your transaction.


customer is entitled to honesty and full disclosure of all material facts. As a customer your agent can provide you with information about real estate listings, showings of those properties you select to view, and preparation of contract forms to be submitted as offers. As a customer your agent can not make suggestions about property values, can not negotiate on your behalf, is not obligated to disclose or point out “non material” facts, can not disclose information about the sales history of the property or the seller’s personal situation, can not provide you with confidentiality, or interpret adetailed  market analysis showing subject property history in the neighborhood you’re buying into. As a customer your real estate agent is working for the seller and his/her best interests.


As a client you are entitled to full confidentiality as with a client/attorney fiduciary relationship, benefit of the agent’s negotiation expertise, full disclosure of all material and non material facts which may affect the value of the property, property showings of all listings including for sale by owners and MLS listings which disallow sub-agency. As a client you have hired the real estate agent to represent you. This especially applies to buyers looking at new construction and dealing with the sales center/builder reps in the development as you have no representation to look out for your best interest. The real estate fee is paid by the listing firm when the transaction closes so basically it is a free service to you. You have no obligation to purchase property but do have an obligation to utilize your buyer agent in the transaction. Your real estate agent is obligated to work 100% in your best interests and commit to serving your best interests only. Protect yourself and get the best deal on your next home for free . 

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Hunter Reynolds

Hunter Reynolds is a full-time Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Charleston, South Carolina and is Foreclosure and Short Sale Certified. He specializes in residential properties in Charleston, SC....

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