Definition and Obligations of a Dual Portland Real Estate Agent

by | May 1, 2014 | Buyer Tips, Seller Tips

Definition and Obligations of a Dual Portland Real Estate Agent

Whether you’ve decided to purchase a new home or list yours for sale, you’ll need to hire an experienced Portland real estate agent.  Selling and buying homes can be stressful, so you need to be able to trust and rely on your Portland Realtor to do what’s in your best interest, even if they’re acting as a dual agent.

What is Dual Agency?

While ‘dual agency’ might be a confusing term, it’s quite simple — the real estate agent is working for both the buyer and the seller of the home.  As both parties will have a lot at stake, this could be perceived as a conflict of interest. Below are some of a dual agent’s obligations which are put in place to prevent a conflict of interest:

  • An agent should disclose dual agency – As soon as a real estate agent realizes that a buyer is seriously interested in a property on which they have a signed contract, they should immediately be honest with both parties about the possibility of dual agency.
  • Dual agents should represent both parties fairly – real estate agents are ethically obligated to treat both the buyer and the seller equally should a dual agency occur.
  • Dual agents cannot disclose personal information – A dual agent cannot tell the other party about any personal issues associated with the selling or buying of the house, such as a divorce or financial distress. This is important because one party should not have the upper hand during negotiations.

What If There Are Two Agents From The Same Company?

If two agents within the same agency represent the buyer and seller, the transaction is still considered a dual agency.  This creates a barrier between the two parties.  Agents in the same office usually communicate well, but they also have to adhere to the strict ethics code of the National Association of Realtors.    It’s completely normal to be wary of a dual agency when it comes to selling or purchasing a home with a Portland real estate agent.

Should You Work With A Dual Agent?

If you’re not comfortable with a dual Portland Real Estate Agent, tell your agent that you prefer to have him or her work exclusively for you.  If he or she is unwilling to do that, find a new agent.

If you need help finding a new agent, check out my articles about What To Avoid When Choosing a Real Estate Agent. Or How to Interview Portland Real Estate Agents.