Saturday, February 24, 2007

The correct role of an agent in a residential real estate transaction...

This is something I'm grappling with right now and I'm curious about other peoples view. Just a snippet about my situation...I think the Buyer's agent (our firm represents Buyer as lawyer) is too active. She's beating up the Seller's agent with calls about repair requests constantly and I think this bitterness is filtering through to the Seller and it hurts our Buyer because the Seller was less willing to make various repairs that got raised in the property inspection report.

This is my lawyer's perspective in the "typical" transaction where my first involvement comes when we get a signed contract sent to us. I don't want to hear from agents about what repairs they want done nor about contract modifications that they want done. My fiduciary duty is with the client. We go out of our way to keep the agent in the loop absolutely but to be receiving constant calls from an agent I think hurts the transaction and it quite frankly wastes my time. I think an agent can be useful in terms of meeting inspectors and repair people at the property and doing a final walk-thru.

I don't mind speaking with agents but at the end of the day the only thing we (lawyers) are selling is our time and talking with agents about issues that need to be discussed with a client anyways to be frank is a waste of my time.


At 11:14 AM, Blogger fran.bailey said...

As an agent, I try to stay out of negotiations once the contract goes to the attorneys. Any changes are changes to the contract and thus, need to be handled by the attorneys.

At 4:29 PM, Blogger Peter said...

I agree with you 100% Fran. Seems like some agents need to "justify" their fee or something but usually end up ruffling feathers to a detrimental degree.

At 3:15 PM, Blogger Karyn said...

Love your blogs! I had an broker who, whenever I was on AOL, would IM me and inquire as to status on anything and everything pertaining to the transaction. Not to mention he called me several times a day with these same status requests. Wouldn't his time have been better spent marketing or something? So glad to be done with him!

At 8:45 AM, Blogger Peter said...

Hey Karyn,

How 'bout agents just e-mailing? I appreciate their input but the endless phone calls get distracting. I've been thinking about how to use Basecamp in real estate practice...u know of it? It's sort of an online project management thing. Then all the "players" in real estate transaction can log on and just see status.


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