Four types of Realtors
1. SELLER AGENTS
— list property and represent the seller. Remember that if you are buying a home and call the listing company, it is the legal obligation of the companies agents to get the highest price and best terms for the seller. Any information given by a prospective homebuyer to the sellers agent must be told to the sellers. This includes any reference to the buyers financial and personal data, potentially increasing the cost of the home by thousands of dollars.
2. DUAL AGENTS
— are real estate agents whose company lists property for sale, but act as buyer agents on those properties. Unfortunately, for buyers and sellers, dual agents are legal in most states. While dual agents attempt to justify this practice, consumer advocates warn NEVER to use a dual agent. The National Association of Realtors wrote that the practice of dual agency is as dangerous as playing Russian Roulette. If a real estate company lists property and represents the seller–you can strongly doubt any attempted claim that their agents can properly represent homebuyers. Funny how some folks like the CIA do not like dual agents, because they know them as “double agents!”
3. TRANSACTION BROKERS
— are also known as a facilitators, finders, and statutory agents. These are true non-agents because there is no liability for wrongdoing. The attempt by a growing number of real estate agents to avoid the responsibility owed to buyers and sellers is legal in a few states (including Florida and Colorado). Services by transaction brokers are substantially reduced from those of true agents, and should be avoided by all sellers and buyers.
4. EXCLUSIVE BUYER AGENTS
— represent homebuyers–never sellers. These agents are required by law to get the best price and best terms for the Homebuyer. All consumer advocates recommend that homebuyers take advantage of the benefits offered by exclusive buyer agents. Exclusive buyer agents are specialists in the home buying process. This higher level of professional service for buyers has resulted in an average of over 5% savings and greater satisfaction for homebuyers. Because these agents do not list property, they do not have company listings to try to sell to you first. Instead, all homes are available to homebuyers without bias, including For-Sale-by-Owner, New Build Construction by homebuilders, and Multiple Listing Service (other Realtor listings). Exclusive Buyer Brokers will better protect the interests of buyers than dual agents, sub-agents, designated agents, or so called split agents. They are more likely to negotiate a lower sale price on a home, for example.
According to the Consumer Federation of America, when interviewing real estate agents or buyer brokers to buy a home, “Make certain at least one is a Buyer Broker that works exclusively with buyers.”