How do you find the right real estate agent? Also, what is the difference between a buyers agent and a

Asked by Hrs26, Philadelphia, PA Fri Apr 24, 2009

sellers agent? Are all agents both or are only some working for sellers and others working for buyers?

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Renee Porsia, Agent, Newtown, PA
Fri Apr 24, 2009
Hello again Hrs26,

I believe I touched on buyer agency just a little bit in my last answer to you. Buyer, seller and dual agency play very important roles in real estate.

When you meet with a Realtor for the very first time and discuss real estate, that Realtor needs to provide you with what is called a Consumer Notice. The Consumer Notice will explain seller, buyer and dual agency and how they benefit you. If the Realtor does not present you with the Consumer Notice, they are in violation of the commissions rules. Remember that when you are meeting with Realtors.

Until you hire a buyer agency, nobody is representing you. So anything you say, can and will be held against you. Think of it like your miranda rights. Be careful what you tell Realtors.

When a home owner lists their home with a Realtor, that Realtor is their selling agent. That Realtor represents the seller's best interest. They have made a commitment to the seller to sell their home for the highest price they can get for them.

Since the home owner has representation, you as a buyer should also have representation and higher a buyer agent. The buyer agent only represents you and looks out for you. The way you hire your buyer agent is to sign what is called a buyer broker agreement. Many Realtors will not ask buyers to sign the agreement fearing the buyer will not want to work with them. But if you do not hire an agent, you will not have representation and essentially, the agent works for the seller. You can go to the website: and read all about buyer agency, how and why it was created and what it means if you do not hire one for yourself. One good reason to hire a buyer agent is so you will be the Realtor's client and not a customer. You can read about what it means to be a client vs. customer on the site as well.

The way to find the best buyer agent for you, is to interview a few. You can find Realtors on Trulia or ask friends or family. A good buyer agent, only has your interests at heart and not theirs. Trust me, there are many Realtors out there who only have their best interests at heart and not their clients. You need to find out if the Realtor is an expert negotiator and will be aggressive. You surely do not want a Realtor who is afraid of confrontation. Someone who is afraid of hurting another Realtor's feelings or doesn't know how to present the facts without getting personal, is in my professional opinion, not a very good Realtor.

If you call the listing agent and view one of their listings that is called dual agency and it must be disclosed prior to viewing the property and you and the seller must sign something stating that you both are ok with dual agency and understand that the agent will not be negotiating for either of you but will only mediate the transaction. Many Realtors do not even tell buyers that they are a dual agent and what it actually means. Trust me, someone always gets hurt when involved in dual agency.

Some Realtors do only work with either buyers or sellers. They will tell you if that is the case.

I did write a few very popular articles on buyer agency. Feel free to read it at

I hope this helps and I would love to talk with you about my services and how I could help you.

Renee Porsia
Associate Broker
(215) 669-0589 Direct
(215) 358-1100 Office ask for Renee
1 vote
Jolie Muss, , Upper West Side, New York, NY
Sat Jan 30, 2010
There are exclusive buyer's brokers/agents who represent the buyer. If an agent/broker is showing their own listing they are mainly representing the broker and the rules and disclosure requirements vary from state to state. If you are looking to buy a home you can search online in your area for an exclusive buyer broker (agent) or an buyer's broker, usually there is no charge to you and some states even allow rebates if agreed to beforehand and allowed by your financing. ( You can also make sure they are licensed by checking online with your state's real estate agent and brokers database) I hope this has been helpful!
0 votes
Philadelphia…, , Philadelphia, PA
Sat Apr 25, 2009
The real estate agent is found by doing a lot of homework. It is not an easy process unless you have family in the business (and even then you still need to do a little searching). You can start with the phonebook and call several realtors in you area. Or you can find them on websites or blogs. For example, our blog is the Philadelphia Real Estate Blog. Home buyers will come here to search for various realtors in our region. I hope this helps!
0 votes
Sean Dawes, , Philadelphia, PA
Fri Apr 24, 2009
Some agents may only like to work with sellers while other agents prefer to work with buyers. It all depends on the business and their structure of their team.

For example team leaders generally are listing agents but they also still will help some buyers when things are busy.

I suggest you interview some agents on here via the "find a pro" feature until you find one you like.

I would be happy to talk to you via email or phone if you have any questions or 215-409-6900 ext. 16

Sean Dawes
Long and Foster Real Estate Inc.
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0 votes
Marcie and J…, Agent, Crofton, MD
Fri Apr 24, 2009
Most companies have profiles of agents for you to read. I suggest a couple or partners that way one will always be available to help you. Large teams I would stay away from since the probability of your being handed to a new agent is large, in this market what you would need is experience and the more the better. But this is the best market to buy. I have been in this business over 30 yrears and never have I seen a market were someone can get paid to buy a home (as first time buyer) and benefit from such low interest rates , which will not be there forever. Good Luck
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