Posted on 10. October 2011 05:43 by qmiskini

In Georgia (as in other states) the practice of Dual Agency is a legal and accepted practice.  Simply put, Dual Agency, when agreed to by the Buyer and Seller allows one Realtor to represent both parties in the transaction.  There are transactions where Dual Agency can work to the benefit of both the Buyer and Seller.  But most often, one Realtor cannot represent both parties to the full benefit of each party.

Both Buyers and Sellers need to be clear about the nature of Agency and the duties and responsibilities a Realtor has to their Client, whether Buyer or Seller.    Perhaps the most important duty a Realtor has to their Client is to protect their Client’s interests in the transaction at all times, including disclosing to their Client all relevant information they have learned about the other party’s interests and finances.  That makes walking the line between two Clients in a Dual Agency relationship difficult and hard to navigate.  

There are some duties and services a Seller Agent - the listing agent in a Seller Agency relationship with the Seller – can perform on behalf of both the Buyer and Seller.  This chart illustrates these primary functions.


However, when a Buyer allows the Listing Agent who is already in a Seller Agency relationship with the Seller to represent both parties in a Dual Agency relationship, there are duties and functions a Realtor whose role is also to represent and protect the Seller’s interests cannot adequately perform on behalf of the Buyer.  This chart illustrates those primary functions.


 Here is what is stated in the GAR Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement regarding Dual Agency.

Dual Agency Disclosure. [Applicable only if Broker’s agency policy is to practice dual agency] If Buyer and a prospective seller are both being represented by the same Broker, Buyer is aware that Broker will be acting as a dual agent in that transaction and consents to the same. Buyer has been advised that:

A. In serving as a dual agent, Broker is representing two clients whose interests are or at times could be different or even adverse;

B. Broker will disclose all adverse, material facts relevant to the transaction and actually known to the dual agent to all parties in the transaction except for information made confidential by request or instructions from either client which is not otherwise required to be disclosed by law;

C. Buyer does not have to consent to dual agency and, the consent of Buyer to dual agency has been given voluntarily and Buyer has read and understands the brokerage engagement agreement.

D. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary contained herein, Buyer hereby directs Broker, while acting as a dual agent, to keep confidential and not reveal to the other party any information which could materially and adversely affect Buyer’s negotiating position.

E. Broker or Broker’s affiliated licensees will timely disclose to each client the nature of any material relationship with other clients other than that incidental to the transaction. A material relationship shall mean any actually known personal, familial, or business relationship between Broker and a client which would impair the ability of Broker to exercise fair and independent judgment relative to another client. The other party whom Broker may represent in the event of dual agency may or may not be identified at the time Buyer enters into this Agreement. If any party is identified after the Agreement and has a material relationship with Broker, then Broker shall timely provide to Buyer a disclosure of the nature of such relationship.


For a Buyer not represented by a Realtor who finds a home whose Seller is represented by a Realtor that suggests they can represent both parties, these terms and conditions must be clearly understood as they affect the rights of both parties in the transaction.  If you have not already entered into an Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement with a Realtor, the Realtor representing the Seller can offer you a good alternative.  It is called Designated Agency.  Here is what is stated in the GAR Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement regarding Designated Agency.

Designated Agency Disclosure. [Applicable only if Broker’s agency policy is to practice designated agency] Buyer does hereby consent to Broker acting in a designated agency capacity in transactions in which Broker is representing Buyer and a prospective seller. With designated agency, the Broker assigns one or more of its affiliated licensees exclusively to represent a prospective seller and one or more of its other affiliated licensees exclusively to represent Buyer.


Simply put, the Realtor’s Broker can provide each party in the transaction with qualified Realtors to exclusively represent each party individually and to the benefit of the party the Realtor is representing.  One Realtor represents the Buyer and the Buyer’s interests; one Realtor represents the Seller and the Seller’s interests.

Then, both parties are fully represented; the added stress of one Realtor trying to “fairly” represent both parties is taken out of the transaction; and both Buyer and Seller can feel confident their Realtor is working fully in their individual best interests.

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