Dual Agency arises in two instances, but generally when a real estate agent works with both the buyer and the seller.
- The buyer is interested in a property listed by SOTE REAL ESTATE AGENCY
- The buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent are affiliated or work under SOTE REAL ESTATE AGENCY LIMITED
When this situation arises, we are mandated to notify both the Seller and Buyer that a dual agency has arisen and require written consent from both the Seller and Buyer to allow the SOTE REAL ESTATE AGENCY to act as a dual agent for both, this must be done before an offer to purchase is made by the buyer. If either had previously signed a consent to dual agency, then they affirm that consent.
Important considerations about Dual Agency
While acting as a dual agent, SOTE REAL ESTATE AGENCY, does not exclusively represent either the seller or the buyer; there may be conflict of interest because the interests of the seller and buyer may be different or adverse. So we don’t own undivided loyalty to either the seller or buyer.
One way around a dual agency is the creation of designated agents with SOTE REAL ESTATE AGENCY to act individually to the seller and buyer. In this instance, should a situation of dual agency arise, with the consent of both the Seller and buyer, one authorised agent with SOTE REAL ESTATE AGENCY is appointed to represent the Seller and another authorised agent with the firm is appointed to represent the Buyer.
Duties of a Dual Agent
Central to this is the duty of confidentiality unless waived through written consent.
What a dual agent cannot do
- A dual agent cannot recommend a price the Seller should accept or counter offer.
- A dual agent cannot disclose confidential information e.g., price terms, negotiating plan, motivation for sale or what the dual agent knows about the Seller or Buyer.
- A dual agent cannot disclose to the Seller the price the buyer is willing to pay without written consent or permission of the buyer.
- A dual agent cannot recommend or suggest the price the buyer should offer or pay for the property.
What a dual agent can do
- Treat both seller and buyer honestly
- Provide helpful information about the property and neighborhood to the buyer
- Provide the buyer with property prices in the neighborhood of similar properties
- Respond accurately to questions about the property
- Disclose all material facts about the property that are known
- Disclose financial qualifications of the buyer to the seller
- Explain all real estate terms and procedures to both
- Help the buyer arrange for third party professional services like property inspection
- With diligence facilitate the sale and advise which third party experts to be consulted
- Act as a mediator and make recommendations for compromise between the seller and buyer
- Help the buyer find property financing alternatives for purchase of the property.