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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Procuring Cause? Commission disputes

What is procuring cause? The agent who ultimately caused the buyer to purchase the home and earned the commission is the procuring cause agent. However that procuring cause agent might not be the agent who handled and presented the offer from the buyer or successfully negotiated the seller's acceptance of that offer.

Real Estate Commissions disputes can cause havoc at a settlement table. But the seller can ultimately cause the problem if they don't follow some ethical protocol. Real Estate professionals have a duty to adhere to protocol. They know they can work for ultimately nothing if another agent has procuring cause. Their duty to each other should be up front and professionsl. But as a buyer you can help by selecting a realtor up front and follow just a few honest things. It doesn't mean you cannot talk to anyone else it just means you need to be upfront with the agent you are speaking to. Avoid problems by following a few simple steps and rules that will cause less problems for eveyone later. Be honest and upfront with all agents.

Follow these steps to help make a smooth transaction for all concerns.

Say you are working with another agent.
If agents don't ask you if you're working with another agent, then promptly volunteer that information. Agents are supposed to ask you this question but sometimes they don't: they forget, are afraid to hear the answer, become distracted. Set them straight immediately.

Sign a buyer's broker agreement with your agent.
Buyer's broker agreements will clearly describe the relationships, compensation and duties.

Sign an agency disclosure with your agent.
Agency disclosures describe the various capacities under which an agent can operate. Since the agent doesn't know the specific capacity until a property is lcoated, all capacities are described to you.

Do not ask another agent to show you property.
Your agent is eager to help you. Part of your agent's duties is to show you homes for sale, even if those are homes that you have located yourself. Let your agent earn her commission.

Do not directly call listing agents for information.
Your agent will probably get more detailed information from the listing agent than you will get, anyway. There will be no confusion if your agent calls the listing agent.

Follow Open House protocol if you go unescorted.
If you attend Open Houses without your agent, hand your agent's business card to the agent hosting the Open house. Sign guest books with your agent's name next to your own or refuse to sign. Not only will this help protect you, the open house agent won't try to corral you or request personal information.

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