I hope I've answered your question!
Peter Leeds (Not Just The Sports Guy)
It is not legal in all states.
In states where it is legal it is not legal unless both the buyer and seller have given the company representing them written permission to act as a dual agent.
The dual agent must be honest with both parties and fully disclose material facts about the property. The dual agent may not disclose financial information, motivation level or personal information about one party to the other party unless authorized... in short, the agent has a FIDUCIARY responsibility to BOTH parties. This is spelled out in the appropriate Greater Hartford Association of Realtors disclosure form. Please email me if you would like a copy of this form.
If both buyer & seller have a previous relationship with the same agent, trust the agent completely, and are fairly sophisticated, this dual agency situation can work well.
If the buyer shows up at an open house (never having met the listing agent previously) and decides they want to purchase that property, the buyer may seriously want to consider hiring their own agent to represent their interests.
If you are listing a property, you should ask your agent what their policy is with respect to dual agency... for instance, some companies will insist that in a multiple offer situation the manager will represent the seller, allowing the former listing agent to represent a potential buyer (the seller loses the agent they chose initially, due solely to the broker's policy on dual agency)... Food for thought!
Often times in an office, there will be dual/designated agents. That is where the Broker assigns an agent to each side of the transaction, and tells them not to share sensitive information about the other party with each other.
It is common to have the dual agency, and as long as it is disclosed, there is no conflict of interest on the part of the agency. The biggest thing to remember in the loss of the "full disclosure" portion of the representation, is that all material facts about the building still are legally required to be told, so anything either agent in a designated agent situation knows, must be told to all parties, it is really only about personal issues (like a divorce) or about price that cannot be disclosed.....
When our office lists a property for sale, the seller signs an agreement
to say you may put my house on the market and I realize that if
you bring in a customer that likes my home you will be working
for me and the buyer as a dual agent.
If you are our buyer in this situation you would also have to
sign a dual agency agreement to agree that you know that
I will be working for you and the seller to put this transaction
(buying of the home) together.
Hope that is clear for you...any other questions, call me 860-643-9505
at home now or office later 860-647-8000.