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Understanding Real Estate Representation

Posted: May 29, 2018 by Anna Jotham

Whether you’re ready to sell your home or you’re ready to buy a new home, having a real estate agent on your side is important to ensure an expert is looking out for your best interests and can help you navigate the complexities of the transaction. As an essential part of that partnership, you’ll want to have a full understanding of real estate representation—because while it may seem clear from the outset, in truth representation can be complex.


  • The basics of buyer representation - When you are in the market to purchase a property, you may be interested in partnering with a Realtor you trust who will represent your best interests. If so, you may enter into a brokerage agreement with that Realtor. When done, that real estate agent represents you and your financial interests as you shop for a new home.

  • The basics of seller representation - When you’re ready to sell your home, you want a professional who knows the ins and outs of the real estate transaction process and who can be a trusted advisor during the process. You will likely want to enter into a brokerage agreement with a Realtor for that reason. When you have secured seller representation, your real estate agent and their firm are legally required to represent you as a seller and your financial concerns

    Buyer and seller representation may seem clear cut, and they are if the both agents are affiliated with separate companies. The confusion comes in when agents for the buyer and the seller work for the same agency or brokerage. In that event, it’s worth your while to understand the main types of agencies, and what they’re all about.


  • Buyer agency - A buyer agency is a real estate agent from a brokerage representing the buyer alone in the transaction.
  • Seller agency - A seller agency is a real estate agent from a brokerage (different than the buyer agency) representing the seller alone in a real estate transaction.
  • Seller representation - As a buyer, remember that when calling the listing agent or the number on the sign in the yard, (regardless of how friendly they are) that agent represents the seller—not you.
  • Dual agency - When a real estate agent from one agency represents both parties in the transaction: the buyer and the seller, it is known as dual agency. The Realtor must represent the interests of both parties equally in the course of the transaction. The agent, for that reason, must protect the confidentiality of both parties and may not be able to offer full advice to either as a result.
  • Designated agency - When a single brokerage, but different agents, represents the buyer and the seller in a real estate transaction, that is known as a designated agency. Full advice, along with confidentiality, is available to each client in this scenario.



Whether you are eager to buy a new home, or ready to move on, having the right representation during a real estate transaction is key to getting the ideal terms of the sale or purchase of a home. Keep in mind, real estate representation varies from state to state, so be sure to review the agency disclosure to see what options are available in your state.

You may also like:

La Crosse Homes for Sale | Onalaska Homes for Sale | Black River Falls Homes for Sale | Tomah Homes for Sale Rochester Homes for Sale  | Winona Homes for Sale

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