Choosing a Real Estate Professional

Choosing a Real Estate Professional

Okay, so you’ve decided not to try and sell your Jacksonville real estate on your own (FSBO – For Sale By Owner). Does it matter who you choose to list and market your home? Are there really any differences between real estate agents? Let’s take a look and you decide for yourself.

To begin with, not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. A Florida real estate agent (Sales Associate or Broker) is a person who has taken a state required real estate pre-licensing course of study and passed a state licensing exam in addition to passing other state requirements.

Unfortunately, the requirements to obtain a license in Florida are set pretty low in my opinion. In fact, it is much more difficult to obtain a cosmetology license than it is to get a real estate license. I have pretty strong opinions about this but will not take up space discussing them.

NOTE: Tim and Susan Fennell each have college degrees, hold a Florida Real Estate Broker License and are Accredited Consultants in Real Estate (ACRE®). Together they have more than 33 years professional experience in real estate in addition to having owned numerous investment properties of their own.

Depending on the licensee’s agreement with their Broker, each can work in one of the following “agency” relationships with consumers:

  • Single Agency
  • Transaction Broker
  • No Brokerage Relationship
Some Brokers require that all their agents work only as Single Agent, some require that they work only as Transaction Broker and some allow them to make the agency relationship the choice of the individual agent and the consumer. As Accredited Consultants in Real Estate, it should come as no surprise that we think consumers should always have CHOICES so we made the decision to work under a Broker who allows CHOICE. (Note – Tim and Susan Fennell hold Broker’s licenses, but are not the owners or managing brokers for The Legends of Real Estate; as such they are called “Broker Associates.”)
It is likely that you have talked to many real estate agents in the past but not one of them ever explained “agency” relationships to you. And, if they didn’t explain “agency” then it is certain that they never offered you a choice in how you wanted them to work with you. In Florida, unless otherwise put in a written agreement, all licensed agents are “assumed” to be working as Transaction Brokers.
But is that what you want and is that what is in your best interest? Only you can make that decision and to make the best decision possible, you need to know the differences.
  1. Single Agency: Single Agency is a fiduciary relationship in which that agent/broker represent either a buyer or seller but not both in the same transaction. (Note: If a buyer uses the listing Single Agent to purchase, a Transition to Transaction Broker Notice must be signed by the principal before proceeding.)
  2. Transaction Broker: Transaction Broker provides limited representation to a buyer, seller, or both in a real estate transaction, but does not represent a buyer or seller as a fiduciary or single agent. With limited representation, buyer or seller is not responsible for the acts of the licensee.
  3. No Brokerage Relationship: The broker facilitates the sale or purchase without entering into either a Single Agent or Transaction Broker relationship.
Depending on the specifics of any situation and/or transaction, consumers may feel better served by choosing one of these over the others. We believe that it is important for you to know that you have choices, what those choices are and what each means for you as an individual with unique needs.