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Disclosure rules in the real estate industry are changing the way agencies do business, and the way some home buyers are obtaining the American dream.
Real estate agents are now required to disclose to buyers and sellers who they represent under the new agency disclosure rules, which became effective November of 1993.
And, to many a home buyer's surprise, unless they are contracting with a buyer's agent, their agent represents the seller. Although that doesn't change the way homes are bought and sold, the rules aim to ensure buyers and sellers know where they stand in the transaction.
While most of Houston's residential real estate companies have come to terms with the new rules and anticipate little change, consumer advocates and buyer's agents, who are seeing a surge in customers, are convinced sweeping changes are on the horizon as the disclosure process helps consumers become increasingly aware of their options.
Agency disclosure started to surface as an issue when a Federal Trade Commission study conducted in 1983 suggested that more than 70 percent of home buyers were unaware their agent …