1:14 Minute Read.
There is nothing sexy about the law, agency relationships and fair housing.
However, it’s good to occasionally step back from marketing tips, goal setting and the finer points of negotiating to remember the legal framework we operate within.
Take agency relationships for example. When an agent calls me to sort through a transaction problem, the first question I ask is, which party is their client – buyer or seller? Knowing to whom they owe a fiduciary responsibility goes a long way toward solving any difficulty. We’ve all had it hammered into our heads that there is a difference between a client (principal) and a customer. Agents must never act in opposition to their client. Our clients always deserve honesty, good faith, care, diligence, obedience and loyalty. We must always disclose material facts including any agent’s interest in the transaction.
Agent for the seller? Good. Agent for the buyer? Also, good. Dual Agent? Not so much. Have you ever noticed that dual agency can cause larger-than-life problems? Our office policy says you’d better have a real good reason to represent both parties in any transaction. Otherwise, just don’t do it. If you find yourself in those shoes, make sure everyone signs an Agency Disclosure and circle the Dual Agency paragraph in ink. Just sayin’.
And here’s a word about equal opportunity and fair housing. I’ve noticed a great thing about younger, millennial-era agents. Most of them look a little perplexed when discrimination laws are explained to them. It’s as if they wonder why anyone would do anything other than treat everyone fairly and equally. I love that. As an adoptive father of two African-American young men, I’ve seen racism in both loud and soft versions. It still exists. Our culture is slowly learning and growing, and realtors have had a positive influence on it’s change. So, can you name the protected classes? Here goes: We serve all customers and clients regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, ethnic background, age, marital or family status, disability or any other classification of individuals protected by the law.
It’s a joy to serve every human we can in this business. And little extra kindness can only add to world peace.