Buyers and Sellers of real estate face different challenges. We want to assist you by providing information that will enhance your real estate experience.
South Carolina Agency Relationships
The SC Real Estate License Law, in section 40-57-139 (A) (1) and (2), requires a real estate licensee to provide you with the Agency Law brochure and a meaningful explanation of agency relationships offered by the licensee’s Company. This must be done at the first practical opportunity when you and the licensee have substantive contact.
A real estate Company and its associated licensees can provide buyers and sellers valuable real estate services, whether in the form of basic customer services, or through client-level agency representation. The services you can expect will depend upon the legal relationship you establish with the Company. It is extremely important for you to discuss the following information with the real estate licensee and agree if in your business relationship you will be a customer or a client.
When you call a Realtor, you are automatically a customer of the real estate company.
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 manners
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 the Company for agency representation, you are considered a “Customer” of the Company, and the Company 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.
Customer-level service does not require a written agreement; therefore, you are not committed to the Agent or Company in any way.
The Benefits of Becoming a Client of a Real Estate Brokerage Firm
Clients receive more services than customers. If client status is offered by the real estate Company, you can become a client by entering into a written agency agreement requiring the Company and its associated licensees to act as an agent on your behalf and promote your best interests.
A seller becomes a client of a real estate Company by signing a formal listing agreement with the Company. For a seller to become a client, this agreement must be in writing and must clearly establish the terms of the agreement and the obligations of both the seller and the Company which becomes the agent for the seller.
A buyer becomes a client of a real estate Company by signing a formal buyer agency agreement with the Company. For a buyer to become a client, this agreement must be in writing and must clearly establish the terms of the agreement and the obligations of both the buyer and the Company which becomes the agent for the buyer. If you enter into a written agency agreement, as a Client, you can expect the real estate Company to provide the following client-level services: