There are so many terms in real estate that sometimes can be a little challenging keeping up with all of them but there are definitely certain ones that should be fully understood before a real estate transaction takes place.
Whether you are buying or selling a property knowing the different types of agent and knowing what each one means can help you determine which type of agency is the best for your transaction.
The 6 different types of real estate agents and what each one means
The term “agency” is used in real estate to help determine what legal responsibilities your real estate professional owes to you and other parties in the transaction.
However, each type of real estate agent holds different sets of responsibilities; here they are:
Listing agent aka seller's agent - Hired by and represents the seller. All fiduciary duties are owed to the seller, meaning this person’s job is to get the best price and terms for the seller. The agency relationship usually is created by a signed listing contract.
Buyer’s agent - Hired by prospective buyers to and works in the buyer's best interest throughout the transaction. The buyer can pay the agent directly through a negotiated fee, or the buyer's rep may be paid by the seller or through a commission split with the seller’s agent.
Subagent - Owes the same fiduciary duties to the agent's customer as the agent does. Subagency usually arises when a cooperating sales associate from another brokerage, who is not the buyer’s agent, shows property to a buyer. The subagent works with the buyer to show the property but owes fiduciary duties to the listing broker and the seller. Although a subagent cannot assist the buyer in any way that would be detrimental to the seller, a buyer customer can expect to be treated honestly by the subagent.
Dual agent - A disclosed dual agent represents both the buyer and the seller in the same real estate transaction. In such relationships, dual agents owe limited fiduciary duties to both buyer and seller clients. Because of the potential for conflicts of interest in a dual-agency relationship, all parties must give their informed consent. Disclosed dual agency is legal in most states, but often requires written consent from all parties.
Designated agents aka called appointed agents - Chosen by a managing broker to act as an exclusive agent of the seller or buyer. This allows the brokerage to avoid problems arising from dual-agency relationships for licensees at the brokerage. The designated agents give their clients full representation, with all of the attendant fiduciary duties.
Transaction broker aka facilitator - Permitted in states where non-agency relationships are allowed. These relationships vary considerably from state to state. Generally, the duties owed to the consumer in a non-agency relationship are less than the complete, traditional fiduciary duties of an agency relationship.
There are numerous reasons to work with a realtor to help you with your real estate transaction but keep in mind that not every agent holds the same responsibilities and fiduciary duties to the same person. Ask these questions to ensure you are choosing the right agent for you and your situation at the time
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Information and data provided by Florida Realtors.