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Working With An Agent To Buy A Home In The Triangle Area

"I am thinking about buying a property here in the Triangle. What do I need to know about working with a real estate agent to  buy my home?"  "Can a real estate agent work with me and the seller at the same time?" These are all good questions!  The North Carolina Real Estate Commission has created a brief video which explains how real estate agency works. 

Working with REAL Estate Agents (as shared on the North Carolina Real Estate Commission website) When buying or selling real estate, you may find it helpful to have a real estate agent assist you. Real estate agents can provide many useful services and work with you in different ways.

In some real estate transactions, the agents work for the buyer. In others, the seller and buyer may each have agents. And sometimes the same agents work for both the buyer and the seller. It is important for you to know whether an agent is representing you as your agent or simply assisting you while acting as an agent of the other party.

This brochure addresses the various types of agency relationships that may be available to you. It should help you decide which relationship you want to have with a real estate agent. It will also give you useful information about the various services real estate agents can provide buyers and sellers, and it will help explain how real estate agents are paid.

Duties to Buyer:

The firm and its agents must • promote your best interests • be loyal to you • follow your lawful instructions • provide you with all material facts that could influence your decisions • use reasonable skill, care and diligence, and • account for all monies they handle for you. Once you have signed the  buyer agency agreement, the firm and its agents may not give any confidential information about you to prospective sellers or their agents without your permission so long as they represent you.  But until you sign the buyer agency agreement, you should avoid telling the buyer agent anything you would not want a seller to know.

Dual Agent

You may even permit the listing firm and its agents to represent you and a seller at the same time. This “dual agency relationship” is most likely to happen if an agent with your buyer agent firm is working as a seller’s agent with someone who wants to sell you their property. If this occurs and you have not already agreed to a dual agency relationship in your agreement, your agent will ask you to amend your agreement to permit the agent to act as agent for both you and the seller. It may be difficult for a dual agent to advance the interests of both the buyer and seller.

Nevertheless, a dual agent must treat buyers and sellers fairly and equally. Although the dual agent owes them the same duties, buyers and sellers can prohibit dual agents from divulging certain confidential information about them to the other party. Some firms also offer a form of dual agency called “designated dual agency” where one agent in the firm represents the seller and another agent represents the buyer.

This option (when available) may allow each “designated agent” to more fully represent each party. If you choose the “dual agency” option, remember that since a dual agent’s loyalty is divided between parties with competing interests, it is especially important that you have a clear understanding of what your relationship is with the dual agent and what the agent will be doing for you in the transaction.

Buyers When buying real estate, you may have several choices as to how you want a real estate firm and its agents to work with you. For example, you may want them to represent only you (as a buyer’s agent). You may be willing for them to represent both you and the seller at the same time (as a dual agent). Or you may agree to let them represent only the seller (seller’s agent or subagent).

Some agents will offer you a choice of these services. Others may not. Agent’s Initials Acknowledging Disclosure: (Note: This brochure is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract for service.) The North Carolina Real Estate Commission P.O. Box 17100 • Raleigh, North Carolina 27619-7100 919/875-3700 • Web Site: REC 3.45 3/1/12