"Working With Real Estate Agents"  

WORKING WITH REAL ESTATE AGENTS

Whenbuyingorsellingrealestate,youmayfindithelpfultohavearealestateagentassistyou. Realestateagents can provide many useful services and work with you in different ways. In some real estate transactions, the agents work fortheseller. Inothers,thesellerandbuyermayeachhaveagents. Andsometimesthesameagentsworkforboththe buyerandtheseller. Itisimportantforyoutoknowwhetheranagentisrepresentingyouasyouragentorsimplyassisting you while acting as an agent of the other party.

This brochure addresses the various types of agency relationships that may be available to you. It should help you decide which relationship you want to have with a real estate agent. It will also give you useful information about the various services real estate agents can provide buyers and sellers, and it will help explain how real estate agents are paid.

SELLERS

Seller’s Agent

If you are selling real estate, you may want to “list” your property for sale with a real estate firm. If so, you will sign a “listing agreement” authorizing the firm and its agents to represent you in your dealings with buyers as your seller’s agent. Youmayalsobeaskedtoallowagentsfromotherfirmstohelpfindabuyerforyourproperty.

Besuretoreadandunderstandthelistingagreementbeforeyousignit. Youragentmustgiveyouacopyofthe listing agreement after you sign it.

Duties to Seller: The listing firm and its agents must promote your best interests be loyal to you follow your lawful instructions provide you with all material facts that could influence your decisions use reasonable skill, care and diligence, and account for all monies they handle for you. Once you have signed the listing agreement, the firm and its agents may not give any confidential information about you to prospective buyers or their agents without your permissionsolongastheyrepresentyou. Butuntilyousignthelistingagreement,youshouldavoidtellingthelisting agent anything you would not want a buyer to know.

Services and Compensation: To help you sell your property, the listing firm and its agents will offer to perform a number of services for you. These may include helping you price your property advertising and marketing your property giving you all required property disclosure forms for you to complete negotiating for you the best possible price and terms reviewing all written offers with you and otherwise promoting your interests.

Forrepresentingyouandhelpingyousellyourproperty,youwillpaythelistingfirmasalescommissionorfee. The listing agreement must state the amount or method for determining the sales commission or fee and whether you will allow the firm to share its commission with agents representing the buyer.

Dual Agent

Youmayevenpermitthelistingfirmanditsagentstorepresentyouandabuyeratthesametime. This“dualagency relationship” is most likely to happen if an agent with your listing firm is working as a buyer’s agent with someone who wantstopurchaseyourproperty. Ifthisoccursandyouhavenotalreadyagreedtoadualagencyrelationshipinyour listing agreement, your listing agent will ask you to amend your listing agreement to permit the agent to act as agent for both you and the buyer.

Itmaybedifficultforadualagenttoadvancetheinterestsofboththebuyerandseller. Nevertheless,adualagent musttreatbuyersandsellersfairlyandequally. Althoughthedualagentowesthemthesameduties,buyersandsellers can prohibit dual agents from divulging certain confidential information about them to the other party.

Some firms also offer a form of dual agency called “designated dual agency” where one agent in the firm represents thesellerandanotheragentrepresentsthebuyer. Thisoption(whenavailable)mayalloweach“designatedagent”tomore fully represent each party.

If you choose the “dual agency” option, remember that since a dual agent’s loyalty is divided between parties with

competing interests, it is especially important that you have a clear understanding of what your relationship is with the dual agent and what the agent will be doing for you in the transaction.

BUYERS

When buying real estate, you may have several choices as to how you want a real estate firm and its agents to work withyou. Forexample,youmaywantthemtorepresentonlyyou(asabuyer’sagent). Youmaybewillingforthemto represent both you and the seller at the same time (as a dual agent). Or you may agree to let them represent only the seller (seller’s agent or subagent). Some agents will offer you a choice of these services. Others may not.

Buyer’s Agent

Duties to Buyer: If the real estate firm and its agents represent you, they must promote your best interests be loyal to you follow your lawful instructions provide you with all material facts that could influence your decisions use reasonable skill, care and diligence, and account for all monies they handle for you. Once you have agreed (either orally or in writing) for the firm and its agents to be your buyer’s agent, they may not give any confidential information aboutyoutosellersortheiragentswithoutyourpermissionsolongastheyrepresentyou. Butuntilyoumakethis agreement with your buyer’s agent, you should avoid telling the agent anything you would not want a seller to know.

Unwritten Agreements: To make sure that you and the real estate firm have a clear understanding of what your relationshipwillbeandwhatthefirmwilldoforyou,youmaywanttohaveawrittenagreement. However,somefirms maybewillingtorepresentandassistyouforatimeasabuyer’sagentwithoutawrittenagreement. Butifyoudecideto make an offer to purchase a particular property, the agent must obtain a written agency agreement before writing the offer. If you do not sign it, the agent can no longer represent and assist you and is no longer required to keep information about you confidential.

