Whether you’re planning to put your house on the market or looking to buy your dream home, it’s important to have expert representation. After all, you want somebody that understands the ins and outs of the industry to be in your corner when it comes time to negotiate offers.
When you’re working with an agent, there are a million and one things that need your attention, and it can be hard to keep up with all the finer details going on between contracts and negotiations. That’s where agent representation comes in.
Ideally, you want to be working with a real estate agent that doesn’t do dual agency. This can save you money, ensure you’re being properly represented, and help you stay on top of the important steps of buying or selling a home.
What is Dual Agency?
Representation is key to any good real estate transaction and having an agent that only represents your side of the sale can be essential.
Dual Agency occurs when an agent is representing both sides of the transaction, both the buyer and the seller. While it may seem like having a single agent handle the transaction can be beneficial and help smooth out the process, it can sometimes lead to a conflict of interest.
Let’s look at the reasons it can be a mistake and review how you can make sure you’re being properly represented.
Dual Agency: Lack of Representation in the Real Estate Market
It’s true that good homes come and go from the market in the blink of an eye, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for less than you deserve. In many scenarios, having an agent that works on behalf of both the buyer and seller can be risky due to the lack of actual representation.
When an agent lists a home, they’ve agreed to represent the sellers as a client. As the seller, you can decide whether you’ll allow them to also represent the buyer as a client or be what’s known as a dual agent.
When a real estate agent represents both parties, they cannot share certain information or give certain advice to either party, otherwise it becomes a conflict of representation for the opposing party.
Ways to avoid dual agency is to ask the agent if they could put you in touch with another agent that can represent you. This is called designated agency and allows you to ask for advice and opinions from your agent without compromising either party’s interest.
Avoiding Conflict, Avoiding Dual Agency
Dual agency makes room for a rocky road filled with conflict. The agent must act as a neutral party throughout the entirety of the transaction. Think of them as a mediator of sorts. They’re not allowed to give advice to either party and will be tiptoeing around the hard truths of the transaction.
An agent working in this position can have a difficult time answering questions for either party without it being considered advice, which can leave you with half-hearted answers or more confusion than when you started. It can create tension between the buyers and sellers, and it can make it difficult to know if you’re making the right decision during negotiations.
Dual agency often leaves everyone involved with a bad experience. It leads to more conflict than benefits and can make everyone involved feel as if they didn’t get the best end of the deal.
In fact, dual agency has caused so many issues with transactions that several states have made it illegal for a real estate agent to represent both parties.
Things to Remember
In the long run, dual agency can be more harmful than helpful for all parties involved. It doesn’t allow you to receive the representation you deserve, and it can leave you struggling to figure out when to accept an offer, when to counter, and when to walk away.
The real estate industry can be confusing, and even some of the best agents don’t always get it right.
If you’re looking to put your home on the market, or you’re on the hunt for your dream home, it can be important to ask your real estate agent of choice whether they do dual agency or not.
Still have questions about representation? Call me today and we can discuss your concerns in depth.