Single Agency Q&A
What Every Real Estate Consumer Deserves
Q. What is single agency, anyway?
A. A single is an agent who represents only one party to a real estate transaction, either the buyer or the seller, but never both.
Q. Why do I need a single agent?
A. Buyers and sellers have different interests. No one agent can represent the best interests of both parties. Any real estate transaction is a major financial commitment. You deserve to have an agent who does not have conflicts of interest and can give you with vigorous advocacy.
Q. How is this different from the traditional way of real estate?
A. Traditionally seller’s agents have advertised their listings, and solicited inquiries from potential buyers. When buyers do inquire or meet the seller’s agent at an open house, the buyer is a potential customer to whom the agent wants to sell that home. If the buyer is not represented by his own agent at this time, the seller’s agent often ends up becoming a dual agent who attempts to represent both buyer and seller, but in truth, represents neither. The seller, who started out the process with their own agent, finds their agent cannot no longer provide them full representation because the agent now owes a duty to the buyer as well.
Conversely, buyers who begin a transaction with their own agent, then elect to purchase a property listed by their broker find themselves unwittingly a victim of dual agency, and without the representation and advocacy they originally bargained for.
Q. What is dual agency, and why should you demand better?
A. Dual agency is a euphemistic term to describe the situation in which your broker represents both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. You should AVOID DUAL AGENCY at all costs. In truth, the only one to benefit from dual agency is the broker, who receives twice the amount of commission, but neither buyer nor seller gets full representation, which they both deserve.