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  • library_books Your Relationship with your Real Estate Agent/Broker
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    Posted by Steve Watts,
    Article Synopsis

    Real Estate Word Cloud Infographic ImageDid you know that your relationship with your real estate broker is fairly similar to your relationship with your attorney? To be sure, there are significant differences - but there are also significant similarities. Of course, we all hope not to have (too) much of a relationship with an attorney - at least when it comes around to legal “troubles.” To judge by current trends in the technology industry, many of us feel the same way about real estate brokers. Is it better to be “cagey” about committing to a real estate broker, or is it better to take the plunge and commit to one?

    Regulated Industry

    Both attorneys AND real estate brokers (and their agents) are tightly regulated by the states (maybe al statesl, but I certainly it’s the case in Texas where I live and believe it applies broadly). They are both expected to be fiduciaries. Attorneys can take upon themselves broad fiduciary responsibilities as defined between themselves and their clients. A real estate broker is generally limited to fiduciary responsibilities in the area of real estate with an extended obligation to only engage in types of real estate in which they are knowledgable. An example would be an agent who has only handled residential suddenly representing themselves as experts of retail or office properties.

    In most areas of your life, you can walk around and conduct business for yourself - buy a hot dog, rent a car, etc., etc. There may be rules those you deal with have to follow and prescribed rules around the transactions, but in most cases you have to look out for yourself - buyer beware and all that. In the real estate industry, buyer (and seller) beware applies as well, but the states I know about have decided that you will in most cases have a real estate professional helping to look out for your interests. Yes, you read that right - in most cases, it is strongly encouraged (not quite required) that a primary party to a real estate transaction employs the services of a real estate professional. If you’re wealthy, there are some ways around it that might save you money, but given the way most real estate regulations are structured, you should really be asking yourself why would I try to do it without a broker in my corner? The transaction fees required for their involvement are generally already built into most real estate transactions.

    Possible Upsides to Using a Broker

    This would be a long list if I were to list them all - I’ll list a few from various sources including the Texas Administrative Code, the rules of the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), and other sources for your consideration. A licensee must:

    • Exercise a standard of duty and care…”
    • Behave with “fidelity” by treating all parties to a transaction fairly (yes, the definitions of fairness are defined about as clearly as one could define them)
    • Behave with “integrity” by using “caution to avoid misrepresentation by acts of commission or omission.”
    • Maintain competence - in other words, you have a right to expect that if you utilize a professional, that this professional knows his/her business and can help you competently.

    This list could go on and on, and is highly specific to cases that have been encountered in any given state. If the above list isn’t enough, let me add a kicker that might push you over the edge. If you can prove the broker you hired isn’t what your real estate commission says he/she must be or doesn’t do the things your real estate commissions says he/she must do, that real estate commission has the teeth to enforce the rules they set out by force of law. In TEXAS, TREC maintains a fund collected from licensees to make certain that they can make settlements should they decide there were violations that warrant settlements.

    In layman’s terms, find a qualified broker with good communication skills and work with them exclusively. They will put in the time and effort using their resources to find, or sell/lease the property you want. Let them do the work while you manage your business and personal life.

    Possible Downsides to Using a Broker

    There are probably no real downsides to using the right “qualified” broker to represent you. However, we can touch upon why you want to be careful in your selection. The following is an attempt at a list - which I expect to improve and enhance over time:

    1. Using a broker who does not have adequate knowledge or the property type and area in which you are interested. They can waste your time, likely miss opportunities, and can possibly expose you to legal action. After all, no one wants to jeopardize a real estate transaction and have to pursue or defend a legal action with or because of an incompetent broker!
    2. Good communication skills are not as common as you would think among real estate professionals. Some of the most intelligent brokers are not that polished at communicating. The better brokers know what questions to ask, and how to actively listen so that they understand the client’s needs.

