When visiting with sellers on a listing appointment there often is confidential information shared. There is an interaction of information exchanged from the value of the home to circumstances for their move. You may even find out what they would accept for the bottom line of the purchase price.
The selection of the Realtor to represent the sellers is not awarded to you and is given to another agency. Many times when the news is delivered they will say, please bring us a buyer, we would love for your to sale our home! As fate would have it you have the ideal buyer. You show the home and bingo .. they love it!
You have some excellent inside information regarding this home. You are representing the buyer and have responsibilities for representation.
I posed this scenario to a class (drawn from a real event) that I was instructing. What are your ethical responsibilities and duties? Is there an ethical requirement to keep the confidences of the seller? As a buyer's representative are you required to disclose all you know? You certainly are in a situation that must be handled delicately.
Ethics - seller protection and client responsibility. Is there a balance, responsibility of disclosure? Yes, in Texas there is an umbrella of confidentiality that extends over the seller for confidentiality to protect the public while interviewing and making choices. The handling of this disclosure that you cannot share this information with buyer client is a must. At that time you visit with them regarding their options on how they will wish to proceed to work with you.
- Continue to work with you but you cannot reveal confidential information nor suggest a price .. act more as a mediator writing up their offer as instructed.
- Refer them to another agent to handle this phase or all the transaction to close.
One may look at commission lost if they refer out their client. The determination of how you will act and the steps that will be taken should never come down to commission but ethics, what is best for the client and avoiding uncomfortable possible legal ramifications from the seller.
Can you share what you learned on a listing appointment with your buyer client?