Understanding the two different forms of representation available to you in Florida can have a significant impact on your bottom line.
Florida provides only two forms of representation. Single Agency is considered the highest level and then there is the lesser, yet by far, more widely used form of representation called transaction brokerage.
Many characterize the differences like this - a single agency is more like a coach and the transaction broker is more like the referee. Another way I like to see it is a single agent as working FOR you vs. the transaction broker that works WITH you. It might not seem like a big difference but consider this scenario.
The buyer’s agent brings us an offer and says, they absolutely love the home and are willing to pay more. In a transaction broker relationship, you might not ever hear this information since it could be considered detrimental to the buyer which could be a violation of the “limited confidentiality” requirement transaction brokers operate under. Now, take the same scenario only the seller is represented by a single agent. You would certainly know this information as the single agent is required to give you FULL disclosure.
When I first came to Florida in 1999, the brokers I worked for required us to get transaction broker forms signed by everyone we worked with because back then, single agency was the default. Somewhere along the line, the default was changed to transaction brokerage so today the agency subject rarely comes up. I personally think this is a disservice and as shown with my prior example, would negatively impact your bottom line.
So why do brokers routinely skip the agency discussion and put you into a transaction broker relationship? It’s really pretty simple. Liability and profitability. You see we have over 100 new agents coming into our market every month and they have to work somewhere. The reduced commitment transaction brokers have to customers reduces the broker’s liability. Florida does not permit ‘dual agency’ so a brokerage with a bunch of customers represented as single agents would prevent them from selling their in-house inventory to those clients. Remember, your relationship is with the broker, not the agent, so your single agent relationship applies to all of the agents at that brokerage of course, unless you allowed them to transition back to a transaction broker. This becomes more and more of a concern as the size of the brokerage gets larger. A bigger firm is not always a better choice if you want to be represented. You are also probably going to pay the same for either form of representation. So why would you pay the same fees for less? I don’t really have an answer for that….why would you?
We believe sellers should be represented to the highest level possible. There is a lot of money involved, your money. The added responsibility for us is a non-issue as we are experienced agents with the kind of service and commitment that should be positive to your bottom line. Single Agency not only provides sellers with a higher level of service, it also makes it easier for us to consistently sell homes for more than the average price. That’s what we call a ‘win-win.’