How can the intermediary broker advise the seller or buyer on value, escrow deposit amount, repair expenses, or interest rates?

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When the listing contract or buyer representation agreement has come into existence, and no intermediary status yet exists, the broker may advise the parties generally on such matters. Offers from or to parties not represented by the intermediary’s firm may have made the parties knowledgeable on these matters. Once the intermediary status has been created, however, the intermediary broker may not express opinions or give advice during negotiations. Information about such matters which does not constitute an opinion or advice may be supplied in response to question. For example, the intermediary could tell the buyer what the prevailing interest rate is without expressing an opinion or giving advice. The seller’s question about the amount of earnest money could be answered with the factual answer that in the broker’s experience, the amount of the earnest money is usually $1,500 to $2,000, depending on the amount of the sales price. If the buyer asks what amount of money should be in the offer, the intermediary could respond with the factual statement that in the intermediary’s experience, those offers closest to the listing price tend to be accepted by the seller. The intermediary also could refer the party to an attorney, accountant, loan officer or other professional for advice.

Source: TAR

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