Even the name sounds contradictory. Dual Agency. How can this be achieved? How can a Realtor, in all honesty, work for two Clients on opposing sides of a transaction? How can you place your Client’s interest first, when there are two of them, one trying to get the highest price possible and the other trying to get the lowest price possible? The concept of Dual Agency just doesn’t make sense to me, at all.
The State of Florida got smart in 1997 and made Dual Agency illegal. We are now presumed to be Transaction Brokers unless disclosed differently. I discussed this in a previous post, so won’t rehash it here.
An Agency relationship creates a fiduciary between the Agent and Principal. Take away the fiduciary and there is no Agency. In my opinion, when entering into Dual Agency relationship, this fiduciary must be modified, to the point of no longer existing, in order to assist both Clients equally. A fiduciary is NOT equal. Here lies the problem. Dual Agency, by it’s very nature, is not an Agency relationship. Below are some excellent links that delve into the problems with Dual Agency a little further.
So what do we do? As Realtors we are obligated to “protect the public.” Our Code of Ethics is built upon this premise.
In my opinion, Florida has started down the right tract. Be an Agent, for one party and one party only. If you must work for both parties, then do it as a Transaction Broker. Personally, I would like to see it taken a step further and have no Agency relationship in Real Estate. Always, be a Transaction Broker. I believe this is a truer representation of what we really do. We are “facilitators. If it walks like a duck…………..