03-29-2012

Good Afternoon,

 

I have not been this busy since 2005!  Agents, clients, title companies and lenders are all moving and shaking at the same time. I really enjoy this!  Reminds me of 1986.

 

I received a lot of great feedback from last week’s message. Are you discussing these topics with other agents in the office?  You should be!  Let’s get into the questions for this week:

 

Question 1:

Jimmy, I have a great listing in Sturgis. I just met a "floor call" buyer at the property for a showing and they wrote a strong offer for the home.  Now I'm the listing agent and I wrote the offer. Does this make me a dual agent?

 

Answer:

Just to give you the straight response - no. With the seller signed listing agreement, you become a seller’s agent. If you show the home and a buyer wants you to write an offer, you should just fill in the Buy and Sell agreement that reflects that you are a seller’s agent and should do the disclosure forms that reflect it. The buyer becomes your customer, not a client. You still treat them with honesty and professionalism and do your best to provide them with GREAT service. However, you’re paid from your client- the seller.

 

If you had a previous relationship with the buyer prior to the showing, (like knew them from church or from a mutual friend) then you may want to explain dual agency. If they request to enter into an agency relationship with you, then they would sign a buyer’s agent services agreement to assist them in finding their next home. Then if they choose to write an offer on a property that you are the listing agent on, you become a dual agent. The only way you become a dual agent is to have signed contracts with both of them that list you as their agent and a written Buy & Sell agreement between them. There is an exception for your designated Broker, however this is Steve Fase - we don't allow him to list or sell anything.  This also would apply when Rik Lobenhertz is involved. Feel free to talk to your manager on this topic for additional insights.

 

Question 2:

Jim, as a buyer's agent, I sold a bank owned home this week. The listing agent tells me that they must hold the earnest money deposit, not us. The buyer wants us to hold it. What do I do?

 

Answer: 

There is no prohibition against the seller's agent / listing agent holding the EMD. The amount of the deposit and where it is to be held are negotiable between buyer and seller. Most REO owned homes specify where the monies are to be held in the addendum's which are attached to the Buy and Sell agreements. Often, the seller (the bank) simply states that the listing agent’s company will hold the deposit and that it must be certified funds. There is not an option for any changes. If the buyer wants the home, that’s the guideline.  Remember the golden rule - the banks have the gold, they make the rules.

 

Question 3:

Jim, I sold a home for my clients 2 weeks ago and they are looking for a nice home to rent.  Mrs. Seller just called and asked me to look up a home that is for sale and see if I could find the name of the listing agent. Being concerned, I asked why. She explained that she saw an ad on Craig's list for this home to rent. She responded to the ad and spoke to a very nice man who lives in South Africa as a missionary. He owns the home and wishes to rent it. He gave her his address and instructed her to send $600 via Western Union to him and, in return, he will send her the lease and keys to the home.   She is ready to do this, but is concerned that the home is still posted as "for sale" with a REALTOR.  What should I do?

 

Answer: 

Tracie, are you testing me? Your husband, Tom, did the same thing to me last week. This really sounds exactly like the SCAM that was posted last year on many websites. Not that I’m saying this may not be a true home for rent ad…BUT I'd bet Mike Cole lunch that it’s a scam.  Check with the listing agent, check the county records, check with neighbors - see who really owns the home.  By the way, the scammers have learned to access the county records as well; they do use the real owner’s name.  I would be very leery to send funds out of the country and/or move into a home without professional guidance. The real seller may show up and wonder what you’re doing living in their home. You may end up standing in front of a judge in a long black robe.

 

Awesome questions! Read, discuss and ask more questions to learn. As a reminder, don't forget that you can review all past editions of the Risk Management Update via the following website where they are being archived:
 
 
Bookmark this website for future reference!
 

 

Go get em.

 

Jim Fase

Prudential Preferred REALTORS

616.292.1613