Listing, Selling and Dual Agents
Listing Agents - Sometimes referred to as a seller's agent. The client will contact him or her directly in response to an advertisement, a soliciting phone call, word-of-mouth referral from a family member, friend or co-worker, etc. Either way, the listing agent's main task is to market the property so as to attract potential buyers. She/he uses a variety of methods to arouse interest in the property. The job is not so much to advertise to buyers as it is to advertise to selling agents who will bring buyers to the property.
Selling Agents - Not all buyers choose to work with selling agents, but it is highly recommended. Selling agents are well-educated about the real estate market. They should be able to tell you what types of properties are for sale, where they are located, and for how much. What is the resale potential of your prospective home ? Are you paying what it is actually worth ? These are questions that a selling agent can answer for you. Doing all that research on your own would take countless hours and meanwhile, homes that are perfect for you might be getting snapped up by other buyers. Her/His duty is to get you the best possible price and terms on a purchase. Disclosing all material facts about the property, possible problems and repairs the property may encounter, disclosing any facts that might lead to negotiate the price.
Dual Agents - Occasionally, an agent will represent both parties involved in the purchase/sale of a home. One situation where this occurs is when a listing agent markets a home, and is approached directly by a buyer presenting an offer (as opposed to having the buyer's agent representing the buyers present the offer). This type of agent is acting as a dual agent. Some real estate agencies go so far as to forbid dual agencies.