In the state of Texas, there are three ways that we can work together:
- We as agents can represent the owner/seller/landlord as the listing agent
- We as agents can represent the buyer/tenant as the buyer's agent (also known as selling agent)
- Our broker - Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty can act as an intermediary and has the option to appoint agents for each side of the transaction
The Information About Brokerage Services form promulgated by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) outlines each of these relationships in detail. Texas law requires that all real estate agents present this form about brokerage services upon substantial dialogue about real estate. It is not a contract, it is simply a notice about the different types of agency relationships available. You are not required to sign this form, you just have to initial it to acknowledge that you have been presented the form. We have this form available for you to view in its entirety at the bottom of every page on this website by clicking the link titled "Texas Real Estate Commission Information About Brokerage Services".
In this section we will discuss how we are able to represent a buyer's interests in a transaction.
Step 1 - Establishing Agency
Chicotsky Real Estate Group at Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty does not charge a fee to represent buyer clients. While our commission is paid for by the seller(s) who list on MLS, our fiduciary duty is still to remain to our client(s), the buyer(s). This brings up an important difference between a customer and a client. We must treat a customer fairly, but we do not owe them any fiduciary duties and can not negotiate on their behalf. Furthermore, if no agency relationship is established we are still technically beholden to the seller(s) and any confidential information provided by the customer can be relayed to the seller(s).
We eliminate this unfavorable position by signing an agreement with our clients to represent their needs in the form of a buyer's representation agreement. The agreement can be for something as specific as one particular property or as broad as an agreement of representation for a year. Each agreement is customized to our clients' specific needs and can be terminated in writing at any time by either party. With a signed buyer's representation agreement in place, we are able to work on your behalf to broker deals and are bound by all fiduciary responsibilities to you. In turn, you are agreeing to work exclusively with us for the duration of the agreement.
Don't worry, you are still able to browse sites like Zillow and tour Open Houses if you wish to on your own time (we know that is part of the fun!)- our exclusive agreement means that we will be the agents communicating on your behalf to the other agent(s). If you see a home you like online, just let us know and we will see if it is still available and will schedule a tour if applicable. If you are touring Open Houses you are interested in, simply let the listing agent know that you are already working with an agent and they will direct all follow up questions with us.
Establishing agency is beneficial to all parties because boundaries and expectations are clearly set.
Step 2 - Determining Criteria
Buyers always know what they like, but they may not know exactly what they want. Our objective during this consultation is to extract the factors our clients find the most important to them. From this list, we are able to showcase available listings to them so they can give us notes on their likes and dislikes. Through this process we are able to hone in on what our clients are looking for and better assist in the search for their property.
Some questions you can begin asking yourself now are:
- Which areas are most central to my needs (i.e. family,work,school)?
- What do I consider to be a necessity (i.e. number of bedrooms/bathrooms, size of the garage, acreage)?
- What is my ideal timeframe to purchase this property (i.e. 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6+ months)?
We know that when our clients are eager and motivated to purchase a home, they spend time on their own searching for their home online or by visiting open houses. As a team working towards the same goal, we encourage this. Our clients are granted access to their own portal within MLS to give them the most up to date information available about a property of interest. Within this portal you are able to categorize properties, take notes and even create and save your own searches.