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What is Dual Agency?

Dual agency means the Real Estate Brokerage that represents the seller also represents the buyer. In most cases, the same real estate agent at the brokerage is working for the seller and buyer. However, dual agency also exists if two different agents are involved from the same brokerage. The reason why dual agency must be disclosed to all parties is the obvious conflict of interest possibility. It's a judgment call that must ultimately be made by an agreement between the buyer and seller.
  • September 27 2013 - Foster City
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Answers (8)

Dual agency occurs when the listing agent selling a home also serves as the buyer's agent. In most cases, it's not a good idea for one agent to represent both parties in a real estate transaction. The listing agent's job is to sell a home at the highest price; the buyer's agent aims to negotiate the lowest price for his buyers. In this case, the agent and his client's interests aren't aligned. Some buyers feel that a dual agent will be more motivated to write an offer on his own listing since he'll get double the commission from both sides of the deal. This could be a possibility, but chances are the buyers won't get the home for the best price when working with the listing agent.

  • September 27 2013
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Profile picture for jainen
Do we have to a sign a contact of dual agency if we are working with listing agent directly, can't we write our own purchase agreement as a buyer?
  • September 27 2013
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The seller is represented by a real estate agent.  Are you versed enough in contract law to write an agreement which offers equal protection to yourself and the seller?

You are better off using the services of a buyers agent.  The sellers agent will not rebate or reduce the commission to you.  The sellers agent is automatically a dual agent if you do not have another licensed agent to assist you.

The sellers agent may advise their client ( as they should) that any contract not approved by the real estate commission should be rejected.  Additionally should the agent allow the seller to accept such a contract the agent's E&O insurance would not protect them.
  • September 28 2013
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user984917................how dual agency is handled  , and even if it is allowed, varies greatly from state to state.

Since I (we) don't know where you are, it's difficult to advise you.

In NJ, buyers and sellers sign a disclosure statement explaining it,  and  allowing dual agency to take place.
Dual agency occurs anytime a listing agent or anyone from the company shows a company listing.

If you use, for example,  a listing agent to see a home, and do not want to be part of dual agency, you can't count on having the seller credit you with half of the commission. Most likely that won't happen.
  • September 28 2013
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You can't write your own purchase agreement on a listed property, user. The listing broker will require that you use their customary forms.

The listing broker may not want to be a dual agent, they may prefer that they represent the seller and that you are unrepresented.

How far along in the process are you?
  • September 29 2013
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I have signed up the dual agency agreement, and presented the offer but due to price difference it is not moving forward.
Thanks again for your comments. 
  • September 29 2013
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A paradox tangled in a legal conundrum.
  • September 29 2013
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Profile picture for JoshBarnettREIB
As per Greg Booth ~ Dual agency means the Real Estate Brokerage that represents the seller also represents the buyer. In most cases, the same real estate agent at the brokerage is working for the seller and buyer. However, dual agency also exists if two different agents are involved from the same brokerage. The reason why dual agency must be disclosed to all parties is the obvious conflict of interest possibility. It's a judgment call that must ultimately be made by an agreement between the buyer and seller.
  • September 29 2013
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