    Quick Summary

    When I was pursuing my license originally here in Texas, I was amazed to see the detail with which TREC describes their expectations for ethical behavior, and for the behaviors they expect in general. Not to brag (well, maybe), but it was not all that difficult for me since the bulk of it was how I strive to do business in any case. Evidently there must be people out there who need a lot of help, guidance, and at least a little enforcement - because the states decided that this industry, along with a few others, requires fairly tight regulation. Please seriously consider willingly letting a broker take you under his/her wing and help you through what tends to be a fairly complex business transaction - sooner rather than later!

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  • link Milestone - 50+1 Real Estate Commissions - All 50 States + Puerto Rico
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    Synopsis Posted by Steve Watts, on July 27, 2019
    Article Synopsis

    A good while ago - if interested, you can likely tell how long by the dates of some of the posts - I began this journey of creating a web site for commercial real estate seekers. I hoped to fill the site with as much useful information as I could manage. Four or five other web sites under my belt later and I’m back to reassess and push forward. Finally taking the time to finish off the links to nation-wide Real Estate Commissions (however they are named) seems like a great thing to talk about at least briefly - not to mention an excellent way to tell our users about some of the techniques for finding this type of information on our site.

    The first thing to know - and if you are reading this you already know 1 way to find this article - it’s the FINDthisSPACE web site Articles and Links structure. Posts on our site are one of two things (so far) - 1) a BLOG Post like this one, and 2) a Link to useful information elsewhere on the web. In both cases, you can view the summary of all Posts, or Articles and Links on our Articles and Links page here. On this page, you’ll find all of them listed in chronological order with “sticky” articles we feel we need to prioritize at the top. If you just want to browse, this is probably where you want to be.

    For those of you who want to find information faster, we’ve provided a few ways to narrow things down. We’ve provided:

    • Good, old fashioned (I think anyway) Tags,
    • Place Tags that help you narrow down to a location,
    • Commercial Real Estate Type Tags to help you further focus your article selection.

    At this point, all the Real Estate Commission Links/Synopses are Tagged with Consumer Advocacy and State Regulations (I may use more tags as we go along on these). If you see one of these Tags under a synopsis on the BLOG page, you can click on that Tag and it will narrow (filter) the BLOG page by Tag - which I’m calling “tagify.” These links are also available on the BLOG Post/Article page (accessed under News and Info - the Articles & Links (A&L) link) after the article. These links work the same. Note that these Place Tags aren’t links yet - I’m working on that.

    As implied above, Place Tags are still under development. They have a good deal of potential. Right now, the best way to get to the state you want without browsing the entire set of posts is to use the “By Metro” under News and Info. Click on your state, and then on any of the Metro areas within that state to get the one you want. Anything Place-tagged with a state will appear with that filter.

    The last is the Commercial Real Estate type flag. This, too, is under continued development, but as of now it works as you might expect. There’s not a lot of content currently that requires this filter, but I expect that to change over time.

    If you end up finding these tags (filters) useful, you may also want to register with our site. Each of these tag types have their own saving mechanism, as do BLOG Posts themselves.

    Thanks for having a look and check back often!

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  • link Puerto Rico Department of State - Real Estate Brokers, Sellers and Businesses
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    Synopsis Posted by Steve Watts, on July 25, 2019
    Link Synopsis

    This is the official web site of the Puerto Rico Real Estate regulating body - the Puerto Rico Department of State - Real Estate Brokers, Sellers and Businesses. If you are a prospective or actual buyer or lessee, this is where you can go to learn about what you can and should expect out of the players in your real estate transaction. You can learn about the agents and brokers involved - whether or not their licenses are active (they MUST be for them to deal with you) - and whether or not they have or have had disciplinary action against them. If you are I would suggest that you browse the site just a bit to make sure you know what is there that might be useful to you. Bon apetit.

