Choosing a Real Estate Professional
Selecting a real estate sales professional is one of the most important choices you’ll make during the process. It’s a good idea to interview several sales professionals before selecting one to represent you. Consider these Interview Checklist questions when comparing sales professionals.
In a real estate transaction, sales professionals may represent the seller, the buyer, or both parties. This representation is called an “agency.” Traditionally, a sales professional is the seller’s representative. So, unless otherwise stated and/or documented in writing, you should assume the real estate professional is working for the seller. In many regions, real estate sales professionals are legally obliged to disclose, in writing, information on the types of real estate agency relationships that exist. It is important to understand the differences between these agencies whether you are buying or selling a home.
Real Estate Representation
Seller’s Agent—A sales professional becomes a Seller’s Agent by entering into a listing agreement to represent the seller’s interests. Seller representation also exists when a sales professional shows a property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and a “buyer agency” isn’t established. A Seller’s Agent may provide information to assist the buyer but must place the interests of the seller first.
Buyer’s Agent—A sales professional becomes a Buyer’s Agent by entering into an agreement to represent the buyer. A Buyer’s Agent can assist the seller, but must place the interests of the buyer first.
Dual Agent—Dual agency occurs when a sales professional represents both the seller and the buyer. It also occurs when the Listing or Seller’s Agent works for the same firm as the Buyer’s Agent. In many states, the buyer, the seller, and the sales professional must agree to a dual agency in writing.