A real estate transaction of any size is a complicated transaction. Even the most sophisticated buyer or seller needs the advise to help guide them through the lengthy process. Often, buyers and sellers are drawn to concept of having one agent represent both parties to reduce the amount of commission be paid which in turn ultimately impacts the purchase price for the property.
An agency relationship is created when one person agrees to represent another in dealings with a third party. In the real estate purchase, sale and lease arena, the real estate agent may represent a seller, buyer, landlord or tenant in the transaction.
In California, an agent can represent both the buyer and the seller in the transaction. However, they can only do so with the knowledge and consent of both the seller and the buyer. Additionally the agent still has duties to both parties including a fiduciary duty of using the utmost care, integrity, honesty and loyalty in dealings with either party. In this scenario, the dual agent may not, without the express permission of the respective party, disclose to the other party certain information.
The difficulty with dual agency is that an agent cannot really represent both sides of the negotiating table while meeting the required high fiduciary duties and standards owed both the buyer and the seller in the transaction.
Frequently, one hears the comment that the agent is more interested in quickly closing the deal and getting paid a commission rather than helping the party make good decisions for their best interests throughout the transaction.
The least complicated and most protective agency relationship is where one agent represents the buyer and another agent represents the seller (Listing Agent). In this scenario, both parties are represented by allegedly knowledgeable agents who canhelp them navigate the deal.
The Best Protection is to Hire an Attorney
Selling or buying a real estate can be complex and complicated. While a real estate agent can assist you with viewing properties, staging the property, selecting the listing price, making or accepting an offer among other tasks, a skilled real estate attorney can oversee the process to make sure you are protected by thoroughly reviewing the details, contracts and documents.
Lisa Wills is an experienced real estate attorney who can guide you through your purchase, sale or lease transaction. It is far more cost-effective to have an attorney assist you during the transaction than be forced to file or defend a lawsuit later. Contact us to answer your questions and help guide you through the transaction at (925) 463-9000 or send an email.
If you would like more information about dual agency and other real estate transaction and related questions, please contact Lisa Wills of the Law Offices of Lisa D. Wills is a skilled real estate attorney in Pleasanton, San Ramon, Dublin, Livermore, Danville, Castro Valley and Hayward, CA. Please contact Lisa Wills by email at the Law Offices of Lisa D. Wills or call (925) 463-9000.