What Is Dual Agency And Is It Legal

Dated: 04/24/2017

Views: 2374

Dual agency is legal, but do you want to use a real estate agent that will do dual agency? 

There are many buyers and sellers who think this practice will save them money by using ONE agent to represent them in a real estate transaction just like there are many listing agents who want to do dual agency because they will make more commission by representing both parties, but does this make it RIGHT? 

Not in our opinion! Why, you ask, let us tell you. 

If we are representing the seller in the sell of his or her home , our best interest is now the seller, we have become legally bound by the listing agreement and owe the seller our fiduciary rights.  A fiduciary relationship is significant in the law and requires the highest level of care and conduct toward those being represented.  We are to keep the best interest of our seller, get them the best price, negotiate on their behalf. We are a  team with the sellers, we know everything we need to about the home. 

So now lets bring in the buyer. Buyer calls the listing agent and is unrepresented, which means does not have an agent to represent their behalf and does not want to use a buyers agent because they feel they can get the house for less since they are going to use the listing agent and feel that the commission will now get reduced and come off the asking price. Not always true, this would depend on what was negotiated between the seller and listing agent. But for this scenario let's say it was reduced.  So now seller and buyer both feel great because buyer feels they are getting the house for less and seller is not having to pay more in commissions, RIGHT?  

So far sounds great, Right?  Well here is where the problem starts. We now have to get through the inspection and appraisal. 

Listing agent is still bound by the listing agreement between seller and agent, now listing agent is bound by the contract to represent the buyer and the buyers best interest as well as the sellers. 

Many times in a dual agent transaction the seller may feel that buyer got a better deal because the listing agent knew what their bottom line was.  We have the inspection period to deal with and  things come up that need to be taken care of and now the listing agent has to negotiate on the behalf of both parties, so who's interest is the listing agent going to have? Let's throw in another curve ball and say the home did not appraise and now the listing agent has to renegotiate the price, who get's the best representation? 

In our opinion DUAL AGENCY is not good for either party and this is why we will not do it. We do not see how you can be ethical to both parties.  Just like in court, you would never have the same attorney represent both parties, so why would you in a real estate transaction? 

Written by Team Nelson.

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