Because buying/selling a home can be a complex and confusing process, establishing a working relationship with your broker is important for a successful transaction.
In the simplest of terms, establishing a brokerage relationship means signing an agreement to work exclusively with me, your broker. However, our working relationship is far more than a contract—it is the key to finding the home that meets both your needs and your budget. To help meet this goal, this section explains what you can expect from me as your REALTOR®, what I expect in return, how I get paid and what to expect from the transaction.
We can work together in the following ways
Seller’s Agent: A seller’s agent (or listing agent) works solely on behalf of the seller to promote the interests of the seller with the utmost good faith, loyalty and fidelity. The agent negotiates on behalf of and acts as an advocate for the seller. The seller’s agent must disclose to potential buyers all adverse material facts actually known by the seller’s agent about the property. A separate written listing agreement is required which sets forth the duties and obligations of the broker and the seller.
Buyer’s Agent: A buyer’s agent works solely on behalf of the buyer to promote the interests of the buyer with the utmost good faith, loyalty and fidelity. The agent negotiates on behalf of and acts as an advocate for the buyer. The buyer’s agent must disclose to potential sellers all adverse material facts actually known by the buyer’s agent including the buyer’s financial ability to perform the terms of the transaction and, if a residential property, whether the buyer intends to occupy the property. A separate written buyer agency agreement is required which sets forth the duties and obligations of the broker and the buyer.
Transaction-Broker: A transaction-broker assists the buyer or seller or both throughout a real estate transaction by performing terms of any written or oral agreement, fully informing the parties, presenting all offers and assisting the parties with any contracts, including the closing of the transaction without being an agent or advocate for any of the parties. A transaction-broker must use reasonable skill and care in the performance of any oral or written agreement, and must make the same disclosures as agents about all adverse material facts actually known by the transaction-broker concerning a property or a buyer’s financial ability to perform the terms of a transaction and, if a residential property, whether the buyer intends to occupy the property. No written agreement is required.
Customer: A customer is a party to a real estate transaction with whom the broker has no brokerage relationship because such party has not engaged or employed the broker, either as the party’s agent or as the party’s transaction-broker.
Whether buying your first home or purchasing your fifteenth, every real estate transaction is always unique due to different people and different circumstances. What is always the same is what you can expect from me and what I expect in return. I have found the right homes for hundreds of families and will do the same for you. It is much easier for us to enjoy the process when we know each other’s expectations.
As your REALTOR®, I will:
• Be honest, sometimes candidly, and I ask the same in return. I encourage you to be candid with me so that I can better serve you through the home-buying process and beyond. I want to know your needs and concerns. If something doesn’t feel right or if you feel that we’re not on the right track, please tell me…immediately. Then we can move forward.
• Be 100% loyal to your interests and respect your specific needs. I know that life has many twists and turns. If we need to change plans we will do that; I will ask the same of you. Life has a funny way of altering our day-to-day activities. I will be flexible with you, as again I ask you be with me.
• Be available when you need to contact me and to assist you in any way I can. I do not work 7 days a week or 24 hours a day but work with you to see properties in a realistic time frame. As family is important to you, it is important to me. There will be plenty of time to see all the homes, make offers and negotiate in a reasonable workweek. This keeps me fresh and strong to do the important tasks ahead.
• Inform you about past, present and anticipated market conditions in Colorado Springs and educate you about the transaction itself, from contract to closing.
• Review your financial qualifications and discuss possible options, and help you find the best available financing with a reputable lender.
• Discuss your property requirements including style, location and price; show you any listed properties that meet your requirements; and let you make your own choices while presenting helpful information and options.
• Present any offer you wish to make, help negotiate terms, handle details, and notify you of deadlines and important contract dates as they approach. During this time, I need you to be available to sign and return documents as well as provide necessary personal information for lenders, inspectors, etc., in a timely manner.
How I Get Paid
The commitment I make to you up front as your Realtor® doesn’t cost you a cent and creates one of the best values around. Hesitation to use my services only happens when clients do not understand the quality of service and fees absorbed by the service. It’s why I take the time to explain how a REALTOR® is paid. I want you to fully understand this part of the transaction.
On average, to get any transaction to the closing table takes between 60 and 80 hours of my time, although the hours can be as few as 20 or as many as 300. Regardless of the time required, the cumulative experience I bring is the greatest possible benefit you can have on your side in a real-estate transaction.
By tax code, I am an independent contractor working for ERA Shields Real Estate. This means ERA Shields Real Estate oversees my actions and operations but does not dictate my real-estate business. I am not paid a salary, I receive no benefits, and I pay all my own expenses, which include but are not limited to:
The percentage of my commission that goes to the company for office space & other services
- Applicable referral fees and franchise fees
- Local, state & federal taxes
- Phone, fax, computer & Internet fees
- Automobile maintenance and gasoline expenses
- Professional liability & auto/health/life insurance premiums
- Membership & affiliation fees for Realtor® & professional organizations
- Professional expenses and those for continuing education
The remainder of my fee is my take-home pay, also known as my profit. Only when I close on your new home am, I compensated. If there is no closing, I receive no compensation. In most cases the seller pays my fee/commission, which is a minimum of 3% of the sales price via their employment of a selling agent. The fee may be higher for new homes or For-Sale-By-Owner properties. Please respect that I have a working relationship in which I do not receive payment without a successful, closed transaction. This is my full-time profession and my source of income, my livelihood.
It is essential that you allow me to introduce you to any home you might have an interest in including new homes or for-sale-by-owner homes (FSBOs). Otherwise I cannot legally provide assistance or representation. Please do not pursue New Home Communities or FSBOs on your own as it may compromise our ability to collect commissions from the sellers. If you see a FSBO or New Home Community that you would like to explore, let me know right away so I can make arrangements and have discussions specific to the property. Sometimes a simple call ahead on my part to an individual I already have a relationship with (e.g. a new home sales representative) may reveal additional information, opportunities and options!
What to expect from the transaction…
Because there is rarely one home that matches every item on your wish list, some compromise is required. The more homes you see, the more confused you may become. Let’s work together to narrow your choices to real, viable properties and neighborhoods. Once you’ve found a home, time is of the essence. Be ready to make a decision and make an offer to secure the property before another buyer comes along. On the other hand, because the process of making offers and awaiting acceptance can become competitive, resolution is not always immediate, and patience is often required. Even though they are moving, sellers are often emotionally attached to their homes. Be prepared for unreasonable requests and lack of flexibility or compromise in some cases. At the same time, always put yourself in the seller’s shoes. Negotiating is anticipated, but understand that, just like you, the seller is trying to make a reasonable profit on their investment when the market so dictates. Do not expect them to remodel their home or give it away. However, if they’re offering the Maytag Neptune washer and dryer…super! Every deal is different, but reasonable expectations are vital.
A Note on Buyer’s Remorse
Buying a home can cause a great deal of stress. Once the realization sets in that you are under contract for a home and financially responsible for it, almost everyone has feelings of remorse and sometimes even panic, cold sweats or feelings of dread and fear. Because the Colorado Real Estate Commission will also not allow me to medicate you, we’ll need to deal with this in a more analytical, discussion-based treatment and hope for an effective cure (!).
Humor aside, you’re about to spend a lot of money. Now is the time to open up the conversation and get everything out in the open. The longer buyer’s remorse festers, the worse it gets, and the less enjoyable the experience. Rest assured that even if you are purchasing your 10th home, buyer’s remorse is normal. This feeling will pass and you will soon find yourself wrapped up in the excitement of buying a home that will bring you enjoyment for many years to come.