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Asheville Real Estate

                     The Direction of Agency Law in North Carolina

Asheville Real Estate:  Agency Law in NC

North Carolina Agency Law:

Working with Real Estate Agents

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission

P.O. Box 17100 • Raleigh, North Carolina 27619-7100

919/875-3700 • Web Site: www.ncrec.state.nc.us

REC 3.45 5/1/01

You can print or download this document as a PDF here.

 

When buying or selling Asheville Real Estate, you may find it helpful to have a real estate assist you. Real estate

agents can provide many useful services and work with you in different ways. In some real estate transactions,

the agent work for the seller. In others, the seller and buyer may each have agents. And sometimes

the same agents work for both the buyer and the seller. It is important for you to know whether an agent is

working for you as your agent or simply working with you while acting as an agent of the other party.

 

This information addresses the various types of working relationship that may be available to you.

It should help you decide which relationship you want to have with a real estate agent. It will also give

you useful information about the various services real estate agents can provide buyers and sellers, and

will help explain how real estate agents are paid.

 

SELLERS:

Seller’s Agent:

If you are selling real estate, you may want to "List" your property for sale with a real estate firm. If so,

you will sign a "listing agreement" authorizing the firm and its agents to represent you in your dealing

with buyers as your seller’s agent. You may also be asked to allow agents from the other firms to help find

a buyer for your property. Be sure to read and understand the listing agreement before you sign it.

 

Duties to seller: The listing firm and its agents must

  • promote your best interests

  • be loyal to you

  • follow your lawful instruction

  • provide you with all material facts that could influence your decisions

  • use reasonable skill, care, and diligence, and

  • account for all monies they handle for you.

Once you have signed the listing agreement, the firm and its agents may not give any confidential information about you to prospective buyers or their agents without your permission so long as they represent you. But until you sign the listing agreement, you should avoid telling the listing agent anything you would not want a buyer to know.

 

Services and Compensation: To help you sell your property, the listing firm and its agents will offer

to perform a number of services for you. These may include

  • helping you price your property

  • advertising and marketing your property

  • giving you all required property disclosure forms for you to complete

  • negotiating for you the best possible price and terms

  • reviewing all written offers with you and * otherwise promoting your interests.

For representing you and helping you sell your property, you will pay the listing firma sales commission

or fee. The listing agreement must state the amount or method for determining the commission

or fee and whether you will allow the firm to share its commission with agents representing the buyers.


Dual Agent:

You may even permit the listing firm and its agents to represent you and a buyer at the same time. This

"dual agency relationship" is most likely to happen if an agent with your listing firm is working as a buyer’s

agent with someone who wants to purchase your property. If this occurs and you have not already

agreed to dual agency relationship in your listing agreement, your listing agent will ask you to sign a separate

agreement or document permitting the agent to act for both you and the buyer.

 

It may be difficult for a dual agent to advance the interests of both the buyer and seller. Nevertheless,

a dual agent must treat buyers and sellers fairly and equally. Although the dual agent owes them the

same duties, buyers and sellers can prohibit dual agents from divulging certain confidential information

about them to the other party.

 

Some firms also offer a form of dual agency called "designated agency" where one agent in the

firm represents the seller and another agent represents the buyer. This option (when available) may allow

each "designated agent" to more fully represent each party.

 

If you choose the "dual agency" option, remember that since a dual agent’s loyalty is divided between

parties with competing interests, it is especially important that you have a clear understanding of * what

your relationship is with the dual agent and * what the agent will be doing for you in the transaction.

 

BUYERS:

When buying real estate, you may have several choices as to how you want a real estate firm and

its agents to work with you. For example, you may want them to represent only you (a buyer’s agent). You

may be willing for them to represent both you and the seller at the same time (as a dual agent). Or you

may agree to let them represent only the seller (seller’s agent or subagent). Some agents will offer you a

choice of these services. Others may not.

 

Buyer’s Agent:

Duties to Buyer: If the real estate firm and its agents represent you, they must

  • promote your best interests

  • be loyal to you

  • follow your lawful instructions

  • provide you with all material facts that could influence your decisions

  • use reasonable skill, care, and diligence, and

  • account for all monies  they handle for you.

Once you have agreed (either orally or in writing) for the firm and its agents to be

your buyer’s agent, they may not give out any confidential information about you to sellers or their agents

without permission so long as they represent you. But until you make this agreement with your buyer’s

agent, you should avoid telling the agent anything you would not want a seller to know.

 

Unwritten Agreements: to make sure that you and the real estate firm have a clear understanding

of what your relationship will be and what the firm will do for you, you may want to have a written agreement.

But if you decide to make an offer to purchase a particular property, the agent must obtain a written

agency agreement. If you do not sign it, the agent can no longer represent and assist you and is no

longer required to keep information about you confidential. Furthermore, if you later purchase the property

through an agent with another firm, the agent who first showed the property may seek compensation

from the other firm. Be sure to read and understand any agency agreement before you sign it.

 

Services and Compensation: Whether you have a written or unwritten agreement, a buyer’s agent

will perform a number of services for you. These may include helping you

  • find a suitable property

  • arrange financing

  • learn more about the property and

  • otherwise promote your best interests.

