I tend to do this in the middle of the month because it always seems the best time to pause and catch my breath. Instead of wondering what I want to do next, or where I want to be, it's more like I know where I am now and where I need to be going. I figure my self-audit will take about a week because I have to do it in bits and pieces. I never do it all in one sitting because I always find myself remembering something else that needs to be done while trying to fine tune being a Buyer's Broker.
There are three points of order from the Code of Ethics that NYSAR likes to remind us of when doing our self audit so I'll quote them here:
A. Communicate for whom you are acting to cooperating brokers at the time of the first substantive contact with cooperating brokers;
B. Remind you to clarify any modifications in compensation which you are offering;
C. Remind you to communicate fully if you are acting as a principal in the purchase of a listed property or if you are a co-owner of property you are offering for sale.
My business model is 70% Buyer's Brokerage, 15% Listing Agent, 15% Rental Agent. A, B, and C may seem like it is a given, but sometimes it is not. People, especially busy people, may forget those little niceties and you may find yourself in a position where a few days later there is a huge dispute as to who is entitled to what (e.g. the procuring cause or a commission split). I believe I previous mentioned that a lovely couple I have a buyer's brokerage agreement with went to an open house without me, mentioned they wanted the house, made an offer through me and the seller (who was a partner/broker) refused to co-broke the commission. I believe I also previously mentioned that a FSBO was not really a FSBO several days later. Who knows how many ways that commission may or may not split if we do go to contract. We may or may not be able to come to terms on the subject. We shall see...
When there is a dispute, or a misunderstanding, at some point you are going to have to make a decision to either make it work for you and your client, or walk away. I choose to make it work because I want what is best for my clients. They deserve the homes of their choice and nothing beats a happy referral. You may find yourself having to remind yourself every single day do not forget to follow-up on points A, B ad C with every person you come in contact with regarding a transaction. Sometimes, when you are busy, you may discover that you didn't ask the right question to ascertain what it is you really needed to know. People have a way of using omissions like a a "get out of jail free card" and sometime they truly believe they do not have to disclose a matter because you didn't ask them.
Gee... I thought we were automatically supposed to identify ourselves and what we represent at all times. OMG- I'm so sorry... what was I thinking? Duh?
Jut a gentle reminder that the Realtor information highway flows in both directions, people. Not cooperating with supplying full disclosure or being reasonable with a request for cooperation on a co-brokerage may result in a Buyer's Broker deciding the aggravation is not worth the possibility of a commission and we will take our buyer somewhere else. In this unsettling market I am sure there will always be another firm who would really love to sell their inventory to a qualified, pre-approved buyer with a down payment who can actually make it to closing...
Play nice in the electronic sand box people, and be more nice in real life. You never know who's an Active Rainer with a crazy blog and a big virtual transparent wordy mouth (LOL). Did I mention I was easily amused? I also have a B-switch. That means I am not perfect and maybe some of us should also acknowledge the fact that they are not perfect as well.
BTW, if you only do a compliance audit annually, you may want to reconsider... It can cost you wasted time and possibly money. That is always a bitter pill to swallow when you realize the deal is going south because of personalities rather than paperwork...
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