Besuretoreadandunderstandanyagencyagreementbeforeyousignit. Onceyousignit,theagentmustgiveyoua copy of it.

Services and Compensation: Whether you have a written or unwritten agreement, a buyer’s agent will perform a number of services for you. These may include helping you find a suitable property arrange financing learn more about the property and otherwise promote your best interests. If you have a written agency agreement, the agent can also help you prepare and submit a written offer to the seller.

Abuyer’sagentcanbecompensatedindifferentways. Forexample,youcanpaytheagentoutofyourownpocket. Or the agent may seek compensation from the seller or listing agent first, but require you to pay if the listing agent refuses. Whatever the case, be sure your compensation arrangement with your buyer’s agent is spelled out in a buyer agency agreement before you make an offer to purchase property and that you carefully read and understand the compensation provision.

Dual Agent

Youmaypermitanagentorfirmtorepresentyouandtheselleratthesametime. This“dualagencyrelationship”is mostlikelytohappenifyoubecomeinterestedinapropertylistedwithyourbuyer’sagentortheagent’sfirm. Ifthisoccurs and you have not already agreed to a dual agency relationship in your (written or oral) buyer agency agreement, your buyer’s agent will ask you to amend the buyer agency agreement or sign a separate agreement or document permitting him or her to actasagentforbothyouandtheseller. Itmaybedifficultforadualagenttoadvancetheinterestsofboththebuyerand seller. Nevertheless, a dual agent must treat buyers and sellers fairly and equally. Although the dual agent owes them the same duties, buyers and sellers can prohibit dual agents from divulging certain confidential information about them to the other party.

Some firms also offer a form of dual agency called “designated dual agency” where one agent in the firm represents the sellerandanotheragentrepresentsthebuyer. Thisoption(whenavailable)mayalloweach“designatedagent”tomorefully

represent each party.
If you choose the “dual agency” option, remember that since a
dual agent’s loyalty is divided between parties with

competinginterests,itisespeciallyimportantthatyouhaveaclearunderstandingof whatyourrelationshipiswiththe dual agent and what the agent will be doing for you in the transaction. This can best be accomplished by putting the agreement in writing at the earliest possible time.

Seller’s Agent Working With a Buyer

If the real estate agent or firm that you contact does not offer buyer agency or you do not want them to act as your buyeragent,youcanstillworkwiththefirmanditsagents. However,theywillbeactingastheseller’sagent(or “subagent”). Theagentcanstillhelpyoufindandpurchasepropertyandprovidemanyofthesameservicesasabuyer’s agent. Theagentmustbefairwithyouandprovideyouwithany“materialfacts”(suchasaleakyroof)aboutproperties.

But remember, the agent represents the seller—not you—and therefore must try to obtain for the seller the best possible priceandtermsfortheseller’sproperty. Furthermore,aseller’sagentisrequiredtogivetheselleranyinformationaboutyou (evenpersonal,financialorconfidentialinformation)thatwouldhelpthesellerinthesaleofhisorherproperty. Agentsmust tellyouinwritingiftheyaresellers’agentsbeforeyousayanythingthatcanhelptheseller. Butuntilyouaresurethatan agent is not a seller’s agent, you should avoid saying anything you do not want a seller to know.

Sellers’ agents are compensated by the sellers.

Disclosure of Seller Subagency

(Complete, if applicable)

r 􏰀When showing you property and assisting you in the purchase of a property, the above agent and firm will represent the SELLER. For more information, see “Seller’s Agent Working with a Buyer” in the brochure.
Agent’s Initials Acknowledging Disclosure:

(Note: This brochure is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract for service.)

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission P.O.Box17100 Raleigh,NorthCarolina 27619-7100 919/875-3700 Web Site: www.ncrec.gov
REC3.45 3/1/12
00,000 copies of this public document were printed at a cost of $.000 per copy.

FOR BUYER/SELLER

Agent Name License Number Firm Name

Date

WORKING WITH REAL ESTATE AGENTS

Agents are required to review this with you and must retain this acknowledgment for their files.

This is not a contract

By signing, I acknowledge that the agent named below furnished a copy of this brochure and reviewed it with me.

Buyer or Seller Name (Print or Type) Buyer or Seller Signature
Buyer or Seller Name (Print or Type) Buyer or Seller Signature

Date
Firm Name Agent Name

License Number

Disclosure of Seller Subagency

(Complete, if applicable)

r 􏰀When showing you property and assisting you in the purchase of a property, the above agent and firm will represent the SELLER. For more information, see “Seller’s Agent Working with a Buyer” in the brochure.
Buyer’s Initials Acknowledging Disclosure: 

Beth Hines
Beth Hines
Broker Associate