centuries, the common law of agency-with its requirement that the
agent/firm put the interests of the client ahead of all others,
including their own-was the standard to which all agents, inside
or outside the world of real estate, had to rise. For better than
a century, this was also the standard to which the National Association
of Realtors and-when it was formed-the Wisconsin Realtors Association,
WRA, adhered and promoted.
in the early 1990's, all that changed. No longer were the large
and mega-large brokerage houses content to adhere to the standards
of common law agency. Sensing a threat from a small subsection within
their ranks known as buyer brokers, the WRA began to move silently,
but aggressively, to protect their "in-house" deal market
share from these upstart buyer brokers, by changing the laws that
gave Wisconsin home buyer and seller clients the highest level of
protection available...that which is only found under the common
law of agency.
fact, with their Agency "Reform" Act of 1994, the Wisconsin Realtors
Association effectively robbed every home buyer and seller client
in the State of Wisconsin of the right to receive agency-level services
in a transaction by silently turning all Wisconsin licensees into
facilitators...yet, to this day, all clients still pay for agency-
level services. Now, the WRA comes with yet another attempt at robbing/deceiving
Wisconsin's home buyers and sellers...Designated Agency.
Agency, the Managing Broker of the firm can appoint one licensee
from the firm to represent a buyer's best interests and another
to represent the seller's best interests...IN THE SAME TRANSACTION.
Yes...clients are expected to believe that the firm is going to
negotiate against its own best interests of seeing a transaction
come together, to get each of them the best deal...when the firm
has the opportunity to exercise influence and, ostensibly, control
over two parties in the same transaction. Can you say, "Conflict
Would you hire
an attorney from a law firm that is suing you, to represent you
in that same matter? Why on earth would it be any different when
seeking representation from a realty firm...except that the dollar
amounts involved are probably going to be the highest you are likely
to deal with in your life!
with REAL-Reform as we chronicle the WRA's past decade of deception,
and work to undo their confusion by returning the common law of
agency to the citizens of the State of Wisconsin and by fighting
to oppose the WRA's latest scheme...Designated Agency.