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Descriptions of Agency: The Buyer Agency Agreement
There are agents, and then there are agents. Yes, it sounds confusing. That's because the term "agent" is often used in a casual manner, referring to any real estate practitioner.
The birth of buyer agency
For many years, real estate was practiced in such a manner that agency relationships were only extended to sellers. Any real estate agent who brought a buyer to the table was actually working as a sub-agent to the seller.
You may not know if you're a customer or a client.
Depending on the laws in your state, you may find yourself working with someone who is actually negotiating for the seller, not you the buyer. The best way to be certain your interests are being considered and protected is to sign a buyer agency agreement with a trained buyer's rep, which clearly establishes client-level services and spells out what services you can depend upon. What about dual agency?
In some cases, it will become necessary for your real estate professional to deviate from the single agency model. For example, a buyer-client may become interested in a house that also happens to be offered for sale by a seller-client of their buyer's rep, or by the same brokerage firm. How can a buyer's rep, in this instance, maintain complete loyalty to their buyer if he or she also owes complete loyalty to the seller?
Other types of relationships
Some states also allow different types of relationships beyond agency relationships. For example, a transaction broker assumes responsibility to facilitate the transaction, rather than represent one side over the other. Further obligations may also be set forth in a written contract with a client.
Issues to discuss with a buyer's representative
Real estate agency relationships, like all business relationships, can be formed in a number of ways. In order to help talk through your options, here are several questions to ask your buyer's rep:
For questions regarding Coeur d'Alene real estate such as golf course homes, building lots, residential and waterfront properties, please contact Kevin & Carol at 208-818-0002.
Copyright Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council. Reprinted from REBAC.net with permission
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