Articles & Publications

In Real Estate, Who Represents Whom? – Buyer’s Agents and Listing Agents

Posted April 8, 2013 by Nana Nyarko, Intern in Articles & Publications, Real Estate Publications

In real estate transactions today it can be difficult to figure out who is really representing your interests and who is representing the other side.

Closings for the sale of real property often include buyer's agents, listing agents, closing agents and settlement attorneys. In these transactions, there are differences among all of these people and whom they actually represent during the real estate process and at closing. These differences matter.

Buyers and sellers often are unaware of the difference between a buyer's agent and a listing agent and whom they represent in a transaction. Buyers should be aware that when they call on a listing they see online or in the newspaper to get more information, the agent represents the seller and has loyalty to that seller when negotiating a sales price. This agent is known as the "listing agent."

Because a listing agent is working on the seller's behalf, his or her job is to get an offer at the highest price for the seller's benefit. This creates a natural conflict of interest with a buyer's goal of purchasing the house at the lowest and best price they can.

For example, a colleague and his wife, while purchasing their first house, were discussing the price they were willing to pay with the listing agent. His wife told the agent that their offer was not the most they would pay; that if the seller did not accept the initial price, they were prepared to increase their offer and by how much.

Surprise!

The seller rejected the initial offer and countered, offering to sell for the exact amount they had told the agent. The listing agent did the correct thing by sharing this information with the seller since his or her duty of loyalty lies with the seller. The agent had no duty to keep the price discussion confidential and used that information to enable the seller to obtain a higher price.

When preparing to purchase a home, it is in the best interest of the buyer to find and work with an experienced buyer's agent who will not only have the buyer's best interests in mind, but who also has a duty to be loyal to the buyer when negotiating the purchase price.

It is best to make sure you are working with a dedicated buyer's agent by signing an Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement that binds your agent to work on your behalf and not the sellers. This is a huge benefit to the buyer because it helps to avoid paying more than necessary to purchase the perfect home.

The real estate agents are there to assist you. An agent who is representing your interests is your closest ally in the transaction.

For more information on who really represents whom, you can read this article written by John Adams for Realtor.com

 

For help with all your settlement needs contact Counselors Title, LLC at bethesda@ctitle.com.

For help with other residential and commercial real estate and business needs contact the attorneys at Press & Dozier, LLC at http://www.pressdozierlaw.com/