Agency relationships

Make Offer to the Listing Agent?

For example, suppose you see a property that you really like and you do not yet have an agent yet? Should you make an offer with the listing agent?

Traditionally, most deals have two real estate agents involved. The listing agent typically markets the house and represents the seller. The selling (buyers) agent represents the buyer. The seller customarily pays the real estate commissions to both agents.

Making an offer directly to the listing agent means there is only one agent involved instead of two. Things work a little differently this way.

Agency relationships and needed Disclosures

When you make an offer directly with the listing agent, the agent is required to disclose the potential working relationships. They must disclose whether they are going to represent both of you or just represent the seller in the transaction. There is a document you should sign called an “agency disclosure” that spells out all business relationships.

When Realtors represent both sides, an ethical agent becomes more of a transaction agent, or acts as a ‘dual agent,’ depending on which state you live in. Effectively, they are not an actual advocate for either party, but mostly provide information and communication between parties.

The agent should convey offers and counter-offers between parties, but will not provide opinions or advise to one party or the other. Additionally, they will answer questions, explain things as the transaction progresses, make suggestions about whether getting inspections is a good idea, etc. But remember, they will not be your advocate or the advocate of the seller.

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