Two recent vignettes –
Lender story: Three days before closing, a Charlottesville lender, who had not previously given a written GFE (Good Faith Estimate) to the Buyer, somehow added ~$3,000 in mystery fees. Only when pressured by the Buyer’s Agent who had another reputable lender take over the loan, did this lender magically find a way for those “fees” to disappear.
Realtor story: Buyer who has representation goes to a builder’s sales office. Agent on site tells the buyer that, if she chooses not to have Buyer Representation, they can negotiate a “sweeter deal.” At no point does this agent mention agency.
“Agency” means every relationship in which a real estate licensee acts for or represents a person by such person’s express authority in a real estate transaction, unless a different legal relationship is intended and is agreed to as part of the brokerage relationship. Agency includes representation of a client as a standard agent or a limited service agent. Nothing in this article shall prohibit a licensee and a client from agreeing in writing to a brokerage relationship under which the licensee acts as an independent contractor or which imposes on a licensee obligations in addition to those provided in this article. If a licensee agrees to additional obligations, however, the licensee shall be responsible for the additional obligations agreed to with the client in the brokerage agreement. A real estate licensee who enters into a brokerage relationship based upon a written brokerage agreement that specifically states that the real estate licensee is acting as an independent contractor and not as an agent shall have the obligations agreed to by the parties in the brokerage agreement, and such real estate licensee and its employees shall have no obligations under §§ 54.1-2131 through 54.1-2135 of this article.
Moral to the story? There are questionable standards being used by so-called “professionals” out there. A good Buyer’s Agent can help navigate and advise appropriately.
And dammit, that these people are out there seeking to take advantage of the unsuspecting consumer really pisses me off.