The last type of agent, for now, is what is known as a Dual Agent. This is, perhaps, the most misunderstood. In a real estate transaction, you may permit an agent or firm to represent both you and the seller. This "dual agency relationship" is most likely to happen if you become interested in a property listed with your Buyer's Agent or the agent's firm. If this occurs and you have not already agreed to a dual agency relationship in your (written or oral) buyer agency agreement, your Buyer's Agent will ask you to sign a separate agreement or document permitting him or her to act as agent for both you and the seller. It may be difficult for a Dual Agent to advance the interests of both the buyer and the seller. Nevertheless, a Dual Agent must treat buyers and sellers fairly and equally. Although the Dual Agentowes them both the same duties, buyers and sellers can prohibit Dual Agents from divulging certain confidential information about them to the other party.
Some firms also offer a form of dual agency called Designated Agency where one agent in the firm represents the seller and another agent represents the buyer. This option (when available) may allow each Designated Agentto more fully represent each party.
If you chose the Dual Agency option , remember that since a Dual Agent's loyalty is divided between parties with competing interests, it is especially important that you have a clear understanding of:
- what your relationship is with the Dual Agent and,
- what the agent will be doing for you in the transaction. This can best be accomplished by putting the agreement in writing at the earliest possible time.
Has the confusion level just been compounded? Again, don't worry! When you meet the professional agent that is right for you they will go over the brochure that I mentioned before, "Working With Real Estate Agents".
Thanks for paying attention class and as always - I am here for any questions!