Anyone who is interested in buying or selling property or real estate, they are likely to engage a real estate agent. Because of the complexity of most real estate transactions, real estate agents are necessary. Taking the time to understand the roles of the different agents involved in a transaction and who each agent is responsible for is an effective way to ensure that each real estate transaction is completed effectively for each involved party.
It is equally important to realize that each of the real estate agents and their roles are carefully regulated. There are a variety of laws and guidelines that real estate agency’s must adhere. In most cases these laws are regulated at the state level, although there are several that are federal statutory laws as well.
These laws and guidelines are primarily designed to protect the clients of real estate agents. An agent who is hired to represent a client or principle has a responsibility to represent them and protect their interests within the confines of the law. The second party, the one not represented by the agent in question is the customer. While the customer may have an agent of their own, the agent in question has no fiduciary responsibility to them, only their own client.
Further complicating matters is the vast array of “agencies” a real estate agent can enter into. From “express” agency in which a formalized contract is entered into to a gratuitous agency, it is important to clearly understand the relationship between client and agent. General agents, designated agents, special agents, listing agents the list goes on and on.
Real estate agents are there for a specific reason: to protect the interest of their clients and to ensure that the law is being followed. While it may seem more cost effective to handle property transactions yourself, an agent is always a good idea.