"Realtors live a conflicted life. On the one hand, they are salespeople. They only make money when their deal closes.
On the other hand, they are consultants. They advise buyers and sellers throughout the deal process, ideally giving their clients advice that is disinterested from their own financial outcome.
Often, these two objectives are aligned and there is no issue. For example, a listing agent makes more money if he is able to sell a house for a higher amount. However, there are many situations where the right advice for a client is not aligned with the agent’s monetary incentives. For example, a buyer’s agent makes more money when his buyers buy a house for a higher amount.
The majority of successful real estate agents are true professionals who take the long view. Their advice is in their clients’ best interests. Some agents go further by being fully transparent when conflicts arise (which they often do) and make certain any conflicts are fully disclosed to their clients.
So how do you know your agent is doing the right thing and giving you the best advice? Here are 11 things that your agent should be telling (or asking) you."
This article originally appeared on the Washington Post.