Many times after reading the real estate section of the Albuquerque Journal I have threatened to do what I am about to finally do, offer a rebuttal to one or more of the articles. It makes me more than a little crazy how syndicated articles are published in our local paper that are totally irrelevant to the real estate business in Albuquerque or worst yet, when they contain inaccurate information.
This weeks article that I'd like to respond to is Barry Stone's syndicated article of the same title as this post, published in the Sunday Journal on September 2 ,2012.
Mr Stone's column is published every week. I always read his articles. He's a good writer, and in fact I've check out his website often.
This week, however, I'd like to take exception with some of what Mr Stone wrote, not because of the quality of his article, but because there are some incorrect details; incorrect when applied to New Mexico real estate.
In his article, he disputes a reader's claim that a buyer's agent has a fiduciary responsibility to the seller of a house since the seller is paying the commission, and therefore, buyer's agents are not able to fully represent the interests of their buyer clients. If you have not seen his column, he responds every week to one or two questions that have been sent to him.
That's the crux of the first question this week, and Mr. Stone's basically says that while this is true, a good buyers agent will represent his buyer client anyway in spite of what he calls "legal rigidity."
The article goes on to explain what a good buyer's agent does for their clients and frankly, I couldn't agree more. The problem is, with syndicated articles like these, the author must write to prevailing real estate law across multiple states, and in this case I suspect New Mexico is perhaps different than other states.
A New Mexico real estate broker ( we aren't agents here, we are all brokers) we do not have a fiduciary responsibility to the sellers of the properties we show. Like I said, we are not agents, we are brokers, and we adhere not to Agency law and the accompanying fiduciary responsibilities to person who sent in the question stated; instead, New Mexico real estate licensing law dictates that we adhere to something different called "broker duties." (You can read the broker duties on p. 63)
These Broker Duties apply between us and our clients, regardless of who is paying our fee.
I have always represented my buyer's concerns when I'm serving as a buyer's broker and not because I am unconcerned with the "legal rigidity" of Agency law, but because in New Mexico agency law does not apply.