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Dealing with Real Estate Agents

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By : Kelly g    99 or more times read
Historically, real estate agents have represented the seller of a property. The seller, after all, is usually the one who pays their commission, and agents therefore have a fiduciary relationship with the seller. This in no way means that agents may operate outside the bounds of the law and ethical conduct of course. It just means that the real estate agent is just that, an authorized agent of the seller for a particular transaction. Another way to get an agent to take you seriously is to offer a fast closing. Nothing makes an agent salivate more than the thought of a commission check in ten days.

More recent trends have introduced buyer's agents, who usually works on a fee basis exclusively for the buyer and the agents. Agents represent both seller and buyer, particularly in cases where the agent's company is the listing company. The higher the price, the higher their commission, so their reasoning is that agents never really have the buyer's best interests at heart. Sometimes you will get the opposite of an uncooperative agent - an overzealous agent. Be suspicious of an agent who tells you what a deal you are getting on a property. If it is such a good deal, why didnít he buy it? Donít take his word as to the value. Ask for a printout of comparable sales.

Be aware that information contained in the MLS computer was entered by the listing broker and may be exaggerated. If a comparable sale shows the same square footage as the house you are looking at, take a drive by and see if it is accurate. Do your own assessment of value.

If you cannot finesse an agent, donít be afraid to stand up to him. Some agents are unethical and will refuse to present your offer. The bottom line in dealing with a dual agent is to remember that the buyer and seller have conflicting interests in the price and other terms of the sale. It's very difficult for an agent to truly and equally represent both parties, since the conflicting interests make that inherently impossible. If you do choose to use an agent, be sure the exact nature of your relationship with the agent is clear, know what services the agent will be performing for you during the transaction, how the agent will be paid, and how any conflicts that arise will be handled.
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