When a real estate agent represents both the seller and the buyer in a transaction, it is known as dual agency. While dual agency can be convenient for some parties involved, it also raises certain considerations and potential conflicts of interest. Here is what you can expect when a real estate agent represents both the seller and the buyer:
1. Disclosure of Dual Agency: The real estate agent is required to disclose their dual agency role to both the seller and the buyer. This disclosure ensures transparency and allows both parties to make informed decisions.
2. Impartiality and Neutrality: As a dual agent, the real estate agent is expected to act impartially and neutrally in the best interests of both parties. They should not favour one party over the other and must provide fair and equal representation.
3. Limited Advocacy: Dual agency limits the agent's ability to advocate solely for one party. They cannot provide advice or guidance that may compromise the interests of the other party. The agent's role is primarily focused on facilitating the transaction.
4. Confidentiality: The agent must maintain strict confidentiality and not disclose any sensitive information shared by either party, except with their consent or when required by law.
5. Negotiation Challenges: Negotiations can become more complex in a dual agency situation. The agent must navigate the delicate balance of protecting the interests of both parties while reaching a mutually agreeable outcome.
6. Additional Oversight: Dual agency transactions may require additional oversight and documentation to ensure compliance with legal and ethical obligations.
7. Independent Representation: In some cases, both the seller and the buyer may choose to seek independent legal representation or hire separate agents to protect their individual interests.
Dual agency can provide convenience in real estate transactions, but it also introduces potential conflicts of interest and limitations on advocacy. It is important for both the seller and the buyer to be aware of the implications and to carefully consider their options before entering a dual agency arrangement. Seeking independent legal advice and exploring alternative representation methods can help ensure that their interests are effectively represented throughout the transaction.