Houston Real Estate Agent List: Who’s Typically Involved In The Deal?
It is important to understand what legal responsibilities your Houston Realtor has to you and to other parties in the real estate transaction. Please ask your Houston real estate agent to explain what type of agency relationship you have with him or her and with the brokerage company they work for. Here are the common principals in a Houston real estate transaction:
1. Seller’s representative (This can also be known as a listing agent or seller’s agent). A Houston seller’s agent is hired by and represents the seller in the real estate transaction. All of the seller’s representative’s fiduciary duties are owed to the seller. The agency relationship is usually created by a real estate listing contract.
2. Sub-agent. A Houston sub-agent owes the same fiduciary duties to the agent’s client as the agent does. Sub-agency usually arises when a cooperating sales associate, who is not representing the Houston buyer as a buyer’s representative or operating in a non-agency relationship, shows property to a Houston buyer. In such a case, the sub-agent workswith the buyer (showing them your home) but owes fiduciary duties to the listing broker and the seller. Although a Houston sub-agent cannot assist the buyer in any way that would be detrimental to the seller, a buyer-customer can expect to be treated honestly by the sub-agent. It is also important that Houston sub-agents fully explain their duties to buyers.
3. Buyer’s representative(This can also be known as a buyer’s agent).A Houston real estate licensee who is hired by prospective buyers to represent them in a Houston real estate transaction is known as a buyer’s representative. The buyer’s rep works in the buyer’s best interest throughout the transaction and owes fiduciary duties to the Houston buyer. The buyer can pay the licensee directly through a negotiated fee, or the buyer’s rep may be paid by the seller or by a commission split with the listing broker. Most often, Houston buyer’s reps are free to the buyer and paid for out of the commission from the seller.
4. Disclosed dual agent. Dual agency is a relationship in which the Houston brokerage firm represents both the buyer and the seller in the same real estate transaction. Dual agency relationships do not carry with them all of the traditional fiduciary duties to the clients. Instead, Houston dual agents owe limited fiduciary duties to both parties. Because of the potential for conflicts of interest in a dual-agency relationship, it is vital that all parties provide their informed consent. It is most preferable if this consent is in writing.
5. Designated agent (This is also called, among other things, appointed agency). This is a brokerage practice that allows the managing broker in Houston to designate which licensees in the brokerage will act as an agent of the seller and which will act as an agent of the buyer. Designated agency avoids the problem of creating a dual-agency relationship for licensees at the Houston brokerage. The designated agents give their clients full representation, with all of the attendant fiduciary duties. The broker still has the responsibility of supervising both groups of licensees.
6. Non-agency relationship (called, among other things, a transaction broker or facilitator). Some states permit a real estate licensee to have a type of non-agency relationship with a consumer. These relationships vary considerably from state to state, both as to the duties owed to the consumer and the name used to describe them. Very generally, the duties owed to the consumer in a non-agency relationship are less than the complete, traditional fiduciary duties of an agency relationship.
Paige Martin is a member of the prestigious Martha Turner Properties’ Circle of Excellence, an award given to honor the company’s top producers. Paige is a member of HAR, TAR and the National Association of Realtors. Her website, , features over 500 pages of Houston real estate information and details on over 40,000 properties of Houston Texas Real Estate for sale as well, as free tips on how to quickly Sell a Houston Home. Paige Martin, Realtor, Martha Turner Properties.
For personalized service in buying or selling a Houston home, please contact Paige Martin at 713-384-5177 or paige@HoustonProperties.com.