With the availability of information on the web about buying a home, the majority of buyers are doing so without buyer representation. This gives the home seller a clear advantage when it comes to negotiation, price and of course, is pending whether the offer is even accepted. Traditionally the buyer and seller agent/broker commissions are paid by the seller. Therefore buyer agency is at no charge to the buyer. Some brokers charge an admin fee. This of course can be negotiated.
BELOW ARE THE DEFINITIONS OF AGENCY REPRESENTATION:
Seller’s Agent: A seller’s agent works for the real estate company that lists and markets the property for the sellers and exclusively represents the sellers. A seller’s agent may assist the buyer in purchasing the property, but his or her duty of loyalty is only to the seller.
Buyer’s Agent: A buyer may enter into a written contract with a real estate broker which provides that the broker will represent the buyer in locating a property to buy. The agent from that broker’s company is then known as the buyer’s agent. The buyer’s agent assists the buyer in evaluating properties and preparing offers and developing negotiation strategies and working in the best interest of the buyer. The agent’s fee is paid according to the written agreement between the broker and the buyer. If you as a buyer wish to have an agent represent you, you must enter into a written brokerage agreement. Without a broker agreement, there is no buyer representation.
The possibility of dual agency arises when the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent both work for the same real estate company, and the buyer is interested in a property listed by that company. The real estate broker or the broker’s designee, is called the “dual agent.” Dual agents do not act exclusively in the interests of either the seller or buyer and therefore cannot give undivided loyalty to either party. There may be a conflict of interest because the interests of the seller and buyer may be different or adverse.
If both seller and buyer agree to dual agency by signing a Consent For Dual Agency form, the “dual agent” (the broker or the broker’s designee) shall assign one agent to represent the seller (the seller’s “intra-company agent”) and another agent to represent the buyer (the buyer’s “intra-company agent”). Intra-company agents are required to provide the same services to their clients that agents provide in transactions not involving dual agencies, including advising their clients as to price and negotiation strategies.