For SaleIs your real estate agent representing your best interest in your home purchase?  50% of respondents to a recent survey conducted by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), answered “Yes Always” when asked, “Do you believe that real estate agents are required to represent the interests of the home buyer or seller with whom they are working?” Yet, this is rarely the case. Real estate agents are often not required by law to represent the best interest of the buyer or seller. The main reason for this confusion is the myriad of relationships (agency) between buyers and seller and most of the time the lack of proper disclosure. This excellent new report from CFA titled “The Agency Mess” is a great resource for home buyers.  The Consumer Federation of America is one of the oldest non-profit consumer protection organizations that has been around since 1968. The CFA advances consumers interest through research, education, and advocacy.

The possible reasons for all the consumer confusion: 

  • Confusing, multiple agency relationships (designated, transactional, dual, subagency and single agency)
  • Complexity and diversity of real estate disclosure laws from state to state.
  • Inadequate or non-disclosure by agents of their roles and responsibilities.

Most states do require some type of consumer disclosure on the roles and responsibilities of agents.  However, the state real estate commissions that are responsible for enforcing these disclosure laws rarely make it a priority.

The problems and confusion with real estate agency and lack of disclosure is a big issue with all consumers but especially worse for buyers.  The CFA also mentions that home buyers are usually more focused on viewing home pictures instead of the legal responsibilities of their agent.  I agree with this 100% and have discussed this many times in previous past blog posts.   As a home buyer, we are naturally going to view pictures of active homes on the thousands of home websites like Zillow, Redfin,, etc.  It is very important that you first find an agent that has experience and it needs to be someone that you trust will look out for your best interest and be your advocate and advisor.  You don’t want to go too far in the home buying process until you have your own buyer’s agent.

The very best representation for a home buyer is an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent (EBA).  EBAs are true Buyer agents that don’t take listings or sell homes.  An EBA is the highest and best protection available for a home buyer. 

If you’ve read this entire blog post and made it down here to the bottom then you should really take a few more minutes to read the CFA report, “The Agency Mess”.  This report is an excellent resource and information is very important in the home buying process just as long as the information is accurate.

Be careful out there.

Contact me if you have any questions.

HomeBuyer Advocate Mike