Dual agency real estate transactions are often confusing for clients, and come with a number of significant benefits and drawbacks. Left unaddressed, misunderstandings arising from a dual agency transaction can leave behind a bad taste, especially in those situations where things go awry. If dual agencies are legal in your state, here’s how to come out on top without getting any egg on your face.
Addressing the Conflict of Interest Conundrum
Though playing both sides does streamline the process and minimize communication delays, dual agency real estate has some significant gray areas, which are important to explain to clients to keep things on the up-and-up:
Because buyers want the lowest price, and sellers the highest, dual agents cannot take sides or give advice. Instead you’re more like a parent, you love both kids, and want to make sure the outcome of the situation is fair.
There’s no one to catch it if you miss things, as you’re running both sides. And because you’re human, mistakes will inevitably occur.
Pointing out the Pros
That said, dual agency real estate isn’t all bad. There are also many benefits that should likewise be pointed out to potential clients:
– Full disclosure
Dual-agent/broker scenarios must be disclosed/consensual, and can’t occur behind the scenes.
– Potential savings
Dual agency real estate allows for potential savings in commission fees if the same person plays the seller and buyer’s agent, reducing fees.
– Increased potential access to properties
In large brokerages, who house a number of agents forming a different kind of dual agency scenario, sellers have more access to potential buyers, and vice-versa.
– More streamlined sales
A single entity makes communication issues moot. Communication between parties is timely and the process more streamlined with a single agency in charge of scheduling paperwork and deadlines.
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