If you have a written agency agreement, the agent can also help you prepare and submit a written offer to the

seller.

 

A buyer’s agent can be compensated in different ways. For example, you can pay the agent out of

your own pocket. Or the agent may seek compensation from the seller or listing agent first, but require

you to pay if the listing agent refuses. Whatever the case, be sure your compensation arrangement with

your buyer’s agent is spelled out in a buyer agency agreement before you make an offer to purchase property

and that you carefully read and understand the compensation provision.

 

Dual Agent:

You may permit an agent or firm to represent you and the seller at the same time. This "dual

agency relationship" is most likely to happen if you become interested in a property listed with your buyer’s

agent or the agent’s firm. If this occurs and you have not already agreed to a dual agency relationship

in your (written or oral) buyer agency agreement, your buyer’s agent will ask you to sign a separate agreement

or document permitting him or her to act as agent for both you and the seller. It may be difficult

for a dual agent to advance the interests of both the buyer and the seller. Nevertheless, a dual agent must

treat buyers and sellers fairly and equally. Although the dual agent owes them the same duties, buyers

and sellers can prohibit dual agents from divulging certain confidential information about them to the

other party.

 

Some firms also offer a form of dual agency called "designated agency" where one agent in the

firm represents the seller and another agent represents the buyer. This option (when available) may allow

each "designated agent" to more fully represent each party.

 

If you choose the "dual agency" option, remember that since a dual agent’s loyalty is divided

between parties with competing interests, it is especially important that you have a clear understanding of

(1) what your relationship is with the dual agent and (2) what the agent will be doing for you in the transaction.

This can best be accomplished by putting the agreement in writing at the earliest possible time.


Types of Buyer Agency Agreements:

There are two different types of agency agreements that agents use. Be sure that you know the difference

and be sure that you know exactly which one you are signing. Some agents will only use one type and

fail to disclose that there is another type of agency agreement available to you, so know your facts!

1. Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement – In this type of agreement you can only work with the

agent that you have signed this contract with, which means that even though you see a house through

another agent, or see a house that is a For Sale By Owner, the agent with which you sign the contract with

would be entitled to the commission.

2. Non-Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement – In this type of agreement you have the right to

work with other agents or For Sale By Owners if you desire.

 

Seller’s Agent Working with a Buyer

If the real estate agent or firm that you contact does not offer buyer agency or you do not want

them to act as your buyer agent, you can still work with the firm and its agents. However, they will be

acting as the seller’s agent (or "subagent"). The agent can still help you find and purchase property and

provide many of the same services as a buyer’s agent. The agent must be fair with you and provide you

with any "material facts" (such as a leaky roof) about the properties.

 

But remember, the agent represents the seller – not you – and therefore must try to obtain for the

seller the best possible price and terms for the seller’s property. Furthermore, a seller’s agent is required to

give the seller any information about you (even personal, financial or confidential information) that would

help the seller in the sale of his of her property. Agents must tell you in writing if they are seller’s agent

before you say anything that can help the seller. But until you are sure that an agent is not a seller’s agent,

you should avoid saying anything you do not want a seller to know.

Sellers’ agents are compensated by the sellers.

 

 

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission

P.O. Box 17100 • Raleigh, North Carolina 27619-7100

919/875-3700 • Web Site: www.ncrec.

Remember: Buying and selling a luxury home or finding that special piece of Asheville Real Estate with Kathleen Blanchette, a fully licensed Asheville Real Estate Broker and Realtor, is a comprehensive and thoroughly professional experience in buying and selling Asheville Real Estate throughout the Blueridge and Smokey Mountains, where efficiency, personal regard and concierge services are guaranteed every step of the way.  Keeping the Tradition of Integrity..., and a Reputation for Results! 

Whether its a North Carolina luxury homes on your own Private Mountain Estate in one of our uniquely designed plush Golfing Communities, Exclusive Gated Communities, Active Adult Communities, surrounding Lake Communities, or a great Condominium, Loft or Townhome, all of Greater Asheville and Hendersonville Luxury Homes are within reach with Kathleen Blanchette.  Feel Free to browse the entire website of all available Greater Asheville Real Estate MLS and Western North Carolina MLS, for all Asheville Real Estate Properties, Land Acreage, Horse farms, Investment Properties, Commercial Real Estate, New Home Plans, as well as handy relocation and moving calculators, tips for buying and selling a house, city and school reports, and more.  Just call us when you're ready to move ahead!  

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Disclaimer: All Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data relating to real estate for sale on this web site comes in part from the Broker Reciprocity Program of Western North Carolina Regional MLS, and respectfully includes the Asheville Board of Realtors, the Hendersonville Board of Realtors, the Brevard Board of Realtors among other professional boards which together govern, maintain and update all listed Real Estate in Western North Carolina and the surrounding 13 geographical counties. So governed, the accuracy of all information, regardless of source, including but not limited to square footages and lot sizes, is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified through personal inspection by and/or with the appropriate professionals. All information presented on this website may change as data is updated on a 24 hour basis.  Users are directed to refresh pages from their own browser to ensure the most accurate information published is made available to them.  For all your Real Estate needs go to:  Asheville Real Estate  For more information and accuracy, contact Kathleen Blanchette directly.

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