Real Estate Agencies - Single Or Dual

When dealing with real estate agents, it is difficult to ascertain several things regarding the roles of these agents in specific transactions. In order to provide a clearer view regarding their functions, an agency disclosure is required by many states. This is a form that they need to acknowledge, sign and give to the buyers and sellers.

Real estate agencies may be classified into two: the dual agency and the single agency. In the dual agency, there are two scenarios that are possible. One is when two agents may work for one broker and represent each of the parties involved in a single transaction. A dual agency oftentimes begins as a single agency. If, for instance, the client opted for a property listed by the broker of the same agent, then a dual agency comes in. Because the transaction involves two agents working for a single broker, the agreement needs to be put in writing, naming all parties involved. The other scenario is when a listing agent also represents the buyer. In this case, the agent is a dual agent. Because the transaction in dual agencies is being handled by a single agent, the confidentiality of each party needs to be preserved. The agent has to keep a balance between both sides and cannot share confidential information regarding both parties. The agent in this case needs to keep an impartial treatment to both parties that he is working for.

In the single agency, the sales agent acts for one party in the transaction. This is to avoid the confusion of handling both parties and for the agent to concentrate more on the demands of the party. He can also give alternatives to the client.

While dual agency can be confusing, it should be noted that the term is used to refer to the real estate broker and not the agent. Most brokerage firms uses this kind of agency, although requires the broker to inform the client that a dual agency is present in the transaction.