Real Estate
What is a Dual-Agency Relationship in the Real Estate Business?
June 13, 2020

When working deals, both buyers and sellers often have the option of entering a dual agency relationship with the real estate agent. Although not a popular method of closing these deals, it’s important to be well-informed about what a dual-agency means and the restrictions it imposes on your real estate deals.

What is a Dual-Agency Relationship?

An agency is referred to the relationship a buyer or seller may have with a real estate agent, and in the case of dual agencies, two agents are involved. This occurs when both the buying and selling agents are licensed under the same broker.However, a more common scenario is where there is only a single dual agent. This relationship is built around a single agent submitting an offer to the seller’s real estate business on behalf of the buyer and hence the deal is carried through by a single dual agent.

The Issue with Dual-Agency Relationships

The main issue is a conflict of interest. Although the job of the dual agent is to help clients on both ends of the deal secure it equally, true neutrality is hard to achieve. The agent’s main objective is to fetch a higher selling price. Although this works out for him in terms of commissions, it’s not so great a deal for the buyer, and hence, a conflict of interest arises. Treating both parties with fairness and honesty is not easy.

Additionally, although the agent is obligated to share all information regarding the property to the buyer, however,information about the seller is not up for grabs. Had there not been a dual agency relationship the buyer would have had access to any information the representing agent would have been able to pick up on the seller.

Finally, when the time comes to close the deal, the agent cannot give conclusively advice to either party in regards to how much the buyer should offer, or, whether the seller should accept the offer.

What are the benefits of a dual-agency relationship?

  1. Scheduling

By essentially cutting down on one additional agent, you will have a much easier time with scheduling appointments. With this in mind, your deals will close faster and you’ll have to spend less time worrying about how to manage everyone’s tight schedules.

  • Cost

In a dual agency relationship, although the agent for both parties is the same person, you will still have to offer up commissions. However, since it is the same person, you can work towards better deals with less commission than you would have to compensate for had there been two people.


It is not recommended to enter into a dual agency relationship when you are buying a new property as you will be forgoing a lot of the information that comes with an agent dedicated to getting the best deal from you. Although the benefits are there, the trade-offs are far too great to tip the balance in favor of dual agency deals.


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Richard Nevis

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