Consumer Notice: Disclosed Dual Agent
A disclosed dual agent works for both the buyer and the seller. To work as a dual agent, a firm must first obtain the informed written consent of the buyer and the seller. Therefore, before acting as a disclosed dual agent, brokerage firms must make written disclosure to both parties. Disclosed dual agency is most likely to occur when an associate with a real estate firm working as a buyer's agent shows the buyer properties owned by the sellers for whom that firm is also working as a seller's agent or sub-agent.
A real estate associate working as a disclosed dual agent must carefully explain to each party that, in addition to working as their agent, their firm will also work as the agent for the other party. They must also explain what the effect their working as a disclosed dual agent will have on the fiduciary duties their firm owes to the buyer and to the seller. When working as a disclosed dual agent, a brokerage firm must have the express permission of a party prior to disclosing confidential information to the other party. Such information includes the highest price a buyer can afford to pay and the lowest price a seller will accept and the parties' motivation to buy or sell. Remember, a brokerage firm working as a disclosed dual agent will not be able to put one party's interests ahead of those of the other party and cannot advise or counsel either party on how to gain an advantage at the expense of the other party on the basis of confidential information obtained from or about the other party.
If you decide to enter into an agency relationship with a firm which is to work as a disclosed dual agent, you are advised to sign a written agreement with that firm.