Real Estate Terms Explained

Understand the Lingo: Real Estate Terms

Are you planning a move, but feel like you need a dictionary? Real estate agreements can involve many different people in different roles, and it can be hard for someone unfamiliar with the terms to sort out who’s who and why they are all necessary. Realtor Magazine offers a basic outline of the different roles that can be filled. We want to review these terms with you.

What is a Listing Agent?

A listing agent is the person hired by and representing the seller. Listing agents may also be called the “seller’s representative” or the “seller’s agent.” The listing agent’s duty is to the seller, and is usually created through a signed contract. Their job is to get the best price and terms for the seller in the real estate sale agreement. The listing agent is generally paid a commission by the seller after the property’s sale.

What is a Buyer’s Agent?

The buyer’s agent, or buyer’s representative, is the counterpart to the listing agent. Buyer’s agents are hired by and represent the buyer. Their duty is to the buyer, and their job is to get the best price and terms for the buyer. The buyer’s agent may be paid in a few different ways depending on their agreement with the buyer and the terms of the finalized property sale. Sometimes they will receive a direct negotiated fee from the buyer; other times they may be paid by the seller or through a commission split with the listing agent.

What is a Subagent?

A subagent is a cooperating sales associate that holds the same duty as the listing or buyer’s agent who they are standing in for. Most frequently, this real estate term refers to a cooperating sales associate from another brokerage who shows a property to a buyer on behalf of the listing agent. In this case, the subagent’s duty is to the listing agent and thereby the seller.

What is a Disclosed Dual Agent?

A disclosed dual agent represents both the buyer and the seller with the agreement of both parties. A real estate agent in this position may experience conflict of interest, and will need to balance the interests of both buyer and seller. This is legal in most states, but usually requires written consent from everyone involved. Informed consent from all parties is essential when a disclosed dual agent handles a real estate transaction.

Further Questions About Real Estate Terms

If you have further questions about the terms you encounter during a real estate transaction, your real estate agent is a great resource. Remember, in a transaction where you are the buyer, your real estate agent is your buyer’s agent. In a transaction where you are the seller, your real estate agent is the listing agent. Trying to find the right agent for you? Check out these questions to ask a realtor.

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