What is "Dual Agency"?

When you list your home for sale or sign a contract offering to purchase a home, you'll probably be asked to sign a "Consent for Dual Agency". It's scary to sign a "consent" for anything if you don't understand it.

When you sign a listing agreement, you're agreeing to allow a specific company (or broker) list your home. You then become the client of the Realtor who does the listing presentation. This agent will ALWAYS represent you as his/her client. The agent's fiduciary duty is to YOU, not the Buyer.

Now, having said that, let's talk about "Dual Agency". When a Buyer is found and represented by another agent from the same company, then the company (not your agent) becomes the "dual agent". Your Realtor will still represent you, working to get the highest and best offer for you. The Buyer's agent will represent him/her in the purchase of your property and that agent's fiduciary duty is to the Buyer, not to you. These two agents from the same company (if they are honest and ethical professionals) will never share confidential information, will never break the duty and trust they have with their individual clients.

If you feel good about your Realtor, feel that they are indeed professional and ethical, there is no reason not to sign the "Consent for Dual Agency". If you're concerned about your agent's professionalism or ability to maintain confidentiality, then it's time to get a new Realtor.
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