Houston We Have A Problem - Consensual Dual Agency in Iowa

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Weaver Realtors B55786000

A Promise Made is A Promise KeptWeaver Realtors Broker here, struggling to educate the public on the importance of representation in a real estate transaction. Here in Iowa, Consensual Dual Agency is legal, alive and thriving. However, it is doing so at the expense of fairly and honestly representing clients. In a consensual dual agency transaction where one agent represents both the buyer and the seller, who exactly is the agent representing? The agent cannot give either side preference, so the agent cannot make any recommendations as to how to counter, what to offer (doing a cma for Buyer?), how to negotiate, ..... Who do you best represent if you are that agent? Wouldn't that be yourself and your brokerage?

If a brokerage does not practice Appointed Agency (where the broker appoints different agents/broker to represent each client), then ALL the agents in that office represent both clients as consensual dual agency. Again, how do you best represent your clientS, because you represent each side?

In reality we need to educate the public on how they are or are not represented. To say to a seller, "Consensual Dual Agency just allows us  to show our buyers (the brokerage's buyer clients) your property, is misleading and not factual. 


Consensual Dual Agency is not legal in a number of states, where it is legal, how do you get the information out to the public? 

Posted by

Georgia A. Weaver, GREEN, CNE, CRS, GRI, 
Broker Owner and Iowa Certified General Contractor

Weaver LLC Realtors
"A Promise Made is a Promise Kept"

607 Lake Avenue
Lake Avenue
Storm Lake, IA 50588
Office 712-213-4663 (HOME)
Direct 712-291-0118


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Jackie Vaughan and Patrick Smith, Howard County,Maryland
The Jackie Vaughan Team - Columbia, MD
The Jackie Vaughan Team

In Maryland the broker becomes the dual agent and the buyer's and seller's agents become "intra-company agents".  They still legally represent the buyers and sellers.  No conflict of interest.

Apr 11, 2013 01:19 AM #1
Roger Stensland
Keller Williams Realty Puget Sound - Maple Valley, WA
Let's Move!

In my opinion, any buyer or seller who would consent to dual agency is either very foolish or has not been properly educated.  I don't see any way a buyer can get the most house for his money or a seller can get the most money for her house in a dual-agency situation.  One of my clients that that it would be like getting a divorce and both parties hiring the same attorney to represent them.  It just doesn't make sense.  Properly accomplished, the agent involved in a dual-agency transaction becomes an over-paid secretary or order taker.  Any agent who will do this is only thinking of the money they will receive as a dual agent. Since the seller is paying for the buyers to hire their own representation, it is almost a crime not to. 

Apr 11, 2013 01:23 AM #2
John Dotson
Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC - Highlands, NC
The experience to get you to the other side!

We do have dual agency in North Carolina and our company policy forbids the practice.

I tell all our brokers, "Dual agency is like walking on a barbed wire fence - one of these days you are gonna fall off and it is gonna hurt."

Apr 11, 2013 01:38 AM #3
Roger Stensland
Keller Williams Realty Puget Sound - Maple Valley, WA
Let's Move!

Jackie, the real conflict of interest comes into play when the same agent is "representing" both sides.  Cannot negotiate for either side.

Apr 11, 2013 01:49 AM #4
Larry Riggs
Century 21 Redwood - Frederick, MD
GRI, SRS Your Frederick County Specialist

I echo Jackie's post. Now Maryland is clear however when dual agency was first introduced here the agent was the dual agent. I once asked an attorney in a training session what exactly a dual agent could do for either side. He replied that he wasn't sure and they were waiting for a test case. Nice, a test case at our expense. Fortunately the Maryland legislature made clarifications as stated in Jackie's comment.

Apr 12, 2013 09:45 AM #5
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Georgia Weaver

A Promise Made is a Promise Kept! 712-291-0118
Ask me a Storm Lake IA area real estate question.
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