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
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.