The South Carolina Transaction Brokerage option is brand new in 2017, and buyers and sellers now have the opportunity to utilize a licensed real estate professional to assist in a transaction without requiring that real estate agent to have a client. I know, that doesn’t mean anything to most of you. Up until this year, South Carolina required that a real estate agent have a client in every transaction. So, if a buyer did not sign an exclusive buyer agency agreement, the agent working with that buyer was automatically considered to be representing the seller. That’s right, even without ever meeting the seller and without having a signed agreement with the seller, that’s who you had to be loyal to. That agent became a sub-agent of the broker-in-charge on the listing side of the transaction. To make matters more frustrating, the broker-in-charge on the listing side of the transaction was now liable for the behaviors of this agent. Brokerages have been able to determine for themselves whether or not they offer sub-agency or pay sub-agents in a transaction, but there was really no alternative if you had a buyer who refused to sign a buyer agency agreement for one reason or another.
Enter South Carolina Transaction Brokerage – we now have the ability to facilitate a transaction without representing any client. Now, this doesn’t mean that an agent is going to protect your interests or provide special services without asking for exclusivity or loyalty. Any services beyond those owed to a customer in a real estate transaction would need to be added into the South Carolina Transaction Brokerage Agreement. Our brokerage has decided against including Transaction Brokerage in our normal service offerings, but we will consider it on a case-by-case basis.
We are of the opinion that the South Carolina Transaction Brokerage option is best utilized by individuals buying or selling a FSBO and needing assistance with paperwork and steps to be taken to get the transaction to the closing table. Builders and investors may also find that they do not need representation and can hire someone to act as a transaction broker. The general buying and selling public has far more to gain by seeking traditional representation.