Real Estate Brokerage Relationships in Georgia
It is important to understand how Real Estate agency works in the State of Georgia, and why it is important to sign an Agency Agreement that establishes the type of relationship that you have with a licensed agent. Georgia Real Estate law prohibits agents from providing any services, including professional advice or input that that might resemble or imply agency, without a signed agency agreement. What does this mean? Basically, Georgia allows the choice of being a Client, with the full-fledged benefits, or a Customer that gets only administerial, or transactional services. There is no difference with regard to fee. Many wrongly believe that by not signing an agreement, they'll somehow save money in the process. This is false. In fact, the agent will be paid the same, regardless of choice in relationship, so the only choice is whether or not to be professionally represented by an agent.
Below are the Georgia Real Estate Law definitions for Buyer Agency, Seller Agency, Designated Agency and Transaction Brokerage, taken from the 2019 Georgia Association of Realtors, "The ABC's of Agency: Understanding Real Estate Brokerage Relationships in Georgia" form. These are the only forms of "Agency" or "Customer Relations" that are offered by B.D. Batts & Associates.
Buyer agency occurs when the real estate broker represents the buyer in locating and assisting the buyer in negotiating for the purchase of property suitable to the buyer. A buyer agency is created when the buyer enters into an agreement commonly known as a buyer brokerage agreement. A real estate broker can be compensated by one party yet represent another party. Therefore, in some buyer brokerage agreements, the fee or commission received by the buyer’s broker is actually a portion of the fee or commission paid by the seller to the listing broker. In these situations, the seller also agrees that the listing broker will share the commission or fee with any buyer’s broker who finds a buyer ready, willing and able to purchase the property. With some buyer brokerage agreements, the buyer pays a fee or commission directly to his or her broker. Buyer agency is sometimes referred to as buyer brokerage. Tenant agency is different from buyer agency in that the broker is representing a consumer who is seeking to lease rather than purchase property.
B.D. Batts & Associates offers "Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement" with their Clients.
Seller agency occurs when the real estate broker is representing the seller in selling his or her property. This type of brokerage relationship is created by the seller and the broker entering into a written contract known as a listing agreement. The listing agreement gives the broker, commonly referred to as the listing broker, the right to market the property for sale at a specific price and for a defined period of time. If the broker is successful in finding a buyer ready, willing, and able to purchase the property, the broker would normally be paid a fee or commission upon the closing of the transaction. This fee or commission is often shared with other real estate brokers, under what are known as cooperative brokerage agreements, if they or their agents find the buyer. Seller agency is also sometimes called listing agency. Landlord
agency is different from seller agency in that the listing broker is assisting the property owner in leasing rather than selling property.
B.D. Batts & Associates offers "Exclusive Seller Listing Agreement" with their clients.
In some real estate transactions, the real estate agent representing the buyer and the real estate agent representing the seller both work for the same broker or brokerage firm. In such a transaction, the broker may allow each agent to exclusively represent their respective clients. This type of brokerage relationship is known as designated agency. In a designated agency transaction, the designated agent for the buyer owes the same duties to the buyer as if the agent was acting only as a buyer’s agent. Similarly, the designated agent for the seller owes the same duties to the seller as if the agent was acting only as the seller’s agent. With designated agency, each designated agent is prohibited from disclosing to anyone other than his or her broker any information requested to be
kept confidential by the client unless the information is otherwise required to be disclosed by law. Therefore, designated agents may not disclose such confidential information to other agents in the company. The broker is also prohibited from revealing any confidential information he or she has received from one designated agent to the other designated agent, unless the information is otherwise required to be disclosed by law. Confidential information is denied as any information that could harm the client’s negotiating position which information the client has not consented to be disclosed. In Georgia, designated agency is denied by state statute not to be dual agency.
A transaction brokerage relationship is one in which a real estate broker or brokers assists both parties in a real estate transaction but does not enter into a client relationship with, nor represents, either party. In a transaction brokerage relationship, the broker treats both parties as customers and can only perform ministerial acts for either party, including the following: (1) identifying property; (2) providing real estate statistics and information of property; (3) providing preprinted real estate form contracts; (4) acting as a scribe in the preparation of form contracts; (5) locating relevant professionals, such as architects, engineers, surveyors, inspectors, lenders, insurance agents, and attorneys; and (6) identifying facilities such as schools, shopping centers, and places of worship.
B.D. Batts & Associates offers "Agreement to Work with Buyer as a Customer" to those desiring Transaction ONLY Services.
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