Prior to legislation creating Buyer Representation, the adage ‘Buyer Beware’ was in full force. When a Buyer was shown a property by a real estate Agent, the Buyer may have assumed that the Agent was working for him; in fact, the Agent was looking out for the Seller’s interest.
On June 1, 1997 Connecticut Real Estate Agency law changed to address this fundamental inadequacy of the existing law.
In order to protect Buyers, the law allows the Buyer to be represented by an Agent. The Agent’s responsibility to the Buyer is based on state law and the REALTOR Code of Ethics. The relationship between the Agent and Buyer is a fiduciary relationship – the Agent owes the Buyer confidentiality, loyalty, disclosure, diligence, obedience, accounting, and reasonable care.
The Agent can show a represented Buyer any Connecticut property, point out material problems that the Buyer may not notice, research recent comparable home sales, give advice on offers, and negotiate terms and conditions on the Buyer’s behalf.
While the advantages of being represented are significant, some Buyers just want to see a property without obligation to work with a single Agent. In that case, the Buyer may sign a one-day/one property agreement to limit their obligation while being adequately represented for that showing.
In the event that a Buyer opts to be unrepresented, they may sign an Unrepresented Person form with the Agent. That Agent may show the Buyer homes listed by that Agent’s Broker, however, the Agent will be representing the Seller.
Buyer Representation gives the Buyer the benefit of working with an Agent who will represent the Buyer’s interest.
Written by Donna Hansen Scymanski, REALTOR, Calcagni Associates