You found a home before finding an agent. Would it be easier to just use the seller’s agent? Answer is no – and it could be illegal. Here’s why you should never use the seller’s agent instead of finding one of your own.
Where is your agent’s loyalty?
A real estate agent is legally obligated to look after the best interest of their client. A seller wants the highest price they can get for their home. A buyer wants the lowest price they can pay for their home. Therefore, one person cannot represent both parties equally. Since sellers pay their commission, any agent representing both buyer and seller would be automatically considered to be biased in their favor.
Agent double-dipping could be illegal
There is a term for when a single agent represents both sides of a real estate transaction. It’s called dual agency.
In many states, it’s downright illegal for one agent to represent both buyer and seller. These states include Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Oklahoma, Texas, Vermont, and Wyoming.
In all other states, it’s technically legal for an agent to represent both buyer and seller, but there are disclosures and written consent forms that must be signed by both parties.
It’s legal in my state
If you know how dangerous dual agency is, and you decide to move forward anyway, no-one can really stop you as long as you and the seller both sign all the required forms. But why would you risk your best interests? Having a buyer’s agent doesn’t cost anything, as the seller pays their commission, too.
The best course of action is to always insist on your own agent, just to make sure your rights and interests are fully protected.
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