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Last edited 21 Feb 2022
An agent is an individual, group or company authorised to act on behalf of some other individual, group or company for a specific purpose and usually for a specific time period. The agent normally takes an active or leading role in attempting to bring about the client's desired objectives.
- An estate agent will try to sell a client's property at the best possible price and may even be involved in finding a replacement property.
- In construction, a site agent will normally be responsible for inspecting construction works as they proceed on behalf of a client, identifying problems with and providing solutions for to ensure project costs are controlled.
- An employer's agent is an agent acting on behalf of a client as the contract administrator for design and build contracts.
- A client's agent or client's representative cna be responsible for managing a project on behalf of a client.
- A letting agent who manages the letting of a development on behalf of a developer.
NB The term 'sub-agent' can be used to refer to an individual or organisation appointed on large construction projects to manage a specific part of the works or a specific package of work.
The New Homes Quality Board Glossary of the terms used in the Code and Guidance, published by The New Homes Quality Board in 2021, defines an agent/s as: ‘a person, firm or company used by a Developer to deal with any matter on their behalf (for example, an estate agent or contractor).
Roles in construction projects: analysis and terminology, by Hughes, W. and Murdoch, J. R, published in 2001 by the University of Reading, defines an agent as: ‘A basic term referring to someone who represents another. Usually qualified by preceding it with the name of the person or organization represented. On its own, a very ambiguous term.’
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