How Real Estate Agents Differ
In most states a real estate agent must disclose which party he or she works for--by default usually the home seller, and disclosure typically occurs during the first substantial contact with a home buyer.
Here's a brief look at some of the details you might hear during disclosure:
- An agent working for the firm that holds a seller's listing. An agent working for a firm belonging to an affiliated or local Board of Realtors is called a seller's sub agent, and is in the same category.
- The agent's loyalty is with the seller.
- Buyers should not give confidential information to a seller's agent.
- Assume any agent is a seller's agent unless you've signed a contract to change that status.
- An agent who has signed a contract to represent a buyer in a home search and sales transaction.
- The agent's loyalties are to the buyer.
- Buyer's agents should not disclose confidential information about the buyer to the seller or seller's agent.
- Some buyer's agents work exclusively with buyers, taking no listings.
Many do both.
- An agent who works for the firm that holds a seller's listing, and who has signed a contract to represent a buyer who wishes to purchase that listing.
- The agent has a loyalty to both the buyer and seller.
- Dual agency must usually be agreed to in writing by both the buyer and the seller.
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