Hi, I’m Steve Stovall with Stovall, Realtors, and today I wanted to talk to you a little bit about the Information About Brokerage Services form. The Texas Real Estate Commission requires all licensees to go over this form at first substantive contact with any potential buyer or seller. Now what is that ‘substantive contact’ mean? Well, it means that a time when you’re really starting to talk about a particular home or about the services a real estate agent will give you.
So the form is broken up into several areas but basically it goes like this. A real estate agent can work for the buyer, or an agent can work for the seller, or an agent can be an intermediary. And in that case, it’s not actually the agent who’s the intermediary, it’s the broker. Now what does that mean, ‘work for’? When an agent or a brokerage form is working for a buyer or a seller, it means we’re able to give you advice or opinions. And usually, that authorization for us to work for you is done in a form of a contract. It’s in writing, whether it’s a listing agreement, or a buyer representation agreement.
Now with an intermediary relationship, that means the brokerage firm works for both parties. And so we have an obligation to treat both parties fairly and equally. In that case, it’s up to the brokerage firm on how they handle this. They may allow single agents to work in the form of an intermediary or they may make it to where it has to be two different agents. In that case that would be called intermediary with appointments. The broker actually makes appointments of the agents. So, one agent works for the seller and another agent would work for the buyer. And that kind of comes naturally in most transactions, but occasionally there will be a single agent working for the buyer and seller both. In that case that’s an intermediary without appointments, so no advice or opinions.
So intermediary with appointments, both parties get advice and opinions, the broker of the company remains neutral. Intermediary without appointments, nobody gets advice or opinions and they’re kind of on their own. But in that case you might have sophisticated buyers and sellers and that agent in that company would just be carrying information back and forth.
That’s the purpose of Information About Brokerage Services to kind of explain a little bit about what agency is, and that’s the reason that Texas Real Estate Commission requires it at the beginning of every transaction.