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In context of general equities, buying or selling for the account and risk of a customer. Generally, an agent, or broker, acts as intermediary between buyer and seller, taking no financial risk personally or as a firm, and charging a commission for the service. The broker represents a customer buyer/seller to a customer seller/buyer and does not act as principal for the firm's own trading account. Antithesis of principal. See: Dealer.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.

Agency Bond

A debt obligation owed by an agency of the U.S. Government. While similar to a Treasury security, agency bonds are issued by a particular agency of the federal government, rather than the federal government itself. These agencies include Ginnie Mae, the Federal Farm Credit Bank, and the U.S. Postal Service. With the exceptions of the Postal Service and the Tennessee Valley Authority, all these obligations are guaranteed by the U.S. Government. They offer higher interest rates than Treasury securities. They are less formally called agencies.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


1. A security issued by a federal agency or federally sponsored corporation. See also federal agency security, federally sponsored corporate security.
2. A relationship between an agent and a principal in which the agent acts for and represents the principal on the basis of the principal's instructions.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.


A relationship in which the principal gives an agent the right to act on the principal's behalf and to exercise some business judgment and discretion.Agents owe very high degrees of loyalty,good faith,and confidentiality to their principals,often expressed as fiduciary obligations.Except for the agency coupled with an interest, agency relationships automatically terminate when the principal dies or becomes incapacitated. Agents do not have to receive payment for their services, and the agency agreement does not have to be in writing unless it relates to transferring an interest in real estate.The consequence is that many people enter into principal-agent relationships almost accidentally,being unaware of the responsibilities and obligations each has to the other.

• There is a great variety of agency relationships that arise in a number of ways. All states have statutes regulating real estate agents and defining their duties and responsibilities, but this is by no means the exclusive method of defining the relationship or its obligations.

• Agency by estoppel arises when a principal allows someone to engage in such activities that the public is justified in believing the person is acting as an agent, even if the person had no such authority. This becomes important when someone makes commitments he or she had no authority to make, and an innocent third party, relying on those commitments, suffers an injury. The principal will not be allowed to avoid the commitment by claiming the supposed agent had no authority, because the law will impose an agency by estoppel.

• Exclusive agency is a real estate sales relationship in which the owner of property grants a particular agent the exclusive right to market the property and secure buyers, but the owner retains the right to sell the property himself or herself and pay no commission at all. Contrast with an open listing, in which the owner agrees to pay a commission to any real estate professional who brings a buyer to the closing table. Contrast also with an exclusive right to sell agreement, in which not only does the agent have an exclusive agency, but even if the owner sells the property, the agent receives a commission.

• General agency occurs when the agent is empowered to do all acts in connection with a particular trade, business, or employment. Contrast with special agency, in which the agent is authorized to conduct a single transaction or series of transactions not involving a continuing relationship. Real estate agents are special agents.

• Agency by ratification arises when one purports to act on behalf of a principal, without true authority, but the principal later learns of the act, ratifies it, and agrees to be bound. Requires some proof that the principal made a conscious decision to ratify the act. Contrast with agency by estoppel, in which the principal becomes bound because of his or her negligence, not because of any conscious decision.

• Agency coupled with an interest is a special relationship that arises when the agent also has an interest in the property with which he or she is dealing. This agency will not automatically terminate upon the death of the principal.

• Types of real estate agency:
¦    Alisting agent represents the seller of a property.
¦    Aselling agent works with the buyer, but may be a subagent of the seller or an agent of the buyer. Real estate agents must disclose which party they are representing, before someone accidentally reveals any confidential information.
¦    Adual agent is supposed to represent both the buyer and seller, but this is virtually impossible for one person to do. The status arises most often when one real estate agent in an office represents the seller and another real estate agent in the same office represents the buyer; then the broker is technically considered a dual agent. In such situations the broker must take care that each agent not reveal confidential information to the other.
¦    Atransaction agent is technically no agent at all, but is simply a facilitator who uses superior knowledge of real estate customs and practices to assist buyers and sellers.

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
* Ask the home health agency to get an official Medicare determination for you by filing a claim on your behalf to Medicare.
Remember, Medicare only pays for home health services provided by a home health agency that meets Medicare quality standards.
You have the right to choose the home health agency from which you get Services and to have your choice honored by your doctor, hospital discharge planner, or other referring agency.
* Would these services/supplies be covered under the home health benefit, if the home health agency included the services on the bill to Medicare?
If a home health agency offers you free goods or services in exchange for your Medicare number, be suspicious.
Evaluate your home health agency and determine the most important areas of focus.
The involvement of a Medicare-certified home health agency can benefit both residents and ownership.
Also, by contracting with a single Medicare-certified home health agency, owners and managers can have some influence and control over the personal care service delivery.
Under most circumstances, the delivery of personal care services by a community's own employees is more efficient than if accomplished through a home health agency. Efficiently operated, a personal care delivery component offered by the assisted living community with its own staffing should produce a 70 to 80% margin in loaded costs.
A home health agency would not remain in business very long supporting staff that did not have billable hours.
Home health company Almost Family (NasdaqGS:AFAM) disclosed on Friday that it has agreed to acquire the assets of the Medicare-certified home health agency for an disclosed sum.
The Medicare-certified home health agency, which is owned by Caldwell Medical Centre located in Princeton, Kentucky, reportedly generated approximately USD1.3m of revenue in 2013.