Relationships with Consumers: Real Estate

Buying or selling property is likely one of the biggest financial decisions a consumer will ever make. Real estate industry members, or “real estate brokers,” have an important role to play in ensuring consumers understand the buying and selling process.

What is agency?

Agency is a relationship established when two parties agree to have one party represent the party or provide services on behalf of that party.

When a buyer or seller first contacts a real estate broker, there is no agency relationship with the broker. If a consumer wishes to be in an agency relationship with a real estate broker, the broker may ask the consumer to sign a written service agreement that confirms the consumer’s decision. Consumers are free to decline a written service agreement, but written service agreements offer valuable protection to real estate brokers and consumers, as they provide clarity and transparency regarding the nature of the agency relationship and explain the duties and obligations of the agent (real estate broker) and the client.

For more information about the various types of consumer/industry member relationships, please visit:

Sole Agency

Customer Status

Transaction Brokerage

Designated Agency