Real Estate Agent Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Real Estate Agent, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Real Estate Agent?

Someone who is licensed in a real estate transaction to represent either the buyer or seller.

History and Definition of Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents have been around for centuries, dating back to ancient Rome. However, the modern profession of a real estate agent essentially began in the United States in the early 1900s. Today, a real estate agent is someone who helps buyers and sellers navigate the complex world of property transactions. They are licensed professionals who are well-versed in all aspects of buying, selling and renting properties. Real estate agents have a fiduciary duty to their clients, meaning they must act in their best interests and disclose any information that could affect the transaction.

Examples of Real Estate Agent

  1. Joan hired a real estate agent to help her sell her house. The agent listed the house, staged it and arranged showings. After several weeks, the agent secured a buyer and negotiated a good price for Joan.

  2. Michael was looking for a new home and enlisted the help of a real estate agent. The agent sent him listings, took him to view properties and answered his questions about the local market. Eventually, the agent helped Michael find the perfect home and negotiate a fair price.

  3. Maxine was moving to a new city and needed a rental property. She contacted a local real estate agent who specialized in rentals. The agent found several suitable properties within Maxine's budget and helped her sign a lease.

Legal Terms Similar to Real Estate Agent

  1. Real estate broker - Similar to an agent, but can also own a real estate brokerage firm and employ other agents.

  2. Realtor - A real estate agent or broker who is a member of the National Association of Realtors and adheres to a strict Code of Ethics.

  3. Dual Agency - When a real estate agent represents both the buyer and seller in a single transaction.