Dual Agency – Yes or No?

June 30, 2023

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If you have been out looking for a home in 2023, or you are considering selling your home in 2023, you know how crazy this market has been since the pandemic! If you decide to sell your home, you will probably call a knowledgeable local Realtor to help you with the sale – this is your Listing Agent! And if you decide to buy a home, you will probably call a knowledgeable local Realtor to help you with your home purchase – this is your Buyer Agent! In each of these scenarios, you have a realtor who is representing your interests and is working on your behalf!  See my current video where I discuss my thoughts on Dual Agency!

But let’s suppose you are a buyer, and you walk into an open house and fall in love with the house! The Realtor who is at the open house asks you if you are currently working with a realtor and you tell them “No”. But you want to write an offer on the house, and so you decide to go ahead and work with the same Realtor who is also the seller’s agent!

It’s important to note that in this scenario, the Realtor at the open house is the seller’s agent, not your own buyer agent. While they may assist you in writing an offer, it’s essential to consider whether you would prefer having your own buyer agent to represent your interest throughout the home buying process.

If you decide to go this route, you may now be using what is called a Dual Agent to help you with your purchase! Just what is Dual Agency? Dual agency exists when the same Realtor represents you, the buyer as well as the seller of the house you are interested in purchasing! In Virginia this is a legally allowed agency relationship – however, all parties must agree to it!


First, there is no guarantee that the seller’s agent will agree to reduce their commission if you also use them to write the offer! The commission the seller paying is negotiated between the seller and the brokerage firm, and unless the Realtor agreed otherwise, they have no incentive to reduce their commission!

Second, as a buyer, it’s important to understand that listing agents have a duty to maintain confidentiality to their clients. This means they may not be able to disclose certain information to you, such as if the house is overpriced or the reason for the sale.

Third, while there may be benefits to having the same Realtor handle both sides of a transaction, there is also a risk of overlooking important details. This can happen if the listing Realtor is overwhelmed with multiple tasks, potentially leading to mistakes or oversights.


Probably not! Remember, the “Dual Agent” is not “your Agent”. Dual agency can pose a challenge as agents have to balance the best interests of both buyers and sellers, who often have conflicting goals. Many realtors, like myself, choose not to engage in dual agency to ensure we can fully advocate for our clients.

A dual agent may not be able to provide the same level of advice, representation or confidentiality as a dedicated agent. Potential issues include limited advice on offers, potential disclosure of confidential information, and possible oversight of important details in the transaction.

As you can see from above, neither buyer or seller gets the benefits they should get from a dual agent! A buyer using a Buyer Agent knows that that agent is representing them and only them, and is advocating 100% for their interests by giving good advice that can help them navigate the real estate purchasing journey!

A seller using a Listing Agent knows that that agent is representing them and only them, and is advocating 100% for their interests by giving advice on pricing, inspections, contracts and more to make sure that their house is selling for top dollar and the best terms!

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the Richmond area, and have questions about agency relationships and what each one means for you, please feel free to let me know. I am happy to help!