I'd like to visit with you today, whether you are a home buyer or seller, or you are a licensed real estate professional.
Attorneys have for years taken the position that their service to their clients is as the client's advocate. The attorney's job is to prepare and substantiate as best he can, your argument that your position is the correct one; that your adversary's is the incorrect one. And he presents your argument to the court within the rules of evidence.
And that is exactly how attorneys justify taking the cases of clients whose positions they know in their hearts are incorrect. It's how they justify defending a murderer or the child beater when they know he's guilty. They are the bad guy's advocate, not his partner.
Real estate professionals are advocates, too. Our job is to advance our clients' positions and to make certain that how things turn out for them as a result of our representation is 1) thorough and the best we can do 2) that they fully understand and approve each facet of our representation as we work our way through the negotiations and closing process, and 3) that we be willing to challenge the title company, mortgage broker, their attorney, or anyone else when our knowledge seems to indicate that those professionals' positions are not in the best interest of our client.
I am personally tired of the excuse that we need to steer clear of being our clients' advocate because it might be perceived as our practicing law without a license. That's utter nonsense. I can't tell you the number of times one of my client's attorney has given incorrect or insufficient advice. The same is true for their accountant and the building inspectors.
My job is to raise the issue with the accountant, lawyer, etc., and the client. I'm the real estate professional. I'm my client's advocate. I have never cowered because someone might want to charge that I might be practicing law without a license, or that I'm not a CPA. And I never will.
If you're a real estate professional, in my view you shouldn't cower either. Your job is not to see how passive you can be throughout the dealing, then collect your check. Instead it's to proudly look after your client's interest to the very best of your ability.
If you are a client and you suspect your real estate agent isn't aggressively representing you as your advocate, you should consider changing agents because you aren't getting what you're paying for. And there's a lot of your money at stake.