Should I Work With A Buyer’s Agent? A Seller’s Agent? A Dual Agent?
In the past, real estate agents always represented the seller, whether
the agent helped a seller to market and sell a home or helped a buyer
find and purchase a home. In other words, agents were at one time
legally bound to represent the seller in a residential real estate
transaction. In that scenario, the seller paid both the listing agent
and the agent who brought the buyer.
Today, agents either represent the buyer, the seller, or both. If you
want to sell your home, you can work with a “seller’s agent.” If you
want to buy a home, you can work with a “buyer’s agent.” Most states
require real estate agents to disclose to consumers who they represent.
Sometimes an agent will represent the buyer and the seller. A buyer who
elects this situation should receive full disclosure on representation.
In some states, dual agency affects the real estate professional’s
fiduciary responsibilities to the seller. The real estate agent you
choose should fully disclose how they work with individuals and the
options available to you.
Keep in mind that real estate laws differ from state to state and even
from locale to locale. For more in-depth answers, talk with a
knowledgeable real estate professional and ask about local practices. Be
sure you understand and are comfortable with the services of the real
estate agent you engage.