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Who Represents Whom in Real Estate Transaction

Listing agents and buyer's agents! Who works for me?

In a real estate transaction who represents whom can sometimes be confusing. You have buyer’s agents, listing agents, and attorneys who all are involved in getting your home to closing.

The listing agent is the one who has the sign in the front yard. That person represents the seller and is the person marketing and promoting the home. Buyers may call the listing agent for information about a home but they should be aware that the listing agent is working for the seller. The listing agent as well as the buyer’s agent owes all parties fairness and honesty.

Buyers have two choices on representation. They may choose to be represented by a buyer’s agent. This is the preferred choice of most buyers. Representation by a buyer’s agent cost the buyer nothing but it means that in the transaction someone is protecting their interest.

Buyers may choose to have no representation and may do so when they see a home with the listing agent and want to put an offer in on that home. If a buyer has any doubt about representation, they should seek a buyer’s agent to represent them in their purchase.

If you hire an agent to represent you, that agent is typically paid by the listing agent from their proceeds earned from the seller. As strange as that may sound the seller pays the listing agent and the listing agent agrees to an amount in advance that they will pay the buyer’s agent.

I think it would be wise to interview the agent before you begin your search. If you feel that it is a good match then hire that agent. Typically a buyer’s agent will not charge a fee to help you find a home.

Some agents will ask you to sign an agreement that you in fact work with them exclusively to find a home. This agreement lays out what is expected of both parties. It protects the agents time and effort and assures the buyer that somebody will be working diligently to find that perfect home.

The last piece of the puzzle is the attorney who handles the closing. The attorney represents the lender but is paid by the buyer or seller depending on the one  who agrees to pay the closing cost on the transaction.

The attorney handles the closing which includes the title search, executing the mountain of papers that must be signed by the parties and disburses the funds as directed by the contract.

If you have questions about representation please feel free to contact me, and I will be happy to help you. It can be confusing so shop around and ask questions before you make a decision.

You may also wish to read this detailed article written by John Adams for Realtor.com.

Happy Father’s day to all the super Fathers! Father’s day means not many open houses this week. Check back next week as I know several are planned. 

Homes just listed include the following.

Peachtree Corners
6205 Courtside Drive

Berkeley Lake
624 Lakeshore Drive

Charles Barbarow June 16, 2012 at 06:52 PM
This article is not completely accurate..as a Diclosed Dual Agent, a Listing Agent may reprsent both parties in a transaction. To eliminate any confusion a Licensed agent is supposed to by law give a new client immrediately upon contact a CIS form, Consumer Information Statement that completely spells out agency relationships and obligations..if an agent does not give a copy immediately, they are in violation of law.. Charles Barbarow Broker Associate RE/Max Home Connection Pine Brook,NJ
Nancy Minor June 16, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Thank you Charles for your comments. I understand each market handles agency in a different way. This article was not written to educate on the different types of agency but to make the buyer and seller aware of representation. Most  brokerages in our area including ours do not allow dual agency. We disclose representation as required by Georgia law. Nancy Minor
Charles Barbarow June 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM
Whoops, I apologize Nancy...for all readers please disregard my previous remarks.. I thought this article was written on Patch in New Jersey...did not realize it was about Georgia...I'm sure Nancy was absolutely correct... Charlie Barbarow

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