Who Does Your Real Estate Agent Represent?
When purchasing real estate it’s important to understand your relationship with the real estate involved in the transaction. Below are a few explanations about how real estate agents work with buyers and sellers.
The Buyer’s Agent
When you’re purchasing a home, the real estate agent you hire to help you find a property is the buyer’s agent. That means that they are there to represent your interests. However, it’s important to be clear about what their obligations are when you sign the agreement; because some buyer’s agents may also represent sellers.
The Seller’s Agent
The real estate agent representing the seller is obligated to protect that seller’s interests. Sometimes a buyer may opt to work with the seller’s agent in lieu of having their own agent. If you choose to do that, keep in mind that the agent will always protect the seller’s interests first and foremost. Anything you tell a seller’s agent could get back to the seller.
The state of Washington allows dual agency. Dual agency is when a real estate agent represents both the buyer and the seller. A dual agent has limited fiduciary obligations to both the seller and the buyer; but they are not allowed to put the interests of one party over the other. The law requires that all parties are informed of dual agency and that they give written consent.
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