remax community realty
Brokerages are the firms that agents/brokers work under. Think of them as the umbrella that covers all the brokers who hang their licenses in that office. For example, ReMax, Windermere, Coldwell Banker to name a few. Each brokerage has a designated broker that is in charge of that office. Besides acting as a normal broker by themselves, they help manage, facilitate, and provide guidance for all the brokers working there.
There are two hats that each broker can wear at any time. When a broker represents the seller, they are acting as a Listing Broker. A Listing Brokers' job is to market the seller's property and guide them through the selling process. It's easy to know who a listing broker is because you will see their name on the real estate sign posted on the property. The most important thing to remember is that they are representing the seller. The only way a listing broker gets paid is when they receive a commission upon the sale of the property. The commission amount is agreed upon when the broker and seller agree on it. There are always some standard rates that are the "norm", but there is no rate etched in stone. It is negotiable. Now, will the broker list, spend time, and pay for advertising on a property for a "less than normal" amount......probably not. Another thing to remember is that the commission a seller and broker agree upon will eventually be split with the buyer's broker. So, if your agreed rate is 6%, then 3% of that will go to the buyer's broker and firm, and 3% will stay with the listing broker and firm.
A buyers broker/agent is exactly what is sounds like. They represent buyers looking to purchase real estate. Their job is to counsel, show properties, and guide buyers through the purchasing process. The good news for buyers is that working with a buyers broker is free. The buyers broker will get paid out of the listing firms commission, which is paid by the seller. Many people come in to our office and ask how much it costs to work with a broker as a buyer. It is at no cost to the buyer. As stated in the above paragraph, that's negotiated and figured in with the listing agent and seller's listing agreement.
The truth is, a buyer's broker can end up showing a client multiple properties and not make a dime. They only get paid by representing a buyer who purchases a property.
A Dual Agent/broker is one who represents both the buyer and seller in a transaction. A perfect example of this would be: A prospective buyer sees a "for sale" sign in a yard and calls the agent on the sign. The agent on the sign, of course, is the listing agent who represents the seller. The listing agent shows the property to the buyer, and the buyer makes an offer through the listing agent. Now the listing agent has become a dual agent, representing both the seller and the buyer at the same time. Sound tricky? It can be. One broker now represents both parties. Depending on the broker, some may or may not be comfortable representing a seller and a buyer at the same time. Negotiations can be tricky, and the broker is not suppose to hinder either party's position in the deal. So, if you're not 100% comfortable with the listing broker, then ask the listing agent for a referral to another broker, or ask friends for a referral of someone they've liked working with before.