Look both ways before you act.

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart SA541769000


Dual Agency some like it some hate it. Sometimes it is better, sometimes it is risky. Regardless of how you feel about dual agency, it happens. More often than we care to imagine.

Most often when we consider dual agency, we speak of one agent representing both the buyer and the seller. In this scenario, the agent is treading a fine line between representing one party better than the other. Something we must avoid at all costs.

Some states allow for the designation of transactional broker/agent. A situation where the agent does not represent either party to the contract and only works to see that the transaction follows legal requirements. Other states, Arizona being one of them, do not allow for the transactional broker.

It is in states that do not allow transaction managers where dual agency most often occurs. Dual agency also occurs when two agents from the same brokerage transact for the same property. A situation that is often overlooked.

Agents that work for large brokerages are likely to encounter dual agency simply because a large number of agents makes the likelihood of matching a buyer and seller common. As an example, my brokerage HomeSmart has several thousand agents in the Phoenix metro. Those agents will represent hundreds of sellers at any given time. Agents representing buyers will want to offer those properties to their buyers, automatically creating a dual agency situation.

Few buyers or sellers understand agency relationships. That is why it is critical to have the discussion with the client at the first opportunity. While it is legal for a brokerage firm to represent both the buyer and the seller in a single transaction, it must be done with informed consent. Dual agency inherently places limitations on an agent’s ability to disclose information about a property or client. Particularly when negotiating a price or terms. It is important that neither party be offered an advantage over the other because of the agency relationship.

Regardless of whether you represent a buyer or a seller, the best solution to avoid the pitfalls of dual agency is to have the discussion with the client before showing homes. Obtain consent, in writing, and remind the client that the home they are selling or buying may encounter a situation where you as an agent cannot discuss details about the other party.

With the right care, both parties can be represented with fairness and honesty. Your knowledge as an agent should be the value proposition that satisfies most clients. For most clients that is all that is expected.

Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Need more information? Or to Search for your next home, visit www.Scottsdale-AZHomes.com

Posted by

Joseph Domino

© 2010-2018 Joseph Domino All Rights Reserved

Comments (6)

Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Denver Broker / Author / Advocate/Short Sale

This is always a fun discussion for real estate agents / brokers.  Dual agency is illegal in the State of Colorado, as Sub-agency is.  We deal with transaciton broker relationships or non-agency relationships.  It becomes very scary if you do not perform as ONE.  When changing the Hat, from agency to a non-agemcy or TB ... we remove one of the duties that creates agency, and that is confidentiallity.  Not sure how Dual Agency deals with that,  .

Dec 29, 2020 09:26 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

With Dual Agency, everything has be done with written authorization.  You can see how difficult that can be to maintain. It is so difficult to cover all bases with written authorization and still negotiate. You really have to be careful.

Dec 29, 2020 08:17 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Joseph Domino 480-390-6011 Dual Agency is one of my favorite CE classes to teach!  So many agents do not understand dual agency here in AZ and it's cricical for them to know what it really means.  Here's a dual agents for you!


Dec 29, 2020 01:38 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

They look the same, but they are different.

Dec 29, 2020 08:19 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Dual agency does happen sometimes.  I've never been fond of it.  I often think the "Coming Soon" riders are an invitation for it to happen more often than it should!

Dec 30, 2020 12:21 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

No question, Coming Soon does invite the Dual Agency situation. Especially in a market with low inventory.

Dec 30, 2020 07:03 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

CONGRATULATIONS Joseph, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Dec 30, 2020 12:22 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

It does happen. However, we only do it when we know both sides are extremely savvy. Even then, we are so, so careful.  Honestly, we'd rather not do it. Residential real estate can be so emotional, it's best to have each side represented fully by their own agent. 

Dec 30, 2020 06:44 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

It can be a slippery slope.

Dec 30, 2020 07:04 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is an important topic for discussion.

Some of us recall the simpler days when we always represented the seller. And, we had no agency issues.

Happy New Year!

Dec 30, 2020 08:16 AM

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?