In the Mix

Can I, as an Agent, Sign for the Buyer/Seller?

Over the past year, Broker Support has seen the GREC become extremely harsh in doling out sanctions against licensees who sign buyers’ or seller’s names or initials on offers, counteroffers, amendments, disclosure statements or ANY document without having a notarized Power of Attorney from the buyer or seller specifically authorizing the agent to do so. In two cases, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers agents were forced to surrender their licenses or have them revoked!

When a buyer or seller isn’t available and can’t sign whatever needs signing or initialing, what should an agent do?

  1. Find a way to get the document to the buyer or seller (just because the buyer or seller is out of town or out of the country does NOT mean that they do not have access to email, fax or overnight delivery!) and allow time for it to be signed and returned, or
  2. Wait until the party is available to sign for themselves EVEN IF IT MEANS THEY “LOSE OUT” ON SOMETHING, or
  3. Have the buyer or seller provide you, in advance, with a notarized, executed Power of Attorney (POA) authorizing a family member, friend, neighbor or (as a last resort) you to sign on their behalf, or
  4. Have a local attorney prepare the POA and send you the original after the buyer or seller signs it and it’s notarized.

What should an agent NOT do?

  1. Never, ever sign on behalf of the buyer or seller without the notarized, executed POA mentioned above. Even if the buyer or seller begs you to sign, sends an email telling you it’s OK, or any other means of granting you permission short of the POA.

If you lose a buyer or a seller, that’s unfortunate, but you can pursue others. If you lose your license, you’re out of business. Don’t risk it!