Real estate agents act as go-betweens for buyers and sellers of real estate property. With certain exceptions, anyone who assists with the sale of real estate in the Commonwealth of Virginia is required to be licensed by the state. Each and every real estate agents must be affiliated with a real estate broker. A broker is a real estate profession who has higher educational requirements and who has a minimum of three years of full-time experience as a real estate agent. A realtor is a real estate agent or broker who is a member of the National Association of Realtors. As a realtor, agents and brokers agree to ascribe to a high standard of ethics and participate in continuing education programs.
In most cases, a real estate agent works for one party, either the buyer or seller, renter or landlord. The agent uses his or her specialized training to best represent the clients’ best interests. In some cases, the agent will work in a dual capacity representing both sides of the transaction. In all cases, the agent’s first duty is to truth and honesty. But when you choose a real estate agent, don’t be afraid to ask about what obligations state law imposes.
Some agencies have up-front fees or retainers. It’s okay to shop around and to interview several agents and agencies to find the one that you feel most
comfortable working with, but it’s only fair to the agent and to yourself to settle on one agent to sell or buy a home. Although it is your right and duty as a consumer to shop around, it is unethical and unfair to work with more than one agent at a time. An experienced agent will always ask if you already have representation. This way the agent won’t waste his time or accidentally interfere with the relationship you already have.