Hiring Real Estate Professional

Hiring a Real Estate Professional

One of the biggest mistakes buyers make is to start shopping for a home before they select a real estate professional. Rather than interviewing candidates and making an informed choice, they drive off with a real estate professional who happens to be holding an open house in their preferred neighborhood. Or they pick a real estate professional whose name is on a for-sale sign or who answers the brokerage’s telephone when they call about a home advertised in the newspaper.
There are some very important things you should consider when choosing a real estate professional. One of the first considerations is who the agent represents during the process.

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It’s important to know the differences between a real estate professional who represents a seller (the "traditional" role of a sales associate), a real estate professional who represents a buyer, and one who represents both. In most areas, real estate professionals are now legally obliged to disclose, in writing, information on the various types of real estate agency relationships that exist.

· Seller’s Agent – A real estate professional becomes a seller’s agent by entering into a listing agreement to represent the seller’s interests. Seller representation may also be created when a real estate professional shows a property on the Multiple Listing Service and "buyer agency" has not been created. The seller’s agent can provide information to assist the buyer, but they must place the interests of the seller first. A buyer should not disclose anything to the seller’s agent they do not want the seller to know.
· Buyer’s Agent – A real estate professional becomes the buyer’s agent by entering into an agreement to represent the buyer. A buyer’s agent can assist the seller, but does not represent the seller. The buyer’s agent must place the interests of the buyer first. A seller should not tell the buyer’s agent anything they would not want the buyer to know, because the buyer’s agent must disclose any pertinent information to the buyer.
· Dual Agent – Dual agency occurs when a real estate professional represents both the seller and the buyer. It can also occur when the listing or seller’s agent works for the same real estate company as the buyer’s agent. In most states, the buyer, the seller, and the agent must agree in writing for the creation of dual agency. The dual agent is required to treat the buyer and seller honestly and impartially. In dual agency, the agent’s duties are more limited and there is potential for conflict of interest.

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