There is some confusion about the agency relationships in the real estate process, so today I will explain Seller’s Agency.
A Seller’s Agent works only for the seller and has legal obligations to the seller, called fiduciary duties. These responsibilities include undivided loyalty, reasonable care, confidentiality, and full disclosure. The Seller’s Agent must work honestly with both parties of the transaction and must not make any misrepresentations.
Let’s look at a couple examples of Seller’s Agency situations to help uncomplicate this jargon. While the agent owes confidentiality to the Seller, defects in the property that the Seller shares with the agent must be disclosed. If the Seller relates that his foundation is cracked, the roof leaks, the air conditioning system doesn’t work, etc., the agent now has a duty to disclose the defects to any potential Buyer. The agent can’t be complicit in withholding these facts.
By the same token, if the Buyer’s Agent should mention to the Seller’s Agent in the course of negotiating a price that the Buyer is bidding $300,000, but they’ll go to the full price of $320,000 to secure the property, the agent owes it to his Seller to share that tidbit. It was the Buyer’s Agent’s mistake to disclose that fact, but the Seller’s Agent can not compound the problem by keeping that from his Seller.
Seller’s Agency has other advantages to the Seller. His experienced real estate agent knows the entire real estate transaction process from soup to nuts. The agent can help assign a realistic price to the property, note repairs or upgrades that will help sell it quicker, give a list of items to have on hand for any potential buyer such as utility bills, a survey, or age of roof, heat & AC systems, and appliances, and then take the transaction to a successful closing.