    Informational Tags for this Article
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    • Puerto Rico
  • link West Virginia Real Estate Commission
    Go to External Link
    Synopsis Posted by Steve Watts, on July 25, 2019
    Link Synopsis

    This is the official web site of the West Virginia Real Estate regulating body - the West Virginia Real Estate Commission. If you are a prospective or actual buyer or lessee, this is where you can go to learn about what you can and should expect out of the players in your real estate transaction. You can learn about the agents and brokers involved - whether or not their licenses are active (they MUST be for them to deal with you) - and whether or not they have or have had disciplinary action against them. If you are I would suggest that you browse the site just a bit to make sure you know what is there that might be useful to you. Bon apetit.

    Informational Tags for this Article
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    • West Virginia
  • link Washington State Real Estate Commission
    Go to External Link
    Synopsis Posted by Steve Watts, on July 25, 2019
    Link Synopsis

    This is the official web site of the Washington State Real Estate regulating body - the Washington State Real Estate Commission. If you are a prospective or actual buyer or lessee, this is where you can go to learn about what you can and should expect out of the players in your real estate transaction. You can learn about the agents and brokers involved - whether or not their licenses are active (they MUST be for them to deal with you) - and whether or not they have or have had disciplinary action against them. If you are I would suggest that you browse the site just a bit to make sure you know what is there that might be useful to you. Bon apetit.

    Informational Tags for this Article
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    • Washington
  • link Virginia Real Estate Board
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    Synopsis Posted by Steve Watts, on July 25, 2019
    Link Synopsis

    This is the official web site of the Alaska Real Estate regulating body - the Alaska Real Estate Commission. If you are a prospective or actual buyer or lessee, this is where you can go to learn about what you can and should expect out of the players in your real estate transaction. You can learn about the agents and brokers involved - whether or not their licenses are active (they MUST be for them to deal with you) - and whether or not they have or have had disciplinary action against them. If you are I would suggest that you browse the site just a bit to make sure you know what is there that might be useful to you. Bon apetit.

    Informational Tags for this Article
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    • Virginia
  • link Vermont Real Estate Commission
    Go to External Link
    Synopsis Posted by Steve Watts, on July 25, 2019
    Link Synopsis

    This is the official web site of the Vermont Real Estate regulating body - the Vermont Real Estate Commission. If you are a prospective or actual buyer or lessee, this is where you can go to learn about what you can and should expect out of the players in your real estate transaction. You can learn about the agents and brokers involved - whether or not their licenses are active (they MUST be for them to deal with you) - and whether or not they have or have had disciplinary action against them. If you are I would suggest that you browse the site just a bit to make sure you know what is there that might be useful to you. Bon apetit.

    Informational Tags for this Article
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    • Vermont
  • link Utah Division of Real Estate
    Go to External Link
    Synopsis Posted by Steve Watts, on July 25, 2019
    Link Synopsis

    This is the official web site of the Utah Real Estate regulating body - the Utah Real Estate Commission. If you are a prospective or actual buyer or lessee, this is where you can go to learn about what you can and should expect out of the players in your real estate transaction. You can learn about the agents and brokers involved - whether or not their licenses are active (they MUST be for them to deal with you) - and whether or not they have or have had disciplinary action against them. If you are I would suggest that you browse the site just a bit to make sure you know what is there that might be useful to you. Bon apetit.

    Informational Tags for this Article
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    • Utah
  • link Tennessee Real Estate Commission
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    Synopsis Posted by Steve Watts, on July 25, 2019
    Link Synopsis

    This is the official web site of the Tennessee Real Estate regulating body - the Tennessee Real Estate Commission. If you are a prospective or actual buyer or lessee, this is where you can go to learn about what you can and should expect out of the players in your real estate transaction. You can learn about the agents and brokers involved - whether or not their licenses are active (they MUST be for them to deal with you) - and whether or not they have or have had disciplinary action against them. If you are I would suggest that you browse the site just a bit to make sure you know what is there that might be useful to you. Bon apetit.

