Definition and Obligations of a Dual Agent
Posted Friday, April 25, 2014
Whether you’ve decided to purchase a new home or list yours for sale, you’ll need to hire an experienced real estate agent. Selling and buying homes can be stressful, so you need to be able to trust and rely on your agent to do what’s in your best interest, even if they’re acting as a dual agent.
While ‘dual agent’ might be a confusing term, it’s quite simple — the real estate agent is working for both the buyer and the seller of the home. As both parties will have a lot at stake, this could be perceived as a conflict of interest. Below are some of a dual agent’s obligations which are put in place to prevent a conflict of interest:
An agent should disclose dual agency – As soon as a real estate agent realizes that a buyer is seriously interested in a property on which they have a signed contract, they should immediately be honest with both parties about the possibility of dual agency.
Dual agents should represent both parties fairly – real estate agents are ethically obligated to treat both the buyer and the seller equally should a dual agency occur.
Dual agents cannot disclose personal information – A dual agent cannot tell the other party about any personal issues associated with the selling or buying of the house, such as a divorce or financial distress. This is important because one party should not have the upper hand during negotiations.
It’s completely normal to be wary of a dual agency when it comes to selling or purchasing a home with a real estate agent. However, it is fairly common, and as long as all parties are treated equally, it usually works out quite well.
If you’re not comfortable with a dual agency arrangement, tell your real estate agent that you prefer to have him or her work exclusively for you. If he or she is unwilling to do that, find a new agent.
If you’d like to work with a professional real estate agent who always puts your best interests first, please give me a call or email me.
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