Linda Fosdick, Associate Broker

Agency – Explained

Understanding who’s working for you.

Real Estate is complicated enough as it is, but there is one critical aspect you need to understand: Who is working for Whom? Everyone knows that when you drive by a real estate sign the “listing agent’s” name and phone number are there for you to contact. Clearly, if you want information about that property, it makes sense to call the number on the sign. But, if you are a buyer, understand that you are calling the listing agent who is hired by, works for, is accountable to, and is paid by the seller. The Listing Agent represents the Seller; the Buyer’s Agent represents the Buyer. That sounds simple enough, but the deeper implications are meaningful.

According to the Virginia Realtor® Code of Ethics, Realtors®, have certain obligations to their client. A client is a person with whom you have an “agency” relationship. These obligations include honesty, obedience, loyalty, disclosure, confidentiality, accounting and reasonable care and diligence” A buyer’s agent owes these obligations to their client, not the seller. A listing agent owes these obligations to their client, not the buyer. A Realtor owes those duties only if they are in an agency relationship with you. An agency relationship provides specific benefits to the client that does not exist outside of an agency relationship.

Imagine it this way; you are party to a lawsuit - you need someone to represent you, someone who will look out for your best interests. You probably wouldn’t hire the same attorney who is representing your opponent in the lawsuit. It is not possible for the attorney to obtain the best possible outcome for both sides of the lawsuit, as each side has a different objective. And, your attorney would not work to represent you unless you had hired him to do so. Simple solution, ask your Realtor® to work for you.