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Sunday, February 25, 2024
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How does buying Real Estate work in Wisconsin?

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Usually Buyers will "hook up" with an agent that they feel comfortable with either at an open house or as a result of a phone inquiry on any particular property. Sometimes the Buyer is referred by a third party. As the home Buyer and real estate agent begin to develop a dialogue and establish open communication the Agent is required, by statute, to inform the Buyer, in writing, that the Agent, and the Agent's Firm, are working as Sellers Agents. This written affirmation is accomplished by the use of an Agency Disclosure Form. The form was adopted by the Wisconsin Realtors Association . This written disclosure is usually completed by having the Buyers sign a Form 218. The Form 218 is titled NOTICE TO CLIENTS AND CUSTOMERS . The NOTICE informs the Buyers of the potential relationships that can exist under real estate agency law. What the form does not specifically say is that the BUYER IS NOT REPRESENTED.

Even though the Real Estate Agent who works with a Buyer represents the Seller's interests the Agent still has the obligation to disclose all material facts about the property that are known, or discovered, treat all parties honestly and exercise diligent confidentiality for both the Seller and the Buyer. This system works pretty well in Wisconsin. Seller's get their properties sold. And Buyers get properties bought. Sellers are represented by a real estate Agent. Buyers remain underrepresented even though they work with an Agent.

Many home Buyers refer to the real estate agent as "their agent". Nothing can be further from the reality. The important concept for a real estate Buyer to understand is that even though you may like your Agent, and even though you have good rapport with and you trust your Agent, so long as that Agent is working for the Seller, that Agent has a fiduciary obligation to advocate for the property Seller. That Agent cannot advocate in your behalf.

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