Brokerage

Dual agency case heads to California’s highest court

Buyer argues listing agent owes him a fiduciary duty -- but brokerage disagrees
  • A transaction involving different agents for buyer and seller, who operated at the same brokerage, has reached the California Supreme Court.
  • The court will decide whether the listing agent owed fiduciary duties to the buyer in the 2007 transaction.

If a buyer and seller in a real estate transaction are each represented by separate agents from the same brokerage, do those agents owe a fiduciary duty to both buyer and seller? The California Supreme Court may soon decide that question for the more than 400,000 agents and brokers in the Golden State. The court will hear oral arguments today over interpretations of a statute that will determine whether the listing agent that participated in the 2007 sale of a Los Angeles home for $12.25 million owed fiduciary duties to the buyer. In April 2014, an appeals court said he did -- and now the case is going to the state's highest court. A live stream of the hearing, set to begin at 9 a.m. Pacific, can be found here. (It will be the fourth case heard, according to the docket.) Potential repercussions The argument for leaving well enough alone The listing agent and his brokerage, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Company, and the firm's supporters -- including the Califor...