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Intermediary relationships have been part of The Texas Real Estate License Act (TRELA) for well over a decade. Even though these relationships have been well established, there is still confusion about how it works.

An intermediary is a broker who negotiates a real estate transaction between two parties when a broker, or a sales agent sponsored by the broker, has obtained written consent from the parties to represent both the buyer and the seller. A broker acting as an intermediary can make appointments in some circumstances.

The Commission regularly gets questions about intermediary relationships. Below are some reminders to help brokers before acting as an intermediary in a real estate transaction or having their sponsored sales agent performing these acts on their behalf:

  1. You have to have written consent from each party. This will be in your written representation agreement.
    • A “Notice” is not a representation agreement.
    • The Information About Brokerage Services Form (IABS) is not a representation agreement.
  2. What type of documents give written consent for an intermediary relationship?
    • A listing agreement
    • A buyer/tenant representation agreement
  3. When writing the contract, how do you show that it is an Intermediary transaction?
    • On the Broker Information page, on the right side under “Listing Broker Firm,” check the first box for “represents □ Seller and Buyer as an intermediary” then fill in the listing broker’s and listing and selling associates’ information.
  4. Will there be appointments so the agents can give opinions and advice to their respective clients?
    • This is only possible if the company has a broker and two agents or associated brokers. If there is only the broker, or the broker and only one agent or associated broker, you may still have an Intermediary but without appointments.
  5. What happens if an unrepresented buyer wants to buy one of my or my broker’s listings?
    • You can still negotiate the transaction, but it is not an intermediary transaction. Your duty to the buyer is only to treat the buyer fairly, and you cannot give them any opinions or advice.
    • On the Broker Information page, on the right side under “Listing Broker Firm,” check the second box for “represents □ Seller only as Seller’s agent” then fill in the listing broker’s and associate’s information.