Consumer Guide to Agency Relationships:

Representing the Sellers

Most sellers of real estate choose to list their home for sale with a real estate brokerage. When they do so, they sign a listing agreement that authorizes the brokerage and the listing agent to represent their interests. As the seller's agent, the brokerage and listing agent must: follow the seller's lawful instructions, be loyal to the seller, promote the seller's best interests, disclose material facts to the seller, maintain confidential information, act with reasonable skill and care, and account for any money they handle in the transaction. Also, in rare circumstances, a listing broker may offer "sub-agency" to other brokerages which would represent the seller's interests and owe the seller these same duties.

Representing the Sellers

When purchasing real estate, buyers usually want to be represented in the transaction, and choose to work with a real estate agent. This is referred to as buyer's agency. A brokerage and agent that agree to represent a buyer's interest in a transaction must: follow the buyer's lawful instructions, be loyal to the buyer, promote the buyer's best interests, disclose material facts to the buyer, maintain confidential information, and account for any money they handle in the transaction.

Dual Agency

Occasionally, the same agent and brokerage that represent the seller also represent the buyer. This is referred to as dual agency. When a brokerage and its agents become "dual agents," they must maintain a neutral position between the buyer and the seller. They may not advocate the position of one client over the best interests of the other client, or disclose any personal or confidential information to the other party without written consent.

Representing Both the Buyer & Seller

On occasion, the buyer and seller will each be represented by two different agents from the same brokerage. In this case, the agents may each represent the best interest of their respective clients. Or, depending on company policy, the agents may both act as dual agents and remain neutral in the transaction. When either of the above occurs, the brokerage will be considered a dual agent. As a dual agent, the brokerage and its managers will maintain a neutral position and cannot advocate for the position of one client over another. The brokerage will also protect the confidentiality of all parties.

Working With Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services does offer representation to both buyers and sellers. Therefore, the potential exists for an agent to represent a buyer who wishes to purchase property listed with a different agent within our company. If this occurs, each agent will represent their own client, but Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services and its managers will act as a dual agent. This would mean the brokerage and its managers will maintain a neutral position and not take any actions that will favor one side over the other. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services will still supervise both agents to assure that their respective clients are being fully represented and will protect the parties' confidential information.

In the event that both the buyer and seller are represented by the same agent, the agent and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services will act as a dual agent but only if both parties agree. As a dual agent, they will treat both parties honestly, prepare and present offers at the direction of the parties, and help the parties fulfill the terms of any contracts. They will not, however, disclose any confidential information that would place one party at an advantage over the other or advocate or negotiate to the detriment of either party.

If dual agency occurs, you will be asked for your consent to that in writing. If you do not agree to your agent acting as a dual agent, you can ask that another agent from our company be assigned to represent you or you may seek representation from another brokerage.

As a buyer, you may also choose to represent yourself on properties Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services has listed. In that instance, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services will represent the seller and you would represent your own best interests. Because the listing agent has a duty of full disclosure to the seller, you should not share any information with the listing agent that you would not want the seller to know

Working With Other Brokerages

When Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services lists property for sale, it also cooperates with, and offers compensation to, other brokerages that represent buyers. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services does reserve the right, in some instances, to vary the compensation it offers to other brokerages. However, as a seller, you should understand that even if Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services shares a fee with a brokerage representing the buyer that it does not mean that you will be represented by the buyers brokerage. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services will represent your best interests as the buyers brokerage will represent the buyer.

When acting as a buyer's agent, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services accepts compensation offered by the listing broker. If the property is not listed with any broker, or the listing broker does not offer compensation, we will attempt to negotiate for a seller-paid fee.

Representation of Multiple Clients

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services, and its licensee(s) acting as Buyers Agents, may show the same property to more than one represented Buyer. If more than one represented Buyer Client desires to purchase the same property, the individual licensee(s) showing the property to Buyer Clients will act as the Designated Agent of each Buyer Client. In this situation, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services and its individual licensees shall take no action that would be detrimental to the other Buyers Clients and will maintain each Buyer Client's confidentiality. In the event that Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services is the listing company, a dual agency is also created.

When you are ready to enter into a transaction, you will be given an Agency Disclosure Statement that specifically identifies the role of the agents and brokerages.

Summary of Privacy Policy

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services has adopted a Privacy Policy for non-public personal information that you provide to us during the transaction. We request this information from you for our own legitimate business purpose and for our affiliated companies. We will not release your information to non-affiliated parties except: (1) as necessary for us to provide the product or service that you have requested of us, or (2) as permitted by law. We may also provide your contact information to certain companies that perform marketing services on our behalf, on behalf of our affiliated companies and to other companies with which we or our affiliated companies have a joint marketing agreement. For more information, please view the complete privacy policy on our website (www.northwoodrealtyservices.com) or ask your real estate agent for a copy.

Fair Housing Statement

It is illegal, pursuant to the Ohio Fair Housing Law, division (H) of Section 4112.02 of the Revised Code and the Federal Fair Housing Law, 42 U.S.C.A. 3601, as amended, to refuse to sell, transfer, assign, rent, lease, sublease or finance housing accommodations, refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of housing accommodations, or otherwise deny or make unavailable housing accommodations because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status as defined in Section 4112.01 of the Revised Code, ancestry, military status as defined in that section, disability as defined in that section, or national origin or to so discriminate in advertising the sale or rental of housing, in the financing of housing, or in the provision of real estate brokerage services. It is also illegal, for profit, to induce or attempt to induce a person to sell or rent a dwelling by representations regarding the entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons belonging to one of the protected classes.

For more information on agency law in Ohio, contact the Ohio Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing at 614-466-4100, or visit their website at www.com.state.oh.us.


Acknowledgement

By signing below, I hereby acknowledge that I have received the "Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services Consumer Guide".

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I certify that I have provided this document to the above consumer during the initial interview.

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