    Informational Tags for this Article
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    • Tennessee
  • link South Dakota Real Estate Commission
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    Synopsis Posted by Steve Watts, on July 25, 2019
    Link Synopsis

    This is the official web site of the South Dakota Real Estate regulating body - the South Dakota Real Estate Commission. If you are a prospective or actual buyer or lessee, this is where you can go to learn about what you can and should expect out of the players in your real estate transaction. You can learn about the agents and brokers involved - whether or not their licenses are active (they MUST be for them to deal with you) - and whether or not they have or have had disciplinary action against them. If you are I would suggest that you browse the site just a bit to make sure you know what is there that might be useful to you. Bon apetit.

    Informational Tags for this Article
    Location Tags for this Article
    • South Dakota
  • link Rhode Island Department of Business Reguation - Real Estate
    Go to External Link
    Synopsis Posted by Steve Watts, on July 25, 2019
    Link Synopsis

    This is the official web site of the Rhode Island Real Estate regulating body - the Rhode Island Department of Business Reguation - Real Estate. If you are a prospective or actual buyer or lessee, this is where you can go to learn about what you can and should expect out of the players in your real estate transaction. You can learn about the agents and brokers involved - whether or not their licenses are active (they MUST be for them to deal with you) - and whether or not they have or have had disciplinary action against them. If you are I would suggest that you browse the site just a bit to make sure you know what is there that might be useful to you. Bon apetit.

    Informational Tags for this Article
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    • Rhode Island
  • link Pennsylvania State Real Estate Commission
    Go to External Link
    Synopsis Posted by Steve Watts, on July 25, 2019
    Link Synopsis

    This is the official web site of the Pennsylvania Real Estate regulating body - the Pennsylvania State Real Estate Commission. If you are a prospective or actual buyer or lessee, this is where you can go to learn about what you can and should expect out of the players in your real estate transaction. You can learn about the agents and brokers involved - whether or not their licenses are active (they MUST be for them to deal with you) - and whether or not they have or have had disciplinary action against them. If you are I would suggest that you browse the site just a bit to make sure you know what is there that might be useful to you. Bon apetit.

    Informational Tags for this Article
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    • Pennsylvania
  • link Ohio Department of Commerce - Real Estate & Professional Licensing
    Go to External Link
    Synopsis Posted by Steve Watts, on July 25, 2019
    Link Synopsis

    This is the official web site of the Ohio Real Estate regulating body - the Ohio Department of Commerce - Real Estate & Professional Licensing. If you are a prospective or actual buyer or lessee, this is where you can go to learn about what you can and should expect out of the players in your real estate transaction. You can learn about the agents and brokers involved - whether or not their licenses are active (they MUST be for them to deal with you) - and whether or not they have or have had disciplinary action against them. If you are I would suggest that you browse the site just a bit to make sure you know what is there that might be useful to you. Bon apetit.

    Informational Tags for this Article
    Location Tags for this Article
    • Ohio
  • link North Dakota Real Estate Commission
    Go to External Link
    Synopsis Posted by Steve Watts, on July 25, 2019
    Link Synopsis

    This is the official web site of the North Dakota Real Estate regulating body - the North Dakota Real Estate Commission. If you are a prospective or actual buyer or lessee, this is where you can go to learn about what you can and should expect out of the players in your real estate transaction. You can learn about the agents and brokers involved - whether or not their licenses are active (they MUST be for them to deal with you) - and whether or not they have or have had disciplinary action against them. If you are I would suggest that you browse the site just a bit to make sure you know what is there that might be useful to you. Bon apetit.

    Informational Tags for this Article
    Location Tags for this Article
    • North Dakota
  • link North Carolina Real Estate Commission
    Go to External Link
    Synopsis Posted by Steve Watts, on July 25, 2019
    Link Synopsis

    This is the official web site of the North Carolina Real Estate regulating body - the North Carolina Real Estate Commission. If you are a prospective or actual buyer or lessee, this is where you can go to learn about what you can and should expect out of the players in your real estate transaction. You can learn about the agents and brokers involved - whether or not their licenses are active (they MUST be for them to deal with you) - and whether or not they have or have had disciplinary action against them. If you are I would suggest that you browse the site just a bit to make sure you know what is there that might be useful to you. Bon apetit.

