Differences between buyer’s agents and seller’s agents

By Saul Rosenthal
Special to The PREVIEW

Q: What is the difference between a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent? Does it matter which kind I hire to work with me?

A: Most people choose a professional, typically a Realtor, to help when they are buying or selling a home. It’s important, therefore, that you understand how real estate professionals represent the parties during the transaction.

The way an agent or broker represents you is called agency. At the time you sign a contract to work with that person, you will need to understand how you are being represented — in other words, what kind of agency you are agreeing to in the contract.

If you are a buyer, you most likely will want to choose to work with someone who is representing only you, called a buyer’s agent. By representing you alone, your broker looks out only for your interests in the transaction and cannot disclose information to the seller that would be damaging to your efforts to buy the property. Even though a buyer’s agent is working exclusively for you, the seller is typically the one who pays the commissions to all of the brokers involved.

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This story was posted on November 19, 2015.