Who is working for YOU?
Most people believe that the real estate agent they are working with is working for them but that may not be the case. There are a variety of working relationships provided by the Missouri Real Estate Commission and they are required to be disclosed to you. The licensee is required to make the following disclosure.
20 CSR 2250-8.097 Broker Disclosure Form
(1) In a residential real estate transaction, at the earliest practicable opportunity during or following the first substantial contact by the designated broker or the affiliated licensees with a seller, landlord, buyer, or tenant who has not entered into a brokerage relationship as described in section 339.710.5, RSMo, the licensee shall provide that person with a written copy of the current Broker Disclosure Form prescribed by the Missouri Real Estate Commission. In any event, a licensee shall provide the party that has not entered into a brokerage relationship as described in section 339.710.5, RSMo, the Broker Disclosure Form upon obtaining any personal or financial information or before the signing of a brokerage service agreement, whichever occurs first. If a landlord’s agent or transaction broker is conducting property management pursuant to 4 CSR 250-8.200, the unlicensed office personnel may, in their performance of the duties enumerated in 339.010.5(5)(a)–(e), provide a tenant with a written copy ofthe current Broker Disclosure Form prescribed by the commission on behalf of the landlord’s agent or transaction broker.
(2) The brokerage relationship marked as offered on the Broker Disclosure Form shall correspond to the written office policy adopted by the designated broker pursuant to 339.760.1, RSMo.
Why it matters
It’s not a good idea to discuss financial or motivational factors with a real estate licensee until you know who is working for whom. That agent could be actually working on behalf of another party in the transaction and may then have a duty to disclose your financial or other information to the party they represent.
It’s really not as complicated as it sounds and real estate licensees are required to make disclosures at the earliest practicable opportunity. If not just ask, “who do you represent?” Almost always it doesn’t cost any additional money to make sure the answer is “YOU”.