    Informational Tags for this Article
    Location Tags for this Article
    • North Carolina
  • link New Jersey Real Estate Commission
    Go to External Link
    Synopsis Posted by Steve Watts, on July 25, 2019
    Link Synopsis

    This is the official web site of the New Jersey Real Estate regulating body - the New Jersey Real Estate Commission. If you are a prospective or actual buyer or lessee, this is where you can go to learn about what you can and should expect out of the players in your real estate transaction. You can learn about the agents and brokers involved - whether or not their licenses are active (they MUST be for them to deal with you) - and whether or not they have or have had disciplinary action against them. If you are I would suggest that you browse the site just a bit to make sure you know what is there that might be useful to you. Bon apetit.

    Informational Tags for this Article
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    • New Jersey
  • link New Hampshire Real Estate Commission
    Go to External Link
    Synopsis Posted by Steve Watts, on July 25, 2019
    Article Synopsis

    This is the official web site of the New Hampshire Real Estate regulating body - the New Hampshire Real Estate Commission. If you are a prospective or actual buyer or lessee, this is where you can go to learn about what you can and should expect out of the players in your real estate transaction. You can learn about the agents and brokers involved - whether or not their licenses are active (they MUST be for them to deal with you) - and whether or not they have or have had disciplinary action against them. If you are I would suggest that you browse the site just a bit to make sure you know what is there that might be useful to you. Bon apetit.

    Informational Tags for this Article
    Location Tags for this Article
    • New Hampshire
  • link Nevada Real Estate Commission
    Go to External Link
    Synopsis Posted by Steve Watts, on July 25, 2019
    Link Synopsis

    This is the official web site of the Nevada Real Estate regulating body - the Nevada Real Estate Commission. If you are a prospective or actual buyer or lessee, this is where you can go to learn about what you can and should expect out of the players in your real estate transaction. You can learn about the agents and brokers involved - whether or not their licenses are active (they MUST be for them to deal with you) - and whether or not they have or have had disciplinary action against them. If you are I would suggest that you browse the site just a bit to make sure you know what is there that might be useful to you. Bon apetit.

    Informational Tags for this Article
    Location Tags for this Article
    • Nevada
  • link Nebraska Real Estate Commission
    Go to External Link
    Synopsis Posted by Steve Watts, on July 25, 2019
    Link Synopsis

    This is the official web site of the Nebraska Real Estate regulating body - the Nebraska Real Estate Commission. If you are a prospective or actual buyer or lessee, this is where you can go to learn about what you can and should expect out of the players in your real estate transaction. You can learn about the agents and brokers involved - whether or not their licenses are active (they MUST be for them to deal with you) - and whether or not they have or have had disciplinary action against them. If you are I would suggest that you browse the site just a bit to make sure you know what is there that might be useful to you. Bon apetit.

    Informational Tags for this Article
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    • Nebraska
  • link Montana Dept of Labor & Industry - Board of Realty Regulation
    Go to External Link
    Synopsis Posted by Steve Watts, on July 25, 2019
    Link Synopsis

    This is the official web site of the Montana Real Estate regulating body - the Montana Department of Labor & Industry - Board of Realty Regulation. If you are a prospective or actual buyer or lessee, this is where you can go to learn about what you can and should expect out of the players in your real estate transaction. You can learn about the agents and brokers involved - whether or not their licenses are active (they MUST be for them to deal with you) - and whether or not they have or have had disciplinary action against them. If you are I would suggest that you browse the site just a bit to make sure you know what is there that might be useful to you. Bon apetit.

    Informational Tags for this Article
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    • Montana

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