Dual Agency: Pros and Cons

Dual Agency: Pros and Cons

Real estate professionals are either for or against dual agency - which one are you?

dual agencyDual agency has been causing a stir in the real estate world recently, due to the controversial opinions on the practice. If you are unaware of this term, dual agency (also known as multiple representation or dual representation) is the practice of an agent representing both a homebuyer and the seller of said home in the same transaction.

While the advocates for dual agency believe that it could save time (and potentially money!) with the same agent representing both sides, the protestors believe that it could cause a conflict of interest on one side. At the end of the day, it is difficult to please both sides at once – you want to help the buyer save as much money as possible, but you also want to help the seller gain as much money as possible.

When done right, dual agency can certainly work out, but it is difficult to find that balance. When done wrong, if worse comes to worst, the agent could even face legal action if they do or say the wrong thing. Imagine this: your seller lives in Texas, but receives an incredible job offer in Arizona. They need to move right away, and their main priority is selling their home ASAP – while this may seem to work out in your favor if you are representing a client interested in buying that home, it may actually work against you.

Relaying any sort of information from either party causes a breach of trust, even if it is with good intent – and that’s where the ethical implications of dual agency come into play. If you are interested in practicing dual agency, keep in mind the balance that must be kept throughout it – agents have certainly succeeded in the past, but most choose to stray away from it because of the underlying risk that it entails.