First and foremost the consumer needs to know for sure that they have a qualified Realtor® to represent them whether they are buying or selling. Don’t take this relationship for granted; know for certain. Agency relationships that establish representation cannot be assumed or implied. They must be in writing. Let me explain a few reasons why the consumer needs to be represented by someone.
First, buying and selling real estate is very technical in the sense that certain processes must be completed and in a particular order. Buying and selling real estate is also very legalistic. Most real estate transactions close without any major complications either prior to, or after closing. It is the exceptions to that rule when the consumer finds out just how technical and legalistic real estate sales can be. After- market conflicts are seldom settled between buyers and sellers. Tempers flare, distrust and disbelief sets in, accusations are made toward everyone involved in the transaction. Finally law suits are filed to settle the dispute.
Law suits create a need for both parties to hire legal counsel. In preparation of the case it is determined that you the consumer, was not represented by the Realtor® that you worked with. At the time you began looking at homes you didn’t want to sign any type of contractual agreements. In this situation, according to Alabama law, the Realtor® was working as a Transaction Broker and was limited to the duties they could perform for you. A Transaction Broker is a licensee who assists one or more parties in a contemplated real estate transaction without being an agent or fiduciary or advocate for the interest of that party to a transaction. In order to have been represented in Alabama you would have had to sign a Single Agency Agreement with a brokerage firm. Remember, agency relationships can’t be assumed or implied. They must be in writing. After the fact is a bad time to learn that your best interest was not represented when you made the largest investment of a life-time.