‘Agency’ is the term that distinguishes whether a real estate professional represents a buyer or seller. Most transactions in San Francisco have two real estate agents facilitating the transaction for the buyer and seller.
A buyers’ agent works exclusively for a buyer and does not represent the seller.
A sellers’ agent, the listing agent, works exclusively for a seller and does not represent a buyer.
A dual agent is when one brokerage represents both parties in a transaction. This can occur with one agent representing both buyer and seller, or with two agents from the same brokerage-one working with the buyer and one working with the seller.
Having two agents in a transaction generally makes both buyer and seller feel more comfortable during negotiation, so that each can feel they can speak freely to the their agent without the other party knowing what they have said, are willing to sell for, or what they are willing to pay.