Suppose you stop by an open house or see a for sale sign planted in the lawn of your dream home, and you aren’t working with an agent What do you do? Well, you have three options. First, if you like the listing agent and wouldn’t mind working with him or her, you can go ahead with a limited or dual agency agreement, whereby all parties agree to let the listing agent represent them in the transaction.
The agent fills out a form that outlines the provisions of dual agency and the buyer, seller, and agent all sign it. Essentially, it discloses that the agent agrees not to say or do anything that would harm either party’s negotiating position.
The agent takes a neutral position and helps both sides reach an agreement. Although it’s controversial with many brokers, dual agency has advantages:
1. If the agent is an experienced professional, he or she can guide both parties toward a successful outcome because he or she knows what they both want. Yes, it can turn into a tricky rope walk, but it can work out great, too.
2. The sellers can be assured the agent isn’t going to waste everyone’s time with a buyer who can’t qualify to buy the home and the deal will move forward in the capable hands of someone they trust.
3. The buyers feel comfortable working with an agent who is knowledgeable, knows the property, and whom they trust to be fair and impartial to both parties.