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⚔️ The Dual (Agency) Is On in California! 😎

Real Estate Agent with Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 CA BRE# 01261476

Dual Agency is legal and common in California. In the realm of real estate, dual agency emerges as both a boon and a burden, presenting agents and clients with a dual-edged sword of advantages and pitfalls.
Certainly, dual agency occurs when a broker represents both the buyer(s) and seller(s) in the same transaction. However, it's important to note that while the broker may act as a dual agent, the individual agents involved are not directly considered dual agents themselves, although there may be indirect implications.

On the bright side, dual agency offers the allure of simplicity and efficiency. With a single agent representing both buyer and seller, transactions may proceed more swiftly, reducing the potential for miscommunication and streamlining the negotiation process. Additionally, dual agency can foster a sense of trust and camaraderie between parties, as the agent serves as a neutral mediator, striving to achieve the best outcome for all involved. I have experience this version on multiple occasions, but it's when the seller essentially dictates the offer and the buyer complies (competitive market or off market scenario). The only thing to negotiate is the repairs if it's not an as-is deal.

While the concept of dual agency may seem appealing, it's important to acknowledge the potential pitfalls that come with it. One of the primary concerns is the issue of conflicting interests. With the agent representing both the buyer and seller, there's a risk of impartiality being compromised. It raises questions about whose interests are being prioritized during negotiations and whether the agent can truly advocate effectively for both parties simultaneously. Additionally, there's the possibility of transparency being compromised, as confidential information shared by one party could inadvertently influence the representation of the other. In cases where such concerns arise, it's essential to prioritize ethics and consider bringing in a separate agent to represent the buyer, ensuring that the interests of all parties involved are adequately safeguarded.

To navigate the complexities of dual agency, both agents and clients must proceed with vigilance and clear communication. Agents must prioritize transparency, disclosing any potential conflicts of interest upfront and seeking to maintain impartiality throughout the transaction. Clients, meanwhile, should approach dual agency with a discerning eye, ensuring they understand their rights and options under such arrangements. By fostering open dialogue and mutual respect, dual agency can indeed yield successful outcomes for all parties involved.

My ethics guide me on when I'm a dual agent, when I bring in a team member and when I pass completely. But I'm proud to say I close 20% of my own listings asa career average - which means I do not wait for buyers to show up like a fisherman; I proactively seek out and sell properties to buyers like a hunter.
I also caution buyers the seek out listing agents, that they have no advantage over buyers with their own representation: no side deals, price breaks or unethical upper hand benefits. Sometimes, that naturally weeds out a would be "buyer". 


Cover: Image by Zoltan from Pixabay
Image by Nel Botha from Pixabay
Image by Satheesh Sankaran from Pixabay
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay



Posted by

Thomas J. Nelson
REALTOR®, CRS, RCS-D, CDPE, e-Pro, Certified Military Home Specialist, Luxury Home Specialist, Author, Keynote Speaker and  Podcast Host 

Serving Coastal San Diego from Carlsbad to Coronado, Downtown, Balboa Park Area,
La Jolla/UCSD & Mission Bay Park Areas
I Offer Rebates to Veterans
& Active Duty

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RCS-Divorce     Southern California Chapter of Certified Residential Specialists (CRS)

Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, medical advice or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice, health or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Hi Thomas, I do think your service is a balloon, and I also love your boldness and choosing the swordswomen as a very good way to grab attention for sure! That’s wild! :

Apr 18, 2024 09:49 PM
Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Colorado Broker / Referral Services

Oh my ... had no idea that California is operating with "Dual Agency".  Our State made it an Illegal agency with Seller Agency (where all real estate agents represented the seller) back in 1994.  Best wishes on getting the job done, Thomas!

Apr 19, 2024 03:47 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Normal in Cali yes. Been doing them for 25 years, cautiously and selectively

Apr 19, 2024 07:41 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net

 Thanks for sharing, make it a great Friday and enjoy your


Bill Salvatore, Realtor- Arizona Elite Properties

Apr 19, 2024 03:59 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Thomas. The integrity and mindset of the agent operating in Dual Agency can't be legislated. Some can handle it and some cannot. The wise agent knows the difference. The bad agent does not. Great explanation! Enjoy your day.

Apr 19, 2024 05:09 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Absolutely Wayne, I sometimes pass on it because I see to much potential for trouble. It comes down to the situation's circumstances and a judgement call on the integrity of the parties involved. There are some situations where it's quite easy. Other's I pass on because the buyer seems unethical - they think there's an advantage to working with the listing agent (translation upper hand advantage). If they won't close ethically - they are declined.

Apr 19, 2024 07:40 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Communicating to buyers and sellers what can or cannot happen with dual agency is important to making it work. And of course, sticking to the dual agency rules! Not all agents can do this well.

Apr 19, 2024 05:30 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Indeed! In fact as mentioned, I sometimes pass on it because I see to much potential for lawsuit. It comes down to the situation's circumstances and judgement call on the two party's character.

Apr 19, 2024 07:35 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I have never done dual agency before and likely never will.  I would have one side sign acknowledging that they are unrepresented.  I would rather they be represented though and will always push for that and tout the reasons why they should be willing to pay for representation!

Apr 19, 2024 05:38 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Well that's just it , both sides are represented. It's not for the faint of heart nor the unethical!

Apr 19, 2024 07:33 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Thomas,
There are definitely pros and cons to dual agency, just like just about anything in life.  As far as I know, it is still legal in Washington State, but I've been retired for 13 years, so not sure about that.  I acted as a dual agent a few times in my career and I had other opportunities to do so, but declined. As you said, it's usually clear if there will be conflicts of interest.

Apr 19, 2024 09:01 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Good Morning Thomas and a great blog to share with us here in the Rain.  Love the pictures you shared in this blog.

  Good Job!


Apr 19, 2024 09:08 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets,  I am with you. I have been doing dual agency for 40 years. I do not seek it out and do not find it difficult not to cross the line of fairness or my fiduciary duties. I take my duties very seriously and treat everyone fairly even if I need to sit with someone for two or three hours and explain I will - time is of the essence - and my clients come back to me 

It is legal in Pennsylvania  

Apr 19, 2024 10:48 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Wahoo! I knew there must be others!!! 🤣😂

Apr 19, 2024 11:40 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Here in AZ the AAR has a legally vetted form "Consent for Limited Representation." Often representing both the seller and the buyer happens with rural properties especially vacant land or those properties out in the middle of nowhere. Yes one must be cautious and careful, I agree with Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets 

Apr 19, 2024 01:54 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Thomas - thankfully, your post on dual agency did not result in a duel.  Not yet.  I can't wait until some historian pulls out that famous story of Hamilton v. Burr --- the real estate musical version, that is. Now, I'm thinking of the score it could inspire.  😃

Apr 20, 2024 08:50 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

I agree with what you are saying about dual agency in California, Thomas.

Apr 20, 2024 02:31 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Thomas, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Clubgroup!  

Apr 20, 2024 02:32 PM