Tom Polk, ABR, CRS
Austin area real estate,
 over 30 years done properly

"How do you get paid"

Working with a Real Estate agent

    Buyers often ask me if they owe me anything for my services. Another question should be answered first:

Who does Tom Polk represent when he helps me buy a house?

    I represent you if you and I have agreed to a client-agent relationship. I can provide a copy of a Buyer Agency Agreement upon request.

    If I represent you, then I owe you fiduciary duties such as loyalty and looking out after your interests. You become a client.

    If I don’t represent you, then you are the sellers’ customer, and I have no such duties to you. To my clients I give expert counsel and am bound to confidentiality; to sellers’ customers I give useful information that helps them buy the house they want. However, I must act in my client’s best interest. If the seller is my client, I cannot keep your information confidential. These restrictions are set by law.

    It is in my value system to try to be kind and fair to everyone. The legal system imposes strict duties for me to go beyond being merely fair to my clients. I must work in their best interest.

    Should you be a client? If you are selling your house, yes. If you are buying a house, yes. However, if you are a client buying a house I have listed, then I and my broker are in an intermediary relationship with both the seller and the buyer.  Is this bad? I don’t think so, if everyone is willing to waive their right to exclusive advocacy and to work cooperatively toward a mutual goal.   In that situation I pay close attention and try hard to see that each party is treated fairly.

    For an explanation of the difference between an agency relationship and intermediary relationship, please refer to Information About Brokerage Services.

    What if you are a customer to whom I have shown one of my listings, and you want to buy it?  You have the choice of having me continue helping you consistent with my obligations to the seller, or you can instead retain your own agent. You remain the sellers’ customer whether you deal with me or with another agent.  If you have or want your own agent, you should tell me as soon as possible. I want to avoid disputes about which agent has earned the commission on the sale.

    Although affiliated with companies, most agents are self- employed. My broker pays for office facilities, common advertising and office equipment. All other expenses are mine.

    An agent is usually paid by sales commission that isn't paid until the sale of a property closes. This arrangement ensures that agents have a strong incentive to get the sale to close, consistent with their fiduciary relationship. The agent- client relationship takes on the character of a partnership, where the client guarantees loyalty to the agent, and the agent commits to enthusiastic advocacy. The result is a successful closing, which benefits both the buyer and the agent.

Call Tom: 512-327-9310 x 234

C l i c k  h e r e  to  e m a i l  T o m

Stanberry & Associates has operated as a real estate brokerage firm licensed in the State of Texas since 1985.

Tom Polk is a real estate broker licensed in the State of Texas.

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