What is an Exclusive Buyer Agent, Buyers Agents, Buyer’s Agency
Learn About Different Types of Buyer Agents
The exact legal definition of the term “Buyer’s Agent” will vary a little bit depending on what state or country you are in, but, in general, a buyer‘s agent is defined as a principal-agent relationship in which a broker is the agent for a buyer, with fiduciary responsibilities to the buyer.
In most states a real estate broker is the highest level of license for someone in the the real estate business and a broker can contract with and be paid by a consumer. The lower level of license is typically called a real estate sales person. Someone with a real estate salesperson license can not legally contract with a consumer directly or legally be paid by a consumer directly. A licensed salesperson must work under the supervision of a broker.
The actual definition can get a little confusing because a lot of people with basic real estate licenses call themselves buyer’s agents and that really is not the correct use of the term.
The legal relationship is with the broker, not the salesperson.
If the broker and all the salespeople licensed under the broker are representing the buyer it is correct to call any of them a buyer’s agent.
However in recent years brokerages have made an intentional shift in their business models so an individual salesperson can act for a buyer. This allows the brokerages to continue to take advantage of the lucrative dual agency business, while making consumers more comfortable with the conflict of interest. This has required changes to license law and different states have different terms for these “almost buyer agents.” They may be called designated buyer agents, delegated buyer agents or something else in your state.
Exclusive Buyer Agents are real estate professionals who work in offices that always work for buyers, never sellers. Exclusive Buyer Agency companies never list homes.
You need to understand the forms of buyer agency in your state before you start the home buying process. Contact NAEBA now to speak to a home buying expert who can review the state specific terminology with you.