We talked in the past about agents being considered, "a dual agent". This means that the same agent works for both the buyer and the seller. We also talked about the benefits of having your own a buyers agent but while we've talked about the differences should the same agent represent both the buyer and the seller.
Well, there are some advantages and disadvantages to this. While we recommend that all of our homebuyers have their own real estate agent and do the best to represent their interests and their negotiating strategies, there are some instances where dual agency might actually be of benefit.
First off, to be approved as a dual agent that needs to be written consent of the seller and the buyer prior to the execution of the offer. The broker or real estate agent needs to remain neutral throughout the process so it can be difficult to represent to the fullest capacity both the buyer and the seller.
Many real estate agents being a dual agent because they receive the full commission for both the buyer's side and the sellers side. Worked with parties in the past that being a dual agent is actually a benefit. There may be friends that are negotiating or buying a house from each other, relatives such as parents to children for situations where it just makes more sense to have the same agent facilitate the entire transaction. Furthermore, there could be two real estate agents within the same brokerage and technically this is considered dual agency even though each agent represents the buyer and one for the seller on the same transaction.
Sometimes the same agent will represent the buyer and the seller in a new construction situation. For instance, developer or builder will hire a real estate brokerage to list and sell new construction homes. There may be multiple agents involved in this listing process but then they also will be the buyers agent should a buyer come into one of the model showrooms and not be represented by their own agent as of yet. This agent can still help facilitate the deal for the entire and close the deal on behalf of the developer, which is actually the seller in the situation.
The biggest deal is the disclosure. Being upfront with both the buyer and the seller that you are working as a dual agent is really key. A lot of times if I find a buyer that is not working with a buyers agent I might ask them first if they prefer their own representation. A lot of times, they simply want me to handle the transaction as well so I very clearly make it known that the seller found me first and in all good face the first work for them and for the buyer. If they agree to the situation it usually works out for the best.
Again, having a dual agency is a very tricky road to navigate and we usually recommend all of our buyers have their own buyers agent, but there's several situations in which sometimes one agent facilitating the entire deal makes a lot more sense. We usually review these on a case-by-case basis so that we were working as hard as possible to represent and do our due diligence for both the buyer and the seller.
If you have more questions please contact our office today. You want to stay upfront, aboveboard and honest and ethical as possible and every single real estate transaction that we conduct throughout the Portland real estate market.