Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Buyer Agency and Fiduciary Duties: No Nonsense Here

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In a recent blog, I read one person's argument stating that: "fiduciary duties and buyer agency cannot co-exist based on the current method of compensation."

While I can appreciate that this person is expressing his views, I have to say that I totally disagree with this idea, because--as I pointed out to this person--not all real estate agents are the same. Not all will share the same worldviews, values, and norms.

Although Washington state may not require real estate agents to provide fiduciary duties, it does not mean that they cannot, or should not, provide such duties. His blog was based on the quote of a local Realtor--found in a story by the Seattle Times called, "Agent commissions inching upward," that said:

“In a market flooded with unsold listings, she says, a 3 percent co-op split 'is always going to attract more attention than 2 percent. We call [inadequate splits] ‘getting eliminated at the office.'”

My response:

"This is only one agent’s perception–and there may be others that share this view, but this person does not speak for all agents, or brokers. She certainly does not speak for me. I am an Exclusive Buyer’s Broker, and my only concern is showing properties according to what my clients need, and what they can afford. I earnestly make it a point to maintain fiduciary duties with my buyer clients–and because of this–I don’t take listings.

It is not right, nor is it fair, to make sweeping generalizations about buyer agents, because it is a fact that not all real estate agents–let alone buyer agents–operate in the same way, nor do they all maintain the same values."

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