Agent

The legal pitfalls of dual agency in real estate

Why the issue of dual agency is a perfect storm that could transform business
  • Realtors refer to themselves as agents, but when it comes to the agency law, the brokerage is the “agent,” not the individual salesperson.
  • A dual agency situation can occur when the brokerage (not necessarily a single agent) represents both sides of the transaction.
  • Buyer's agents are constantly hearing the refrain: “We’ll just contact the listing agent directly.”
  • Off-market or pocket listings are also fraught with agency issues.

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

For the first time in history, homebuyers are deliberately creating dual agency situations as many refuse to work with anyone but the listing salesperson. Couple this with pocket listings, lax agent attitudes toward dual agency issues, and a recent California Supreme Court decision changing dual agency requirements in that state, and you have a perfect storm that could fundamentally transform how Realtors conduct their businesses. This week, I’m moderating a session at Inman Connect New York that will tackle one of the thorniest issues in real estate -- dual agency. Everyone has to cope with it, few really understand the complexities, and it is a major source of litigation in most states. Widespread confusion Perhaps the most confusing aspect of dual agency is how the law defines the terms “agent” and “agency.” Realtors refer to themselves as agents, but when it comes to the agency law, the brokerage is the “agent,” not the individual salesperson. A dua...