A recurring issue for the Colorado Real Estate Commission (“CREC”) has been the matter of licensed real estate brokers who only offer “Limited Service.”
State law and CREC rules lay out the minimum “uniform duties” that must be performed whether the broker is an “agent” for his client or merely a “transaction broker.” An agent has the burden of acting to promote the interests of the buyer or seller “with the utmost good faith, loyalty, and fidelity,” whereas a transaction broker is a neutral facilitator who is prohibited from putting the interests of one party ahead of those of the other party.
At Golden Real Estate, our company policy is to function as an “agent” except when forced to act as a “transaction broker” because one client decides to purchase another client’s listing. If a non-client — such as an open house visitor — wants to purchase one of our listings, we treat that buyer as a “customer” instead of doing what some other brokerages do, which is to create an agency relationship with that buyer and thus deprive their seller of those agent responsibilities.
The “uniform duties” which even a transaction broker must perform include presenting all offers to and from a client in a timely manner and being involved in all other negotiations such as regarding inspection issues. The other minimum duties are spelled out in the Commission’s Position Statement 36, a link for which you’ll find at www.JimSmithColumns.com.
The bottom line for real estate brokers is that they cannot simply put a listing on the MLS and tell interested brokers or buyers to contact the seller directly. This includes providing that kind of limited service to new home builders, yet it continues to be done by some brokers, who simply tell buyers to call or visit the builder’s sales office, where all negotiation takes place.
As I write this, there are 185 builder listings on www.REcolorado.com (Denver’s MLS) which are labeled “Limited Service” by brokers who do not work for the builder. I’m not clear why the Division of Real Estate does not enforce CP-36 against the brokers who put those listings on the MLS and do few, if any, of the “uniform duties.”
Putting a home on the MLS is itself not one of the uniform duties. It, along with doing open houses and advertising a listing, are among what the CREC calls “additional duties,” and CP-36 specifically says that a licensee may not perform “additional duties” without also performing all the “uniform duties.”
Whatever your definition of “full service” may be, it has to include total participation by the broker in a transaction from listing to contract to closing. At Golden Real Estate, our agents perform all those “uniform duties” and go deep into “additional duties” — holding open houses, advertising both in print and online, creating custom websites for each listing, and shooting narrated video tours, including drone footage.
We provide staging advice, handyman and other services, recommend trusted lenders, inspectors, estate sales people and other professionals through our own smartphone app. We even provide free use of one of our moving trucks, packing boxes, bubble wrap, etc.
And we’re always on the lookout for new ways we can serve our clients.
Yes, we are “full service” Realtors, and we look forward to hearing from you.
Published Feb. 2, 2017, in the YourHub section of the Denver Post and in four Jefferson County weekly newspapers.
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