Representation: Full Service vs. Limited Service – In Virginia
Excerpt from my BLOG; http://insydehomes.blogspot.com/
I am a full service REALTOR® so I believe you should always seek Full Service representation when selling or purchasing a home. The benefits far out weigh the risks, and the security of having a true real estate professional’s guidance is worth the cost of this service. Why would you wish anything less for your most valued asset?
It used to be that “Discount” Brokers seemed to offer Sellers the same level of service that Full Service Brokers provide, but for less cost to you; now, in accordance with Virginia law, they must call themselves “Limited Service Representatives”. They must disclose what services you are or are not receiving, at whatever cost you agree to do business with them. Surprising to some, there is no guarantee a Seller will be saving money through a lack of representation. In fact, statistics show, in most cases they are leaving money on the table!
Limited service disclosure was legislated into effect on July 1st, 2007. Law makers felt it was necessary to eliminate any confusion that existed as to exactly what services one should expect to be provided in real estate by a limited service agent as defined in Virginia agency law. This law of “disclosure” requires limited service representatives to tell sellers they are contracting with exactly what services they will and will not provide to you.
A Limited Service Brokerage Agreement must include: a) a list of duties NOT provided; b) a list of duties TO BE Provided. They are also required to furnish sellers all required disclosure forms along with disclosure of all rights and obligations with regard to: 1) The Virginia Residential Property Disclosure; 2) Condominium Resale Certificates; 3) Property Owners’ Associations Act. Beyond these requirements, the Limited Service Representative may or may not submit property information to the area Multiple Listing Service, and a Seller should not expect to receive any representation with regard to the home they have on the market. One can pay more to get more from their menu of services, but you are otherwise on your own!
While this article is targeted at Sellers, the same applies for Purchasers believing a better deal is available without using a Realtor. This is most often not the case. It is customary for the commission to be negotiated with the Seller prior to a home being put on the market. Further more, without representation most purchasers don’t know what to look for, what questions to ask, how to review and negotiate a contract, or what the actual value of a property is under current market conditions.
In contrast, the security of knowing you have a Full Service Real Estate Professional helping you is priceless. We are working on the job to serve you continuously from start to finish, and we know market trends. A Full Service provider will have a comprehensive plan of representation available to you along with their marketing plan for both Sellers and Purchasers.
For more insight, information and any questions on this and other important issues, please contact your most valued real estate professional, we are here to serve you!
Sources: Virginia Legislation (HB 316) Chapter 627 of the Code of Virginia; Central Virginia Regional MLS Limited Service Representation, CVRMLS_LSLA form REV. 6/07
John VanderSyde, Associate Broker, Virginia Properties, A Long & Foster Company