The LA Real Estate Commission requires that when a real estate agent meets you for the first time, face to face – and before showing you homes, discussing financing, or anything other than simply answering questions – that we provide you the following document explaining agency and our responsibilities to you.
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Customer Information Form
What Customers Need to Know When Working With Real Estate Brokers or Licensees
This document describes the various types of agency relationships that can exist in real estate transactions. Basically it says agency can exist with buyers, sellers, tenants, etc. Anyone who at some point may be using my services in a real estate transaction.
AGENCY means a relationship in which a real estate broker or licensee represents a client by the client’s consent, whether expressed or implied, in an immovable property transaction. An agency relationship is formed when a real estate licensee works for you in your best interest and represents you. Agency relationships can be formed with buyers/sellers and lessors/lessees.
It goes on to explain that there are two types of agency…. There is designated agency which exists when you and I are working together. It also points out that other agents in my office are not in agency with you, and therefore cautions you not to discuss your business with them. Okay?
DESIGNATED AGENCY means the agency relationship that shall be presumed to exist when a licensee engaged in any real estate transaction, except as otherwise provided in LA R.S. 9:3891, is working with a client, unless there is a written agreement providing for a different relationship.
- The law presumes that the real estate licensee you work with is your designated agent, unless you have a written agreement otherwise.
- No other licensees in the office work for you, unless disclosed and approved by you.
- You should confine your discussions of buying/selling to your designated agent or agents only.
The other type of agency is dual agency. This is when I happen to represent both the buyer and the seller. In other words, if I am showing a buyer one of my listings, I am required to disclose beforehand that dual agency exists. Then it goes on to describe my responsibilities to both the buyer and the seller.
DUAL AGENCY means an agency relationship in which a licensee is working with both buyer and seller or both landlord and tenant in the same transaction. Such a relationship shall not constitute dual agency if the licensee is the seller of property that he/she owns or if the property is owned by a real estate business of which the licensee is the sole proprietor and agent. A dual agency relationship shall not be construed to exist in a circumstance in which the licensee is working with both landlord and tenant as to a lease that does not exceed a term of three years and the licensee is the landlord. Dual agency is allowed only when informed consent is presumed to have been given by any client who signed the dual agency disclosure form prescribed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission. Specific duties owed to both buyer/seller and lessor/lessee are:
- To treat all clients honestly.
- To provide factual information about the property.
- To disclose all latent material defects in the property that are known to them.
- To help the buyer compare financing options.
- To provide information about comparable properties that have sold, so that both clients may make educated buying/selling decisions.
- To disclose financial qualifications to the buyer/lessee to the seller/lessor.
- To explain real estate terms.
- To help buyers/lessees arrange for property inspections
- To explain closing costs and procedures.
And then this last paragraph says quite clearly that I must adhere to a very strict code of ethics, and cannot disclose any information about you that would hurt your bargaining position.
CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION means information obtained by a licensee from a client during the term of a brokerage agreement that was made confidential by the written request or written instruction of the client or is information the disclosure of which could materially harm the position of the client, unless at any time any of the following occur:
- The client permits the disclosure by word or conduct.
- The disclosure is required by law or would reveal serious defect.
- The information became public from a source other than the licensee.
So this is an entire page to simply say that I am obligated to act in your best interest, and spells out my responsibilities when you and I are working together. It is not a contract.
By signing below you acknowledge that you have read and understand this form and that you are authorized to sign this form in the capacity in which you have signed.
________________________ Customer signature goes here.
Please do not be offended or worried if, upon first meeting an agent, you are asked to sign this document. It only acknowledging that the agent gave you this form. That’s it. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.