The North Carolina Real Estate Commission requires that every Buyer or Seller is provided a written explanation of Agency Relationship. Please click the following link for the educational brochure "Working with Real Estate Agents" to read more about agency in North Carolina.
It's important to understand what legal responsibilities your real estate salesperson has to you and to other parties in the transactions. Below is an explanation of what type of agency relationship you may establish with him or her and with the brokerage company.
1. Seller's Agent (also known as a listing agent). A seller's agent is hired by and represents the seller. All fiduciary duties are owed to the seller. The agency relationship usually is created by a listing contract.
2. Buyer's Agent. The buyer's agent works with the buyer as a client (an Exclusive Buyer's Agency Agreement has been signed) to represent them in a real estate transaction. The Buyer's Agent has express fiduciary responsibilities to the Buyer and all information between the parties is held in confidentiality.
3. Sub-Agent. The sub-agent works with the buyer as a customer (an Exclusive Buyer's Agency Agreement has not been signed) and owes fiduciary duties to the listing agent and the seller which means that nothing between the parties is held in confidentiality. Although a sub-agent cannot assist the buyer-customer in any way that would be detrimental to the seller, the sub-agent must be fair and provide any material facts about properties the buyer is shown.
4. Disclosed Dual Agent. Dual agency is a relationship in which the brokerage firm represents both the buyer and the seller in the same real estate transaction. Dual agency relationships do not carry with them all of the traditional fiduciary duties to the clients - the duty of confidentiality to one client is in conflict with the duty of full disclosure to the other client. Nevertheless, a dual agent must treat buyers and sellers fairly and equally.