What Is General Agent Real Estate

What Is General Agent Real Estate
What Is General Agent Real Estate

A general real estate agent is an agent who can perform any act related to the current business for which the principal has appointed the general agent.

A principal may have more than one general agent, with each general agent handling a specific part of the principal’s business.

What Is General Agent Real Estate?

A general real estate agent is an agent who can perform any act related to the ongoing business for which the principal has appointed the general agent.  A general agent is not a business unicorn, but rather just another horse in the stable. 

There is nothing surprising in the fact that a general agent can work as a manager of the property of his principal.  A principal may have more than one general agent, with each general agent handling a specific part of the principal’s business.


What Is A General Agency?

A general agency is one in which the agent is empowered to bind the principal in a particular trade or business.  For example, a seller is the general agent of his broker.  Another example is a property manager for a property owner.

How Does Special Agency Work?

A general agency allows the agent to manage the company and perform ongoing duties on behalf of the client and the property.  In a variety of situations, a general agent typically has sufficient authority to perform actions, and these actions are tied to a specific event.

Any private limitations on the agent’s authority do not operate or affect third parties, and those parties are free to assume that the agent is bound to perform the duties of a general agent on their behalf.

A great example of a general agent is a real estate manager.  A property manager is usually the owner’s general agent and may be willing to oversee the full financial and operational management of a significant number of properties and often participates on behalf of clients and resolves transactional issues.

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What is Special Agency in Real Estate?

An example of a special agent real estate is an agency that has hired a listing agent to sell a client’s home.  Once the transaction is complete, the special agent’s job is complete, so this relationship is usually terminated. 

This means that the interaction between the agent and the client ends when the sale or purchase of the property is complete.

In real estate, special agents have a number of responsibilities.  Special agents usually have experience in finding the best solutions, while at the same time they prioritize the wishes and requirements of individual clients. 

Dedicated real estate agents handle paperwork, negotiate, arrange viewings for potential buyers, and create purchase and sale agreements once the deal is closed.

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How Does Special Agency in Real Estate Work?

There are a few instances where an agent’s position is specified in a special agency, such as when a particular client needs the agent’s help with only a certain part of the transaction and not with any other aspect of the transaction. 

This can happen if the client asks the agent to advertise and publicize the client’s property, and the agent’s duties are limited to those tasks and nothing else.

To help you understand better, let’s say that Anna (the seller) hires a special agent named Alex to find a potential buyer for her house. 

Since Alex is a special agent, he must receive his commission after completing the exact task he was assigned.  In this case, it was finding a buyer for Anna’s house.  When Alex finds him, Anna has no power over him and he will no longer deal with any problems that may arise.

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What Are The Types Of Agency Classifications?

As you study for your real estate license, you will need to understand the three types of agencies and how they apply to you as a real estate agent.  So here’s a quick overview of what it is:

Special agency

A special agency allows an agent to perform a task for another person to achieve one specific goal.  It contains no binding authority and is unique to one situation, not to an ongoing relationship. 

Power to bind means an obligation to perform any contractual or financial obligations on behalf of the principal.  When a broker represents a buyer or seller in a real estate transaction, they are often assigned a dedicated agency to complete a single sale.

General Agency

General agency allows an agent to act for another person on an ongoing basis to perform a variety of tasks in a specific area.  Unlike a special agency, a general agency is not limited to a single event. 

Also, as a general agent, you can be empowered to communicate within the specific area you control.  An example of a general agent would be a property manager who acts on behalf of clients on an ongoing basis. 

Another example would be a client who wants you to handle several real estate transactions on their behalf.  General representation can be carried out under a general power of attorney.

Universal Agency

A universal agency gives the agent full authority to make decisions and perform tasks for another person in a wide range of areas, without being limited to a specific area like general agency. 

Universal agents have an almost unlimited ability to bond and have permanent powers.  This relationship requires a power of attorney. 

A person may need a general agent if they are, for example, a real estate investor who wants to retire and entrust someone else with the running of their business.

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Difference Between Special Agent Vs General Agent Real Estate

The main difference between the two is that a special agent is just a real estate broker who enters into a listing agreement with a seller or buyer, unlike a general agent who provides an ongoing service similar to that of a real estate agent.

More specifically, a special agent can be called a limited agent, who, as stated earlier, has only limited powers and cannot represent you under a contract.  However, when it comes to being legally bound by a contract, a general agent can help you do that.

In the event that unforeseen circumstances prevent you from closing the sale, your general agent can do so for you, and their authority is not limited to a specific task.  This is the real difference between a generalist and a specialist real estate agent.

Understanding the concept of universal agents, which contrasts two types of agents, special and general, is necessary to understand the differences between the two types of agents.

A general purpose agent is an agent who specializes in the field and has the authority to handle almost any principal problem, regardless of type.  The authority of the agent as such is indefinite.


If you have signed a sole agency agreement and then want to sell the house privately, you must agree with the agency to change the agency agreement to allow you to do so – otherwise the agent may still be entitled to charge you a commission if you sell the house privately during the sole agency period.

On the other hand, a general agency agreement allows you to hire multiple agencies to do real estate work for the same property at the same time.  If you enter into a general agency agreement with several agencies, you must pay commission only to the agency that sells your property.

What Is General Agent Real Estate FAQs

What Happens When You Sign Up With A Real Estate Agent Under A Sole Agency Agreement?

If you have entered into an agency agreement with an estate agent, only that agency will have the right to advertise and sell your property for the period specified in the agreement.  As a rule, you will not be able to sell the house yourself or appoint another agency.

Who Can Be A Universal Real Estate Agent?

A general agent is a person authorized to carry out all the operations of his principal.  He/she is authorized to perform all actions or duties authorized by his/her manager.  Generally, universal agents are appointed by power of attorney.  A principal can have only one universal agent.

What Is The Most Common Type Of Agent In Real Estate?

A special agent.  A real estate broker or salesperson works as a special agent, which is the most common type of agent for a real estate seller or broker.  A special agent is a person who is given only limited authority to act on behalf of the principal.



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