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Buying Information

Agency Explanation

Virginia defines "Agency" as "every relationship in which a real estate licensee acts for or represents a person by such person's express authority in a real estate transaction". This is also known as a brokerage relationship. If you enter into a brokerage relationship with Napier ERA, your are a client, and we represent you. If you choose not to enter into a relationship with us, Virginia law says that you are our customer. Responsibilities to clients are different from responsibilities to customers. A client can be a seller or a buyer and conversely, a customer can be a seller or buyer.

When you become our client, we have certain obligations to you such as to:

  • Seek a sale or purchase with terms and conditions acceptable to you.
  • Present all offers and counter offers.
  • Account for all monies, such as contract deposits, which are entrusted to us.
  • Maintain your confidential and personal information.
  • Exercise ordinary care in protecting and promoting your interests.
  • Comply with our duties as set forth in regulations and laws established by the State of Virginia and the Federal Government.

If you become our customer, we have certain responsibilities to you such as to:

  • Inform you of the nature of agency, to include our brokerage relationships with clients, before any substantive discussions take place.
  • Not knowingly providing you with false information.
  • Disclose to you all material adverse facts pertaining to the physical condition of a property, within its boundaries, which are actively known to us, as agents.
  • Perform routine ministerial acts such as providing tax information, interest rate quotes, showing homes to you, writing contracts, etc.
  • Comply with all laws and regulations of Virginia and the Federal Government.

Virginia recognizes three types of Agency as described in the following manner:

Standard Agent

An agent who represents or acts for a client in an agency relationship. The agent may be buyers agent, sellers agent or represent another agent's client. If you and the agent do not express your choice of brokerage relationships, the law of Virginia assumes the existence of Standard Agency.

Dual Agent

Virginia law allows an agent to represent both the seller and buyer in the same transaction, but only with the mutual and informed consent of both parties. The dual agent's position is one of neutrality which means the agent cannot disclose the confidential and personal information of either party to the other party. Dual agency usually occurs when a buyer and agent have agreed to buyer agency and the agent is also the listing agent for the property the buyer wishes to purchase - one property, one agent, two clients. In a dual agent's role, we will make every effort to act impartially and facilitate a win-win conclusion to the transaction.

Designated Agency

When two agents from Napier ERA represent two (2) different clients in the same transaction, they are called designated agents. The broker, Napier ERA, represents both parties and will maintain the confidentiality of both clients while the agent representing the buyer is able to offer full services to his or her client and the agent representing the seller is able to offer full services to his or her client.

We have mentioned that agents are responsible for protecting and promoting their clients best interests, however, Virginia law does not permit seller's agents to misrepresent the condition of a property even though the seller may direct the agent to so do, and the buyer's agent may not misrepresent the qualification or ability of the buyer to purchase a property, even though the buyer may direct the agent to so do.

Our Policy

Our policy as a licensed Real Estate Broker in Virginia is to serve customers, represent clients whether individual, businesses or others who are selling, buying, leasing, exchanging or in any way transferring interest in real property. We act as sellers agents, buyers agents, dual agents, designated agents and sometimes as agents for buyers or sellers of another real estate firm's client. Our representation is always with informed consent. We cooperate and share fees and commissions with all real estate licensees, whether they are working for our clients through us or as agents of a buyer, seller, tenant or landlord, etc. Please remember, no matter who pays cooperating licensees when they act as agents for buyers, tenants, etc., they represent the interests of their respective clients.

For more information or assistance, please contact your favorite Napier ERA agent or fill out our contact form.

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