Friday, January 11, 2008

You Are A Customer - Columbia SC Real Estate Agency Laws

This is Part Two in my series on Columbia South Carolina real estate agency laws.

In Part One, I expressed the importance of discussing agency relationships with real estate licensees (agents) and agreeing on your business relationship.

Unless you have signed an Agency Agreement with a real estate licensee, you are a Customer.

South Carolina license law defines customers as buyers or sellers who choose NOT to establish an agency relationship. The law requires real estate licensees to perform the following basic duties when dealing with any real estate buyer or seller as Customers:

  • Present all offers in a timely manner
  • Account for money or other property received on your behalf
  • Provide an explanation of the scope of services to be provided
  • Be fair and honest and provide accurate information
  • Disclose "adverse material facts" about the property or the transaction which are within the licensee's knowledge

Unless or until you enter into a written agreement with a real estate Company for agency representation, you are considered a "Customer" and a real estate Company or a licensee will not act as your agent!

As a Customer, you should NOT expect the Company or its licensees to promote your best interest, or to keep your bargaining information confidential.

In Part Three of this series, I'll discuss the importance of establishing a client relationship with a licensee EARLY in the process.

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