There’s certainly more than one way to complete a real estate transaction, and each party hiring an agent may not always be the ideal situation for everyone. Let’s open our eyes to other possible routes to closing on our next real estate purchase or sale by seeing what buyers and sellers in Harford County should know about dual agency.
What Does Dual Agency Mean?
Traditionally, both the buyer and seller will either represent themselves or hire a qualified and experienced real estate agent to represent them in communication and negotiation with the other party.
In the case of dual agency, one agent is acting less as a representative of either party and more as a facilitator of the real estate transaction. The long and short of this type of transaction is that the agent is there to ensure that the transaction successfully closes with all of the paperwork and legal requirements fulfilled, not to sell anyone on a specific deal.
A Simplified Transaction
Out of all aspects of a dual agency situation, the biggest plus is how communication is about as simple as it can get.
The agent working on your case is the point of contact for anything and everything, and this makes it very easy to stay in the loop. Since the agent is the fulcrum on which the entire transaction depends, they have a major incentive to make sure both buyer and seller keep up to date on any changes during negotiations and are fully prepared for closing.
They Are Not YOUR Agent
Having one agent handling every part of your home purchase or sale can sound like a dream, but it absolutely comes with some serious downsides.
One thing that both buyer and seller need to completely understand before moving forward with any dual agency transaction is that the dual agent does not represent either party’s interests. The dual agent is there to keep things moving toward closing and then close the deal successfully, but they are not there to give advice or help either buyer or seller, individually.
We are used to hiring a real estate agent with the understanding that the agent will use their local market knowledge and negotiating experience to do everything in their power to help cut us an amazing deal when buying or selling a home. When a dual agent is involved, that entire premise goes out the window in favor of simply making the transaction happen rapidly while keeping it above board.
Your dual agent won’t be available to provide you with advice in negotiation, and in many cases, they are legally bound from providing you with advice at all.
When entering into a dual agency situation, you are representing yourself, but an agent is on the sidelines and acting as a referee to make sure nothing illegal happens. Ultimately, dual agency sales usually benefit the agent more than the buyer or seller. The agent works to swiftly close the deal without letting it get mired down in negotiations, and then they collect their commission and move on to the next deal.
Who Pays the Commission?
Speaking of commission, you may be wondering where that money comes from.
Typically, the seller is expected to pay the full commission of a dual agent, but this can be adjusted during negotiation between buyer and seller. However, if you are the seller and encounter a knowledgeable buyer, do not expect them to take on the commission unless you have considerable negotiation leverage.
Also, before taking on the services of the dual agent, it is advisable to discuss negotiating their commission with them. Some agents are willing to be flexible under these circumstances since they know their light workload will likely be expediting communication between buyer and seller and ensuring the paperwork is filled out and filed correctly.
Your Dual Agency Team in Harford County
If you’re considering a home transaction with a dual agency, contact our knowledgeable team today at 443-616-5486!