Agency Is Important to Understand
When you enter into a discussion with a real estate agent regarding a real estate transaction, you should from the outset understand what type of agency relationship or representation you wish to have with the agent in the transaction.
Seller's Agent: Owes a Fiduciary Duty of utmost care, integrity, honesty and loyalty in dealings with the Seller. Plus a Duty to the Buyer and Seller of diligent exercise of reasonable skill and care in performance of the agent's duties. A Duty of Honesty - Fair Dealing - Good Faith. A Duty to disclose all facts known to the agent materially affecting the value or desirability of the property that are not known to, or within the diligent attention and observation of, the parties. A Prudent Seller may request that the agent represent only the Seller and not prospective Buyers which would create a DUAL AGENCY situation.
Buyer's Agent: A Selling Agent can, with a Buyer's consent, agree to act as agent for the Buyer only. In these situations, the agent is not the Seller's agent, even if by agreement the agent may receive compensation for services rendered, either in full or in part from the Seller. An agent acting only for a Buyer has the same affirmative obligations (duties) as defined above.
Agent Representing Both Seller and Buyer: A Real Estate Agent can legally be the agent of both the Seller and the Buyer in a transaction, but only with the knowledge and consent of both the Seller and the Buyer.