The Blame Game: Agency Relationships

the blame game

People are involved in all sorts of transactions on a daily basis, whether it’s buying groceries or purchasing a car. If they can do these on their own, why is home buying or selling any different? It’s because real estate transactions aren’t simple. The majority of home buyers and sellers hire agents because they need someone knowledgeable to make sure all the T’s are crossed and I’s dotted. Agents know exactly what needs to be done, when to do it and how to handle setbacks that might arise during the process. Clients trust their agents with possibly one of the biggest, if not the biggest purchase they’ll make in their life. This is why agency relationships and knowledge of the duties involved are so important.


Duties in Agency Relationships


Most agents don’t actively think about their duties on a daily basis because it becomes second nature as you learn to work with clients and third parties. However, some of the duties owed to a client come into play when your client decides you’re the reason they’re unhappy or dissatisfied.

The Blame Game

People love to blame others for their misfortunes. Dissatisfaction with a real estate transaction is no exception. Here are some examples of what you’re likely to be ‘blamed’ for and how to handle each situation:


**Problem: Expert times infinity

As a real estate agent, you’re expected to be the expert, but what clients fail to realize is that you’re only required to be an expert in real estate matters. What does that mean exactly? For example, you may have some knowledge of plumbing because you’re handy and you’ve fixed a few leaks around the house, but that doesn’t mean you’re equipped to give advice on a plumbing issue at the property your client is trying to buy or sell.


Another common example involves taxes. You might have a general understanding of taxes, but you can’t advise clients on tax matters. They need to speak to a CPA or tax attorney.


**Solution: Let your client know that you’re not a tax, plumbing, etc. expert and can’t advise them on these issues. You should suggest that they ask the appropriate expert.

**Tip: Compile and maintain a list of “go-to” experts you can refer your clients to when these issues come up.

**Bonus: These experts will remember your referral and likely reciprocate by recommending you as an agent when someone they know is looking to buy or sell.


This was the first installment in the “Blame Game” series related to Agency Relationships. Stay tuned for more examples, solutions, tips and bonuses.


Disclaimer: This Blog is made available by the publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this site, you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the publisher. The contents herein should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

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Contributor, designer & admin for JohnHart Gazette.

About JohnHart Real Estate

Contributor, designer & admin for JohnHart Gazette.

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