It is a common scenario– a real estate agent is in their office when the phone rings. A buyer happened to call there on a home for sale that is not listed with that office. They ask if the agent is the listing agent. When the agent answers that she is not the listing agent, the buyer is quick to hang up and seek out the other agent.
This misconception seems to be very popular with the buying community, however, the listing agent represents the SELLER. Thinking that there is a some sort of advantage to using the seller’s agent is completely incorrect. When an agent sits at an open house, their main goal is procure an interested buyer to present their client with the highest offer possible.
In NJ, there is a type of agency known as disclosed dual agency. This allows a real estate agent to represent both buyer and seller. This, however, is a very precarious position for the agent as there are certain things that the agent may learn about each side as the transaction progresses that can not be relayed.
When a Realtor represents a seller or buyer client, they have a fiduciary responsibility to them. This includes: care, obedience, accountability, loyalty and disclosure. Many aspects of this duty are negated when one agent represents both sides.
Working with a buyer agent has many advantages. These agents can show any property that is listed for sale within their Multiple Listing System-this includes other agencies’ listings. The buyer’s agent main goal is to find a home suitable for their client and o negotiate the lowest price possible. Their focus is the buyer’s needs and wants.
Purchasing a home can at times be stressful. The last thing any buyer or seller will want to have to worry about is if the deal that has been negotiated is truly to their advantage. Many agents do in fact handle home sales successfully when they have represented both sides but the question remains– would the outcome have been different if two separate agents had handled the negotiations? Put your mind at ease and find a professional to fully represent your interests.