Dual agency is a hot topic in the real estate industry. Basically, this happens when one firm or one agent represents both the buyer and the seller in the same real estate transaction. While it’s legal, it’s not necessarily the best idea for either person involved in the transaction.
Pros of Dual Agency
The one big pro to dual agency is how fast it can move the transaction along. It can allow for a faster sale if an agent has the perfect buyer for one of their seller’s homes.
Communications are much easier with dual agency, as well. They become streamlined because one agent is in charge of both sides, which makes the scheduling, paperwork, and deadlines easier. You don’t have to worry about the other agent responding in a timely manner or missing deadlines in this situation.
Cons of Dual Agency
While there are pros for dual agency, the cons may throw up some red flags. Even though dual agency is legal in North Carolina, it will likely become a conflict of interest as an agent cannot represent both sides of the transaction in a fair and impartial manner. The buyer may be interested in getting the best deal possible, while the seller wants the highest price possible. This makes it very hard when one agent is representing both.
In addition, there won’t be as many checks and balances when you enter into a real estate transaction with the same agent. You wouldn’t get a divorce and use the same lawyer as your soon-to-be ex-spouse, so why would you allow one agent to represent both sides of such a huge transaction?
Without checks and balances, you could end up giving into something that doesn’t benefit you. It could also lead to something getting missed and there might not be anybody else there to make sure it gets caught before it’s too late.
Should you Consider Dual Agency?
Dual agency is a tricky situation. It’s one thing if you’re selling your home and your agent refers a potential buyer to someone else in his/her firm. At least, in this scenario, there are still two agents for the transaction. However, having one agent represents both sides will more likely lead to mistakes or your best interests not being represented.
Real estate agents have a fiduciary responsibility to the party they represent. It’s best to make sure they are solely representing you in the transaction and allow the other party to get their own real estate agent.
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