RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

APR 2019

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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22 April 2019 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE {REBAC Report} What steps can you take to prevent procuring cause disputes? Everyone knows who represents the seller. How can your agents strengthen their claim on the buy side? The Role of Buyer Representation Agreements The Accredited Buyer's Representa- tive (ABR®) designation course em- phasizes the importance of using signed buyer representation agree - ments and helps agents gain con- fidence in tackling this topic with buyers. Sometimes, however, agents get confused about the role of buyer agreements, which are primarily de - signed to reinforce expectations, reduce misunderstandings and demonstrate the scope of services provided. While an agreement is an excel - lent tool for encouraging loyalty and preventing procuring cause disputes, it doesn't necessarily prove that an agent is entitled to compensation. Remind your agents that a listing broker's offer of compensation is en - tirely separate from a buyer's agree- ment. They're two unrelated issues. When arbitration panels consider a procuring cause complaint, they'll examine the entire course of events. Did the agent fail to stay in contact with the buyer? Did the buyer ter - minate the relationship for other reasons? These are some of the questions they'll ask, which can su - persede the existence of a buyer's agreement. It's also important to note that each dispute is evaluated indepen - dently. Prior decisions are ignored. New Dispute Resolution Options A significant downside of arbitration is that one person "wins," while the other party leaves empty-handed and unhappy. Usually, it's preferable for the parties to find conciliation through mediation or newer REAL - TOR® ombudsman programs. As of 2016, every local and state association of REALTORS® is re - quired to offer ombudsman services to members, clients and consumers. Some associations do this directly, while others have cooperative agree - ments with another association. The ombudsman process is infor - mal, voluntary and confidential. Once the parties have agreed to use an ombudsman, an impartial third party, conversations are usually handled over the phone, aimed at helping the parties reach an understanding and consensus. Often, disputes can be resolved in a few hours or days. Note that the use of REALTOR® ombudsmen isn't limited to agent-to-agent disputes; associations also rely on ombuds - men to help resolve consumer dis- putes against agents. Prevention Is the Best Medicine If your agents understand the critical factors that can shape an arbitration panel's decision, they'll be in a better position to develop behaviors that will prevent procuring cause disputes. The best way to avoid a dispute is to do the best job possible. Educate buyers, use signed agreements and deliver on your promises. It's also a good idea to document your efforts so that you can demon - strate that you stayed in regular con- tact and provided valuable services. An Offer From REBAC Our most recent issue of Today's Buyer's Rep, the monthly REBAC newsletter, explores procuring cause in greater detail. We encourage REBAC members to check it out. If you're not a REBAC member, but would like to read this issue, please reach out to us at rebac@realtors.org and ask for a digital copy. We also encourage brokers to sup - port the ABR® training to elevate their agents' buyer representation skills. RE Marc D. Gould is senior vice president of Member De- velopment for NAR, overseeing a wide range of profes- sional development programs for REALTORS®, including the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council (REBAC). REBAC is the world's largest association of real estate profes- sionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. With more than 30,000 active members, REBAC awards the Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR®) designation to REALTORS® who have completed the special- ized education and documented experience in working with consumers purchasing a home. To learn more, visit REBAC.net. When Buyers Turn to Another Agent by Marc D. Gould N o one enjoys being dragged into a procuring cause dispute. As a broker, you want to support your agents; however, picking up the phone and having an awkward conversation with another broker is probably not your favorite part of the job.

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