FWL encompasses a note from the editor today, oh that is me!
Last week’s blog post led a few readers to believe I was promoting the practice of dual agency. Let’s clean that up. How do I really feel about dual agency? Answer: best summed up in a question posed to an audience a few years back from Demco Law Firm within a legal update class…
“Can one have two masters?” – Lars Neste, attorney
Think about it? Can you? My answer: I don’t believe you truly can. Are you truly able to provide both parties all that is laid out within The Law of Agency? I know, the law allows for it. It doesn’t change my opinion. And when I see dual agency done, I seldom see it done correctly. A broker who wishes to be a dual agent must first obtain a separate written agency agreement with each party = typically a Listing Agreement is already in place with a Seller and a broker would too need and a Buyer Agency Agreement in place. The first page of the purchase and sale agreement isn’t good enough = that only handles the disclosure part.
Windermere’s Standards of Practice mindfully crafted an Awareness Checklist around Dual Agency to help you determine risk and to help Windermere brokers either decline dual agency all together or take steps up-front to control risk. Curious to see it? Ping me, find your manager or track down your office’s Standards of Practice rep.
A couple item digestible bites from the Awareness Checklist on Dual Agency:
*Always consult your manager or designated broker before undertaking a dual agency, describing fully any risk factors.
*If you are a seller or buyer (or landlord or tenant), or have an ownership interest in the seller or buyer, legally you cannot be a dual agent.
…and, back to my original question though…“Can one have two masters?”
Always consider alternatives to engaging in dual agency. Want to talk more around this topic, happy to chat.
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