I’m one of a very few Boise Area Realtors® who avoids dual agency representation.
Dual Agency Explained
It’s important to understand that agency representation is at the broker level; not the agent level.
Dual agency occurs when a real estate broker represents both buyer and seller in a transaction.
In real estate slang, dual agency representation is called a “double-ender” because the broker handles both the listing “end” and selling “end” of the transaction.
You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to realize that representing two parties with opposing interests in a transaction can create all sorts of conflicting legal issues.
Consequently, dual agency representation is fertile ground for attorneys when a buyer or seller feels wronged in a dual agency real estate transaction.
When a real estate broker lists a seller’s property, they become legally-obligated to represent the seller’s best interests.
Dual Agency Conflicts of Interest
Things become interesting when a listing broker also represents a buyer concurrently in the same transaction.
Dual agency can also occur when two agents licensed under the same broker represent a buyer and seller in the same transaction.
It’s nearly impossible for a real estate broker to faithfully represent the best interests of both buyer and seller in the same transaction.
The seller is expecting the highest price, the buyer is expecting the lowest price, and the dual agent is promising them both they’re getting a great deal.
Real Estate Commissions
Real estate commissions can also play a role in “double-ender” transactions.
When a listing broker sells their own listing, they don’t share the commission with another broker.
They keep 100% of the commission; thereby creating a very tempting financial incentive for a dual agent to “make it work”.
Dual Agency Risks
Dual agency representation is risky business for real estate brokers and agents.
I’ve often wondered why it’s allowed in Idaho.
Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, you should be represented by your own agent.