Can the listing agent represent the buyer & the seller?

dual agency representing buyers and sellers

What is Dual Agency?

Dual Agency is a real estate transaction is when the listing agent will represent the buyer AND the seller. A real estate agent entering a dual agency is obligated by law not to share confidential information that could give either party involved in the transaction an unfair advantage. Dual agency also occurs when the agent representing the buyer is employed by the same broker as the listing agent.

Is Dual Agency legal in California?

Yes, dual agency is permitted under California state law. A listing agent can represent a buyer, but only under the strict guidelines laid out by the California Department of Real Estate. Undisclosed dual agency, where the agent purportedly acts in the interests of both the buyer and the seller without notifying either party is not only a serious breach of ethics, but is also illegal.

Agents entering a dual agency relationship with their clients need to properly disclose it in their Agency Disclosure forms. It is up to the client or the client’s TC (transaction coordinator) to make sure they have all the disclosures in order.

Most real estate firms have strict internal policies that outline the procedures for handling dual agency transactions. Some of the larger firms won’t even handle dual agency transactions because of potential liability issues.

What is Team Aguilar’s Policy on Dual Agency?

New clients often ask us if we practice dual agency – the answer is a resounding “NO.” Whether you’re buying or selling, a Team Aguilar agent will ONLY represent your interests to make sure you get a favorable resolution to your real estate transaction.

In the rare, unavoidable cases where we do get into a dual agency situation (yes folks, it does happen) we act under the rules of the DRE. We will represent both clients at the highest legal and ethical standards in a manner that is fair and equitable to all parties involved in the transaction.

Here is a video I recently created about real estate dual agency and why I do not think it does any good for the buyer or the seller.

9 thoughts on “Can the listing agent represent the buyer & the seller?”

  1. commercial mortgage broker

    I have been updating with this Real Estate blog for sometime and its a great blog and very informative.

  2. These ethical debates always turn a bit hairy, but I agree with you completely here. There’s nothing wrong at all with acting in a dual-agency capacity, but you better do so fairly. It can be really easy to favor one side of the transaction over another . . . the key is to ALWAYS be aware that you must look out for both parties. Sometimes that is easier said than done.

  3. In Texas we don’t have dual agency, but we have Intermediary Agency and I won’t touch that. If I have a listing, my first responsibility is to my seller. If I act as an Intermediary I can’t possibly have the best interests of my sellers come first. I would rather refer a buyer to another agent so both sides have representation.

  4. yes we have dual agency in Canada (ontario) as well. thank you for your explanation. the key word is ethical and treatment of both parties with the utmost fairness. I Enjoy reading about our US friends and their rel estate views.

  5. @ Josh Thanks for stopping by the blog and having a read. I spend quite a bit of time reading articles on REI. You have a great informative website.

    @ Ed – Thanks for stopping by as well. I have a couple friends in Canada and it seems like you have similar issues. Dual agency is dual agency no matter how you slice it. You have to work hard and make sure you are doing the right thing. It’s frustrating when you know certain agents are not fair and don’t bother doing the right thing.

    @ Sam – I agree with everything you are saying. I am not very familiar with Intermediary Agency but it sounds like it may be similar and I am sure you have run into similar issues. 🙂

  6. Lisa [email protected] For Sale Providnece Utah

    I agree, nothing wrong with dual agency as long as you disclose, disclose, disclose. If the buyers know what they are dealing with, then I don’t see a problem, however I always refer buyers on my listings to another agent. I don’t like to do both sides, just not my thing.

  7. This is exactly the problem we face in the Central American market. Agents routinely represent both the buyer and the seller and no disclosure requirements exist (or are followed). The problem is compounded by lack of realtor licensing. Most buyers and sellers are completely unaware of how open they are to biased advice.
    .-= [email protected] Real Estate´s last blog ..5 ways to make your overseas property listing convert like crazy =-.

  8. Guys! I agreed with Claudia point of view, quite sometimes many of them(Seller/Buyer) they are doing in dual purpose, maybe for interest of their Company or in their personal interest.

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