Realtor Charleston SC: SC Agency Relationships Explained
Chances are, if you are searching for a Realtor Charleston SC, you are looking to sell your house.
However, if you are looking to buy homes for sale Charleston SC, then you too should be searching for a Realtor.
If you are buying, and especially if this will be your first home, it is important to understand Agency Relationships in South Carolina.
If you call about a particular house, then you will likely speak to the Listing Agent.
This is the agent’s name that appears on the yard sign and on online listings.
This agent represents the sellers, and is looking to protect their best interests.
Likewise, if you go to a new home builder, you will meet an agent in the sales office. They are representing the seller (the builder).
In both cases, these agents can help you if you decide to make an offer.
However, you must keep in mind that they are contractually bound to protect their client and try to get the best deal possible for them.
This is called Fiduciary Responsibility, and real estate agents owe this to their clients.
You may tell this agent that you are willing to pay full price. And you better believe that they will use that against you to get the most money for their client.
This is not to say that agents are unethical or unscrupulous. In fact, that is an agent doing their job to get the best deal possible for their client.
It is a situation of buyer beware.
A much better way is to have an agent represent you and protect your best interests.
Your agent will work hard for you to make sure you are protected.
What happens if their is an issue with the home inspection? Your agent can make sure the repairs get done.
What about closing costs? Did you know your agent can negotiate to have the seller pay them on your behalf?
An agent working for you, known as a Buyers Agent, can make sure that a deal is reached that is fair for both parties.
Realtor Charleston SC: Beware Of Dual Agency
Another instance of Agency Relationship you should be aware of is what is called Dual Agency.
This is when the same agent represents both the buyer and seller in a transaction.
If you call a list agent about their listing and decide to make an offer, it is possible that they would represent the seller and not you.
This means you would have no representation, and is basically an unfair fight.
If you never played golf, or only played a couple times, what chances would you have playing a round with a professional golfer?
On the other hand, that same agent could offer to represent you and the seller in the transaction–Dual Agency.
However, Dual Agency can create a conflict of interest. That agent has to be careful not to disclose too much information to either party.
Of course, the seller was there before you, so that agent already knows why they want to sell, how low they are willing to go, and when they want to be out of the house.
They certainly aren’t going to share that info with you. So, you are again at a disadvantage.
In a Dual Agency situation an agent basically has to take a step back and merely act as a go between.
Neither party actually gets full representation. But again, if the seller was the agent’s client before you, you will likely get the short end of the stick.
You should avoid this situation at all costs. It is very easy to identify–if there is only one real estate agent involved, then that is Dual Agency (unless you agree to be unrepresented, which is a stupid thing to do).
Another thing–if an agent is going to do Dual Agency, they have to disclose this upfront to both parties and have an addendum signed in which both parties acknowledge and agree to Dual Agency.
If the agent forgets to mention this, that is a HUGE RED FLAG and you should RUN!!
Fortunately, there is a much better alternative.
Find a Realtor Charleston SC to represent you.
You wouldn’t defend yourself in court if you were on trial, why attempt what will be your largest transaction of your life by yourself?
Even if you have purchased a home before, you should still have an agent represent you.
Real estate laws and practices change over the years, so what worked a couple years ago may not today.
Plus, South Carolina real estate contracts have a lot of legalese in them, and it is important you understand what you are signing and agreeing to.
Not doing so can cost you thousands of dollars and potentially put you in legal hot water.
Best of all, having your very own Buyers Agent does not cost you anything.
That’s right, you can have the peace of mind of having a professional represent you and look out for your best interests absolutely free.
But don’t just choose any Realtor Charleston SC. It is important to pick the right one. One that will work for you before you find the right house and make an offer.
You need an agent that will answer your questions, explain the process to you, and can assist you in your home search.
An agent that isn’t of much help or isn’t responsive early in the home search will likely cause you problems and frustration later down the line.
The last thing you want is to find the perfect house and then experience a lot of stress during the closing process.
If your agent isn’t with you early in the process, what are the chances they will be there when you need them the most–during negotiations and the closing process?
If you are looking to buy Charleston homes for sale, then take a moment to visit my Pam Marshall Realtor website and see why I should be your choice for your Realtor Charleston SC.