If you've become confused about some terminology that's used in the real estate world, you're not alone. For this reason, we have assembled a list of the different types of real estate agents and what they do.
Buyer's agent - This is the agent that is going to help you buy a home. Both you and the agent will sign an agreement authorizing him to help you find your dream home while at the same time keeping all of your personal information confidential.
Seller's agent - This agent is working for the seller. A potential buyer can approach the real estate agent that is helping the seller and ask any questions. All questions asked must be answered truthfully and fairly by the agent.
Dual agent - When a seller and a buyer are represented by one agent, he is called a dual agent. He must work for both the buyer and the seller and has separate agreements with each one.
Working with a dual agent can become confusing. While the seller is looking for the highest price, the buyer is trying to get the best deal possible. The agent is supposed to be the intermediary that works on making both parties happy.
In most cases you're better off working with a buyer’s agent or a seller's agent when it's time to purchase or sell a home. While there are times when a dual agent can work out fine, usually you'll be best represented by your own agent to secure the home deal. He'll be able to pull out his best negotiating tactics and work on your behalf exclusively. This keeps things simple - which is exactly how you want them to be when you're about to purchase what will probably be the largest asset you own.