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What Are Dual Real Estate Agents?

By Karen Lissack

Many prospective homebuyers automatically assume that their real estate agent works solely to meet their best interests. While this is true in some cases, there are agents that are “dual agents” that look after both the interests of the buyer and the seller. There are basically two real estate agent classifications; the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent. There are cases where one agent plays the role of both agent classifications. When this happens the agent is working as a dual agent. To provide a better understanding of this, we’ll discuss both classifications further.

The real estate agents who solely represent the buyer are considered to be buyer’s agents. On the other hand, seller’s agents solely look after the benefit and welfare of the property seller; they may also be referred to as listing agents. This sole representation is also described as single agency. Agents of these classifications act on behalf of their clients. They should not in any way provide confidential data and information on the other party. Single agency agents must work for the client with utmost honesty laying all the facts and the progress of the transaction.

A buyer’s agent who also works for the seller is called a dual agent. Since the agent doesn’t take sides, you shouldn’t share confidential information. There were cases where dual agents were sued for disclosing important facts. With this type of agency, it’s difficult to go for the highest possible selling price as the agent will also look after the buyer’s welfare.

There are some agents that prefer to avoid the possibility of conflict that can occur with a dual agency. They often prefer to work as a single agency depending on their client’s needs. If the client is a buyer, the agent will fill the role of a buyer’s agent and if the client is a seller, the agent takes on the role of listing agent. There are other types of agents that work for both of the parties, but have no strings attached. These agents are called transaction agents. The role of a transaction agent is to ensure that a transaction goes smoothly. This agent will also provide any necessary documents and paperwork for both of the parties.

If you plan to purchase a home and come to work with a dual agent, make sure to talk about his terms on how to represent both parties fairly. You can ask for references and talk to the agent’s previous clients. It is important that they highly recommend the agent before finally making the decision.

Find out if this agent is an active member of the National Association of Realtors or NAR. This organization requires its member to follow a strict code of ethics. Most states require agents to provide both a seller and a buyer with a disclosure form. This form defines the agency and its nature. Carefully read the entire form, making sure you understand all the details of it before signing any kind of agreement. While you will undoubtedly be working closely with your agent, it doesn’t hurt to research the home prices in the area on your own. This will allow you to determine whether or not a property is fairly priced.

Karen Lissack has been reporting about real estate and home related topics for almost 15 years. She is proficient in any aspect in real estate from buying to selling, even investing. She is fully informed about chapel hill real estate and has aided people in finding the best chapel hill homes in the market.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Lissack, Karen "What Are Dual Real Estate Agents?." What Are Dual Real Estate Agents?. 24 Jun. 2010. 20 Jan 2015 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Lissack, K (2010, June 24). What Are Dual Real Estate Agents?. Retrieved January 20, 2015, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Lissack, Karen "What Are Dual Real Estate Agents?"

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