If buying or selling your home in 2023 is in your plans, you may be thinking of who you will use to help you with this real estate transaction! In most real estate transactions, you have 2 Realtors – one represents the seller (the listing agent) and one represents the buyer (the buyer’s agent). But in some cases, there may be what is called the Dual Agent! Dual agency occurs when the same Realtor represents both the seller and the buyer in the same transaction!
You may be thinking that this could be a good thing – after all, you have one less agent to deal with, which will result in a smoother transaction, a quicker transaction and will probably save everyone some money!
Over the years I have had some buyers tell me that they just called the agent whose name was on the sign in front of the house they ended up buying and used them! Or the buyer went to an open house and liked the agent there and ended up buying the house they went to the open house! Some of these buyers have had a good transaction, but many of them regretted the decision to not have their own agent! And as a Realtor who does not practice dual agency, if I had been the agent that had the listing, I would have probably referred them to a different Realtor so they would have had their own representation!
WHAT ARE THE DRAWBACKS TO DUAL AGENCY?
If a Realtor is representing both the seller and the buyer in the same transaction, ask yourself who they are really representing? Remember that dual agents are really more like referees than agents! The listing agent was hired by the seller – to protect the seller’s interests!!! If you were getting a divorce, would you hire the same attorney as your spouse? I don’t think so!
There are a lot of drawbacks to using the same agent that the seller hired to list their home
Both buyers and sellers will have many questions during the course of the transaction. If a Realtor is a dual agent, then there are a number of them they can’t answer —
- How much is the house really worth?
- What do you think would be a fair offer for the home?
- How much should my counter be to the buyers offer?
- What repairs or concessions do you recommend me asking for from the home inspection?
- Should I agree to the buyer’s repair requests?
- Are any of the repairs requested by the buyer unreasonable?
- Are there any sex offenders living in the area?
- I think the house appraised too low – how do I dispute the appraisal?
There may be many more questions that come up that a dual agent will not be able to answer for you!
Remember, dual agency is legal in the state of Virginia. Having your own buyer agent won’t cost you anything but you will have peace of mind knowing that you will have your own Realtor advocating for your interests! Feel free to call and let me know how I can help!