Seller’s Agent in Kansas: Who Does My Agent Represent?

Earlier I posted on what a Buyer’s Agent is, or is supposed to be. Today I want to go after Seller’s Agency. Probably the most abused agency, in my opinion. Again, let’s see what the State of Kansas has to say about what the duties of a Seller’s Agent are.

SELLER’S AGENT

The seller’s agent represents the seller only, so the buyer may be either unrepresented or represented by another agent.

The seller’s agent is responsible for performing the following duties:

· promoting the interests of the seller with the utmost good faith, loyalty, and fidelity
· protecting the seller’s confidences, unless disclosure is required
· presenting all offers in a timely manner
· advising the seller to obtain expert advice
· accounting for all money and property received
· disclosing to the seller all adverse material facts about the buyer that the agent knows
· disclosing to the buyer all adverse material facts actually known by the agent, including the following:
Ø environmental hazards affecting the property that are required to be disclosed
Ø the physical condition of the property
Ø any material defects in the property or in the title to the property
Ø any material limitation on the seller’s ability to complete the contract.

The seller’s agent has no duty to:

· conduct an independent inspection of the property for the benefit of the buyer
· independently verify the accuracy or completeness of any statement by the seller or any qualified third party.

The matter seems pretty self explanatory. Where I see it run in to trouble is on the every day application. You see, many a real estate agent out there gets so excited when they receive a call off of one of their signs or ads that they will readily throw their Seller under the bus in the wink of an eye. Forgetting that they (the agent) signed an Exclusive Right To Sell Agreement with the Seller when the house is listed they immediately will want to buddy up to the caller, answer all of their questions and have a great chance of either obtaining the caller as a new Buyer to work with, or better yet, selling the home they called about and thus earning both sides of the commission.

Now, stop just for a second. It’s okay to to assist a Buyer and a Seller in the sale of a home. It’s called being a Transaction Broker in Kansas. And it will be discussed in the next post. What is not okay is violating agency to do it.

When a sign call turns into a possible Buyer off the house they called about, it is most likely that they are an Unrepresented Buyer. For example, If Buyer A calls me about my listing at 123 Main Street and I disclose that I am a Seller’s agent and they see the home with me and then make an offer with me and then close on the house with me it is almost certain that they were unrepresented throughout the entire process.

Make no mistake, I still have to treat them honestly, help them fill out the paperwork, disclose any defects in the property I am aware of, etc. But at no time am I trying to help them negotiate, disclosing that the Seller would take less for the property, etc. I cannot mislead them. I just can’t advise them to my Seller’s detriment.

So Sellers, make sure your agent isn’t acting as a Secret Agent. Are they disclosing to their sign calls/ad calls/board calls that they are YOUR agent? Or are they signing a Buyer’s Agency Agreement with them as soon as they get done showing them your house so that they can immediately flip them and you into a Transaction Brokerage Agreement to make their job easier.
You see, they are probably afraid that when they tell the potential Buyer that on this house and this transaction that they would be the Seller’s agent. They are afraid the Buyer will go off and find another agent to represent them. They are afraid they have done all the work and won’t get paid for it. It never occurs to them to treat the Buyer like a grown-up. To explain the facts to them. And hey, if they want their own representation they are entitled to it. The agent doesn’t have to pay their representation, but they are entitled to it.
Is this clear as mud? Great. Be sure to email or call with any questions.

Leave a comment

Filed under Kansas City Real Estate, Misc. Real Estate

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s