Alaska Has No Real Estate Agents

Since 2006 there have been no real estate agents in Alaska.  The Alaska State Legislature passed statutes that the Alaska Real Estate Commission put into regulation that effectively eliminates real estate agents.

That doesn’t mean we can’t earn a living, we still represent buyers and sellers and we are still paid for our services.  But we are no longer agents.  The term agent carries legal baggage that was often unintended in relationships between buyers, sellers, and real estate agents.

We are now only real estate licensees that have specific duties in our relationships with buyers and sellers.  As the real estate commission’s consumer pamphlet spells out, there are four possible relationships a licensee can have with a consumer.

  • 1. We can provide specific assistance.  We would not be representing the party, just assisting them in their real estate transaction.
  • 2. We can provide representation.  This entails a higher level of duty on the part of the licensee toward the consumer.
  • 3. We can be a designated representative.  This is when one licensee may represent the seller in a transaction and another licensee represents the buyer, but both are part of the same office.
  • 4. We can be a neutral licensee. We can help both a buyer and a seller in a transaction without representing either one. 

All four of these situations require different duties on the part of the real estate licensee but all of them require at least the minimum of duties.  This minimum is the same as that owed under specific assistance.  These duties are:

  • 1. Exercise reasonable skill and care.
  • 2. Deal honestly and fairly
  • 3. Present all written communications in a timely manner
  • 4. Disclose all material information regarding the physical condition of a property
  • 5. Account for all money and property received.

The other duties are outlined in the consumer pamphlet which all consumers should read.

I will deal with the other three levels of representation in future articles.

Feel free to comment with questions or clarifications.