Brokers have the licensing authority, education, experience and expertise to help you, your reputation and the reputation of your affiliated brokerage firm with your real estate transactions. Even if you think you know the answer and/or the correct approach to a problematic situation, it never hurts to have an informed listening post and/or another person’s perspective about options and/or solutions when you encounter a roadblock to a transaction.
Here are some situations in which your broker can be extremely helpful:
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- Contract Issues
- Real estate contracts are long and complicated. Savvy, smart agents, regardless of their professional tenure, seek out expertise to simplify complexities.
- Your broker can help guide the way through most Purchase and Sales Agreements as well as supplemental documentation.
- Agency Issues
- Consult your broker if and when issues arise when you establish a designated brokerage agency representation.
- You are entitled to change your agency representation status to become a neutral facilitator or transaction broker.
- Consult your broker if/when you need to terminate your established agency representation with a buyer or seller because only your principal broker can actually release a client from an agency agreement.
- Client Issues
- A client may feel slighted by the amount of time you’re able to give them, your marketing efforts, and/or whatever else.
- Consult your broker as your broker can act as a mediator to “mend fences” between you and your client.
- Earnest Money Issues
- If/when your contract with your client falls apart due to the client not being approved for a mortgage or due to some sort of structural problem with the house or whatever else, the seller MUST return the earnest money to the buyer…no if’s and’s or but’s.
- If the seller refuses to return the earnest money, consult your broker.
- If the seller still refuses to return the earnest money even with your broker’s involvement, a court will decide via an interpleader action who gets the money and when.
- Disclosure Issues
- Not disclosing “issues” with the house is the number one reason sellers and listing agents are sued by “injured” buyers.
- Contact your broker immediately concerning any non-disclosure issue.
- Cooperating Agent Issues
- Not every agent plays by the rules on either side of a transaction.
- If the other agent involved in the transaction doesn’t communicate with you about an offer or a contract or whatever, contact that agent’s principal broker first to sort out the problem.
- If that doesn’t work, contact your broker to work out the problem with the other agent’s broker.
- Potential Legal Issues
- Even though agents handle legal documents on a daily basis, agents are NOT lawyers and CANNOT practice law.
- Consult you broker concerning any potential legal issues if ever there are any legal questions.
- Regulatory Compliance/Licensing Issues
- Contact your broker immediately should such issues come up.
- You do not want to face state real estate commissions about any disciplinary actions.
- Dispute Adjudication Issues
- If you ever feel the need to file a complaint against another agent, contact your broker about filing a grievance or request for arbitration via your REALTOR association’s professional standards commission.
- Your broker MUST be informed about this prior to your taking ANY such action.
- Intra-company Issues
- Even though working for the same principal broker, agents sometimes do no see eye-to-eye.
- Consult your broker immediately to mediate/resolve the conflict or situation.
Thanks to John Giffen, director of broker opportunities with Benchmark Realty, writing for InmanNews for source material.