When you decide to put your home on the market, or buy a home, you think that all you have to do is go to a real estate agency and talk to an agent. In actuality, there are many types of real estate agents. One such agent is called the seller's or listing agent.
The listing agent is the agent that a seller hires to assist in the sale of their home or property. The agreement that is signed gives the agent the exclusive right to list the property for sale for a certain period of time. This period of time is usually between three and six months. The agent gets a commission when the sale is made. This agent only represents the seller and they have to keep the seller's best interest in mind when they are trying to sell the property.
The next type of agent is called a buyer's agent, which means that if you walk into an office and say you want to buy a home, they will show you the houses they have under listing, but they will not act as your agent. This agent is actually the agent for the sellers of the homes he has listed. If they are with a brokerage, they can show you properties that are listed with that brokerage. The best way to make sure that the agent has your best interests in mind is to enter into a buyer's agreement making them a buyer's agent. Now this agent has the obligation to find the house that is right for you at the best price. When you sign the agreement, it will state the price for their services.
The next type of agent is called a dual agent, which means that this particular agent works for both the seller and the buyer. This type of agent has both pros and cons when it comes to choosing this type of agent. When the agent is working with both parties, they have not clear-cut duty for loyalty to either the buyer or seller. The agent may have a perspective buyer in mind and they know that they really want the home, but cannot afford to pay what the seller is asking. The agent may try to get the seller to reduce the asking price to accommodate the buyer.
In addition, a dual agent maybe earning a commission from the buyer and seller so they may be focusing on the commission and not the best deal for either party.