Finding the right real estate agent to represent you is important. Technically, while there are exclusive buyers’ agents –meaning real estate agents who never represent sellers–you can hire any real estate agent to represent you as a buyer.
As a buyer, if you wish to avoid even the most remote possibility of a conflict of interest, avoid dual agency relationships. Dual agency occurs when a real estate agent (or two agents working for the same real estate broker) represents both the buyer and seller. That means, if you like a specific listing and wish to pursue it you should use a real estate agent or broker other than the one showing the home. If you meet a real estate agent at, say, an open house and hit it off and wish to use him/her to represent you as a buyer, then make sure you’re crystal clear that you do not wish to see listings from that agent or the broker for whom they work.
If you’re not concerned about the potential conflict of interest, simply make sure you hire an agent with the right mix of experience (i.e. property type, location, etc) and that the agent is very clear about which properties are and are not their employer’s listings.
No matter what you choose to do, make sure you hire an agent to represent you, and before you sign an agreement with the agent have your attorney go over the agreement with you.
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