In the world of real estate, there are many different types of agency. One that gets very little attention is subagency. But what exactly is subagency? According to REALTOR Magazine:
“A subagent is a cooperating agent who works for a listing broker-salesperson in the sale of a property. The subagent represents the seller, and therefore, works with the buyer, but not for the buyer. The subagent owes fiduciary duties to the listing broker and to the seller. Although subagents can’t assist the buyer in any way that would be detrimental to their client the seller, a buyer-customer working with a subagent can expect the subagent to treat him honestly. A subagent generally may provide the buyer with certain types of services, often called ministerial services, which are factually based and do not require the licensee’s judgment.”
The MLS still gives an option to choose subagent when a listing is entered, however this practice is not used in most real estate transactions. Today buyer-agency is more common because it ensures the buyer has an advocate and fair representation.