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Working with a Realtor and Agency Relationships

One of the first things that should happen when you work with a Realtor in Calgary is a discussion about agency and being given the Agency Relationships Guide. 

Agency is a type of representation where one party represents another in a transaction, such as when one is represented by a lawyer or when a person is represented by a Realtor.  This document is not a legally binding document, but it is an acknowledgement and your understanding of the document is important for real estate purposes.  There are three choices as discussed below.

The first is "sole agency".  This is when a Realtor from one brokerage represents you and will only help you with the purchase or sale of a property with that is represented by another Realtor from another brokerage. 

The second choice is "sole agency that may lead to transaction brokerage".  This is a type of representation that may end up being sole agency in the end or may end up being a transaction that is represented by the same Realtor or the same real estate brokerage on both the buying and selling side.  This type of agency increases your chances of selling or finding the home of your dreams, but you must understand that the representation, under the law, is one Realtor or one brokerage attempting to serve two masters and not give up confidentiality.  This type of transaction leads to "Transaction Brokerage" where the Realtor and/or real estate brokerage simply act as transaction facilitators and cannot discuss price, motivation or any information shared between the Realtor and client.  A Transaction Brokerage form would be signed by both parties in such an event. 

The last choice is "Customer".  In this situation the brokerage and Realtor would not treat you as a client and you would essentially be representing yourself.  The brokerage would owe you no fiduciary duties.  You are essentially on your own.

It's important to note that at any point along the way, you can change your mind from your initial agency choice and go with another selection.  This document is another way that we as a profession communicate with you and keep you informed.  Thanks for reading!

By Patrick Murray