A common question among home buyers and sellers is if they can use the same real estate agent or broker to buy a house as well as sell their house. Here’s the long and short answer.

As a real estate agent, I am licensed to assist buyers and sellers in all residential real estate transactions. Many agents may specialize or prefer helping only buyers or sellers, but a licensed agent can do both. It’s quite common for the same agent to list and sell a house for a homeowner and then help those folks buy a house, as long as it’s in the same general area. Those selling in one area and buying in another will often have different local agents.

Having the same agent for both transactions is much easier for all parties involved. The agent that helped sell your house also understands what you’re looking for and has knowledge of your finances and budget and can help with lenders, escrow and title all in one fell swoop. Dealing with too many agents can get tricky so for this situation, it’s best to have the same agent handle both transactions.

However, there is what’s called ‘dual agency’ and this is a different beast altogether. Having one agent represent the same client, whether they are buying or selling is different than having one agent working with both the buyer and seller for the same house.

For instance, the listing agent selling a house may also have a buyer’s agency agreement already in place with a buyer interested in writing an offer on the house. In this case, the agent would need to disclose the situation to both buyer and seller and have everyone agree in writing that the agent will be acting as a “neutral party” in this transaction. Anything that was disclosed previously by either party would be kept confidential. In a situation where the listing agent gets a call from a buyer interested in the house since there was not already a buyer’s agency relationship, the agent can act as a “selling agent” and write an offer for the buyer on the house. It’s important for the agent to make clear to the buyer that they are representing the seller in this transaction and that anything that the buyer discloses may be relayed to the seller. This is why most homebuyers prefer to have their own representation in the form of a buyer’s agent that is not working for the seller of the house.

For more information on agency relationships or if you have any questions about my responsibilities and how I work for you, call or text me at 248-752-3088.

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