Why Dual Agency is Nothing But Deception For Buyers and Sellers!

When people buy or sell real estate they naturally think of using a real estate agent. Not many people like to get into something as complicated as buying or selling a house without an expert in their corner.

For homeowners looking to sell, having a seller’s agent is an important aspect of success. The agent becomes your trusted advisor throughout the sale.

When a buyer makes an offer your “seller’s agent” is there by your side able to counsel and provide advise. Does the offer the buyer made make sense? What should the counter offer be? Are there terms in the offer that should be changed?

On the flip side, the buyer should have a buyer’s agent. The buyer’s agent provides the same role to the buyer - a person who is there to protect your interests and provide a level of expertise throughout the transaction.

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This is how a real estate transaction should be done. Each party has their own representative.

In real estate sales, there is a dark side, however, and it isn’t pretty. The dark side is what’s referred to as dual agency. In dual agency, the real estate agent represents both the buyer and seller. Are you laughing right now? If you are I can’t blame you!

You might be wondering how it is possible that one real estate agent can represent both the buyer and seller in one sale? The answer is it’s impossible which is exactly why it’s called the dark side of real estate.

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What do you mean Bill? My real estate agent has told me that there is nothing wrong with dual agency. In fact, they told me at our first meeting that it needed to be disclosed to both the buyer and seller, that I would be representing both.

Folks, the only thing accurate about the above statement is that it’s a requirement for a real estate agent to disclose dual agency. In some states, it’s legal to be a dual agent and others it’s not.

Beyond that, there is nothing good about dual agency for a consumer. The only benefit of dual agency goes to the real estate agent.

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Too bad the person explaining dual agency has a vested interest in you agreeing to it! You see in dual agency the real estate agent you hired to represent you no longer does. The agent becomes a neutral party.

What exactly does that mean? For a buyer, it means your agent can’t tell you what to offer. For a seller, it means your agent can’t help you negotiate at all.

Sounds fantastic doesn’t it? As a seller, you are paying your real estate agent thousands of dollars but they can’t give you any guidance. Same for a buyer - no advice - you are out of luck.

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There is a reason dual agency has been banned in some states. Frankly, it should be made illegal in all of them.

There is a reason an attorney cannot represent both parties in a lawsuit. It is a conflict of interest.

The same can be said about real estate sales. It is impossible to serve two masters. The buyer wants to pay the least amount of money and the seller wants to sell for the most in the vast majority of cases. It’s common sense.

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Believe it or not, there are plenty of Realtors that will try to convince you otherwise. Why do they want you to agree to them being a dual agent? The answer is real simple - they get double the commission!

Do yourself a favor when buying or selling a home and reject dual agency.

Take the time and read the article linked above that explains exactly what dual agency is and how it works.

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Other articles on dual agency worth reading:

Use the above resources to make sound decisions when buying or selling a home. Think wisely and tell your real estate agent you’re not interested in them practicing dual agency.