What Does It All Mean? Part 5

Posted December 18, 2023 in Real Estate Trends

tracie demars, Clark County WA real estate agent

Last time we left off discussing the three types of REALTORS: The buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent and the dual agent. Dual Agency is someone who is representing the Seller and the Buyer on the same home. A team is a dual agency as the team is now one entity that usually has a head REALTOR® and those who work under/for them. WHO does the Dual Agency REALTOR® represent?

Remember how real estate used to be? A buyer would drive around, see a sign, and call the REALTOR® on the sign. That REALTOR® represents the seller. They have a contract with the seller to represent the seller to the best of their ability, skills, and experience. Buyers were left unrepresented. You can see who may have gotten the best side of this arrangement, and this of course, led to some pretty upset buyers and formal, legal complaints that it is unfair that both sides weren’t represented fairly and equally.

If you are married, let’s pretend you are now getting a divorce. Let’s say your soon-to-be ex hires a REALLY good lawyer. Would you call that lawyer to help you with the divorce too? No, of course, you wouldn’t. Why? Because it is a Dual Agency! Also, because legally (with attorneys anyhow) you can’t do that. In real estate, dual agency is not always illegal. However, I do have an opinion on dual agency. In some states, Dual Agency is illegal, but in Washington and Oregon, it is legal. Remember I said that Washington is all about transparency and trying to stay ahead of potential pitfalls. In Washington, you do have to be informed that you are in a dual agency situation, and it will also be disclosed on the first page of the offer which agent represents which party. If there is only the sellers REALTOR®/or team involved in a real estate transaction then it is either a Dual Agency, or one side is unrepresented and acting on their own behalf. With the separation of agency, and as more time has passed from when I first started real estate, dual agency isn’t as common as it once was. Dual agency is trying to play both sides on the same home.

Compensation: So how do Realtors get paid?
(To be continued next week)