Working with Agents

How a real estate agent can help you

Buying or selling a home is for many of us the largest purchase we´ll ever make. Because the stakes are so high, it´s important to consider how a real estate agent, Realtor, or broker might assist us with the transaction.

The Agency Relationship

When you hire a real estate professional or anywhere else in the US, you work with the agent within a legal relationship called agency. The agency relationship exists when you give an agent (or their company) the authority to represent you in dealings with others. It is not always a contractual relationship, though some agents prefer to formalize an agreement with you.

Agents and their employees are legally obligated to protect and promote the interests of their clients.

The agent must

In a single transaction, each buyer and seller can be represented by their own dedicated agents.

Dual Agency

When the buyer and the seller are represented by the same agent, it is referred to as dual agency. Obviously, since the agent is committed to a promise of confidentiality and loyalty, this circumstance requires some concessions on the part of both the buyer and seller. Both buyer and seller should be asked to consent in writing to a limited agency relationship.

This limited relationship should state that the agent will

No Agency Relationship

If you call a listing agent to see a particular property, you have no agency relationship. Regardless, the agent has an ethical and legal responsibility to provide accurate, truthful answers to any questions you have. The agent can explain real estate terms and practices as well as make offers, however, they may not negotiate for you or provide any confidential information about the principal. Also, a salesperson who is not your agent, should never be given information that you would not want to tell their client.

Your Responsibilities

As a buyer or a seller, you should always read and understand any document you sign. Before signing, ask any questions needed to clarify the intent of the document. Also, if you need additional advice, contact your lawyer, accountant, or other professionals such as engineers and surveyors to get answers to specific questions best answered by qualified experts.


Find a qualified real estate pro at Hearth Real Estate .

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