By Jesse McCarl
When you represent the buyer and the seller in a real estate transaction, you immediately double your paycheck! That being said, though, there are a lot of pitfalls that come with dual agency.
It’s important for agents to look at legal clarification of dual agency transactions. For example, many don’t realize that it is still considered dual agency if a separate agent from their own company represents the other party.
The priority of the transaction should always be the consumers. Here’s a look at everything you need to know about dual agency to ensure your safety and the customer’s best interests.
How to Interact with Both Sides
First, review your Code of Ethics to brush up on all standards regarding dual agency. The gist of these documents will always boil down to one thing: Do what’s best for the client, not what’s best for you.
The most important legal guideline in dual agency is disclosure. By law, you must make it clear that you are representing both parties in every aspect of the transaction.
When Interacting with the Seller… Make it clear that you are working first and foremost for the seller. Present all offers and make it clear which you represent. Lay out the pros and cons of each offer, just as you would if you had no stake in any of them. You absolutely cannot have any bias when discussing options with the selling client. You ultimately represent the seller’s best interests.
When Interacting with the Buyer… Legally, you’re only required to disclose your representation for the seller when paperwork gets involved. Here at HouseHunt, however, we strongly advise that you be forthcoming about your dual role the moment you present a potential listing. This transparency will build trust between you and the buyer. It’s great if you have listings that you think suit the buyer client, but it’s a major red flag if those make up a majority of the viewings you arrange.
The obvious pro of dual agency for you is that you double that commission for yourself. And as long as you’re ethical in the process building up to that point, there’s no shame in a bigger paycheck!
Be completely open and honest throughout the process, always prioritizing the client’s needs. 31% of customers say trustworthiness was the most important quality they look for when choosing their Realtor. Sure, that total honesty could rob you of your double-commission, but it will build trust. When you gain a client’s trust, you build your referral network.
The best thing to do for wallet and for your representation will always be to handle dual agency the legal and ethical way.