Being someone’s agent is an important role. It creates a fiduciary relationship where the agent must work in the best interests of their principal.
Often a homeowner refers to the person they bought their insurance from as their agent. It sounds reasonable but it’s not accurate. That person is the agent of the insurance company. They legally represent the company, not the customer. Even an independent agent who can place a policy with different companies is still an agent of the company.
A mortgage officer, in most cases is an employee and represents the company, too. It’s important to understand the actual relationship to know what you can expect from them.
Any business person who wants to stay in business must treat their customers fairly and with a high degree of service. As a customer, you should be able to reasonably expect honesty and accountability. The difference is that employees owe their loyalty to their employer and agents owe their loyalty to their principal.
An agent owes more than just honesty and accountability. The principal (that’s you!) can also expect confidentiality, disclosure, obedience, loyalty, and reasonable care from their agent (that’s me).
Having an agent advocate in your behalf is very beneficial when you are buying or selling a home. An agent can bring valuable experience to your side of the transaction so you can feel confident that your best interests are being represented. Massachusetts allows a choice – a real estate salesperson can act as a facilitator and not an agent, but that brings you right back to being a customer without the security of knowing that you have an agent looking out for your best interests. I guess you can tell that I am a strong believer in the value of the fiduciary relationship that you create with your agent :)