Is It Time To Debut Your Dual Agency Juggling Act? The Download

How will agents master the delicate art of dual agency (and unlock double the opportunities), while balancing the fine line of fair representation?

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Each week on The Download, Inman’s Christy Murdock takes a deeper look at the top-read stories of the week to give you what you’ll need to meet Monday head-on. This week: How will agents master the delicate art of dual agency (and unlock double the opportunities), while balancing the fine line of fair representation?

Imagine you’re a buyer who has barely scraped together enough money for a down payment and closing costs, only to hear media buzz about buyer agent commissions and thousands of additional dollars in out-of-pocket expenses for buyer representation. It might feel very tempting to reach out directly to the listing agent associated with the home you’re eyeing online to get that deal done and minimize costs.

This is the what-if scenario envisioned by many in the industry who work in markets where dual agency is allowed. (If you’re in Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Texas, Vermont or Wyoming, you’re off the hook.)

Legalities aside, many agents and brokers don’t “do” dual agency because they find it problematic from a fiduciary perspective. The agent must treat both parties equally, provide the same information without favoring either side and protect confidential information. That’s a tall order and can leave both agent and client(s) feeling dissatisfied.

Whatever your perspective (and we want you to share it in this week’s Pulse), understanding dual agency — while developing practices and processes around inquiries and transactions — is essential right now. This week, we’re hearing from a range of voices on the topic and giving you a chance to join the conversation.

The concept and practice of dual agency is getting more attention lately thanks to the National Association of Realtors’ landmark commission lawsuit settlement. The settlement has prompted widespread speculation that the real estate industry is on the precipice of significant change, and some believe that change could involve an increase in the incidence of dual agency.

In response, Jim Dalrymple II reached out to industry leaders and experts across the U.S. to find out what might lie ahead for dual agency. It’s worth noting that one takeaway from these conversations is that there’s little consensus on commission settlements’ impact.

However, many industry members did indicate that the conditions that tend to produce dual agency may well become more common in the future, requiring agents to evolve the way they work in response.

Love it or hate it, the concept of dual agency is in the air right now. We want to get a better picture of the possibilities, so this week in The Download you’ll find advice from a top-tier compliance expert, a review of the tenets of fiduciary duty and a poll where you can weigh in with your own attitudes and intentions when it comes to dual agency.

Dual agency is gaining momentum. Should you walk the tightrope?

Everything agents should know about fiduciary duties

Real estate agents should be familiar with these duties and make sure to adhere to them in order to avoid legal liability and to maintain the trust and confidence of their clients, Keller Williams’ Julia Lashay Israel writes.

Do you plan on doing more double-ended transactions? Pulse

Will buyers be seeking out dual agency more often, and, if so, do you anticipate working both sides of the transaction?

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