Question: What is a Sub-Agency?
Sub-agency is one type of brokerage relationship. Today, everyone is familiar with buyer-agency brokerage relationships in which a buyer is provided with services by the firm that represents the buyer in a real estate transaction. However, veteran agents may remember a time when buyers did not have their own representation. Sub-agency was the predominant method of establishing a brokerage relationship until the mid 1990s.
A sub-agent is a real estate licensee who provides real estate services to a buyer while actually representing the seller in a real estate transaction. A defining characteristic of sub-agency is that a listing firm extends its agency relationship with a seller outside the firms own agents and authorizes other cooperating brokerage firms to represent the seller in a transaction. When this happens, the other cooperating broker becomes a sub-agent of the listing broker. By extending this agency relationship, the listing firm authorizes the other firm and its agents to represent the sellers interests in any potential real estate transaction.