Is Your Real Estate "Agent" Really Your Agent?

The function of the Colorado Real Estate Commission is to protect the general public in real estate transactions. One of the most important requirements of a licensed broker is to disclose to a client how the licensee is working on behalf of the client. The term “agent” is used for a licensee who is an advocate for the best interests of the client. This type of “agency” relationship requires a written contract between the client and the licensee. On the other hand, a “transaction broker” requires no written contract and the licensee merely helps facilitate a real estate transaction between a buyer and seller, without advocating the best interests of either party. So is your real estate “agent” really your agent?

It’s important to understand the basic difference of how your real estate licensee can work for you in Colorado. In some states such as California, dual agency exists so a real estate broker can be an advocate for both a buyer and a seller. Dual agency is illegal in Colorado, meaning that if a licensee is an “agent” for one side of the transaction he or she cannot be an “agent” for the other side of the transaction. A licensee working with both a buyer and a seller must generally operate as a “transaction broker” and must remain neutral to both parties.

One way to think of the broker-client relationship is to imagine yourself playing a soccer game, basketball game, or any competition that involves your coach and a referee. Think of the game as a real estate transaction. Your “agent” or coach is there to guide you, encourage you, motivate you, instruct you, and advocate your level of play to help you do your best in the game, hopefully resulting in an outcome or final score that you deserve. The “transaction broker” or referee is there to make sure both parties or teams are playing by the rules, protecting each party from illegal activities, and remaining neutral to the final score but making sure that game was played correctly. A real estate licensee can be either a coach for one team or a referee for both teams, but he or she cannot be a coach for both teams.

The term “real estate agent” has been used so much in common language that the word “agent” almost becomes synonymous with licensed broker or licensee, but keep in mind that just because you are working with a licensee does not necessarily mean you are working with an “agent.” Most importantly, you should ask yourself how you would want your licensed broker to work for you!

For more information about agency relationships or real estate in Colorado, contact Richard Jensen with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage at (970) 818-6161 or Clipper Way Listing

Buying a Home in 2013? by Richard Jensen

(source: Richard Jensen)

There is something very consistent about New Year's resolutions – they seem to change every year.  We have new dreams, new goals, and a flurry of new gym memberships throughout Northern Colorado.  One of my New Year's resolutions is to buy my son a new toy for each closing I have in 2013.  You can bet he's been asking me every day, "Dad, did you sell a house today?"

And of course there are always changes to the Colorado real estate contracts approved by the Colorado Real Estate Commission.  So what should you know about buying a home in Northern Colorado in 2013?  Let me start by sharing some of the basics.

1.  The Colorado Contract to Buy and Sell Real Estate has changed as of January 1, 2013.  To learn more about these changes and buying a home in Northern Colorado contact Richard Jensen with Keller Williams Realty of Northern Colorado.


2. Historically low interest rates may continue into the new year, but 2012 housing inventory in Northern Colorado was down nearly 50% compared to 2011.  It is a seller's market in Northern Colorado for homes priced under $250,000.  Be prepared for competition.

3. Standard build time for new construction is 60-90 days, so if you are considering moving into a new home in the Spring of 2013 you should act now.  New construction in Northern Colorado will continue to  rise in 2013 as more home buyers and investors take advantage of the profitable real estate market.

4. Rental rates in Larimer County are among the highest in the entire State of Colorado.  Chances are if you can afford to pay rent you can likely afford to pay a mortgage.

5. According to the National Association of Realtors®, 92% of home buyers choose to work with a professional buyer's agent to help them buy a home!  If you have not already committed to working with a Realtor® now is the perfect time to contact Richard Jensen with Keller Williams Realty of Northern Colorado.

Now if you haven't already spoken with a lender to discuss financing options and programs available for first time home buyers, add that to your list of New Year's resolutions.  And if you haven't already met with me to discuss your real estate goals for 2013, give me a call as soon as possible so we can schedule a brief meeting. 

As a Realtor® I spend much of my time studying the real estate market and, more importantly, previewing homes so that I have a better understanding of the features and benefits available to home buyers.  If you are serious about home ownership in 2013, now is the time to buy!

Thanks for reading our Northern Colorado Real Estate and Lifestyle Blog!