Single Agent Dual Agency – The Disclosure in Virginia

When we started Nest Realty oh so many years ago, “no single agent dual agency” was one of our founding tenets.

No Dual Agency. To my knowledge, we are the only real estate brokerage in the Charlottesville area stating definitively and publicly “No Dual Agency.”

The Status Quo, in the form of the established political “leaders” refuses to eliminate Single Agent Dual agency, so we are choosing to lead by example. We believe that this is something the consumers want and need.

I’ve had a tab open for months with the Virginia Disclosure that both clients need to acknowledge and sign should a single agent dual agency situation arise. The following basically defines much of what a good agent does for the client they represent, and clearly describes what a dual agent cannot do.

After reading this, I can imagine very few buyers or sellers who are seeking representation being ok with signing away the right to representation.

§ 54.1-2139. Disclosed dual agency and dual representation authorized in a residential real estate transaction.

The undersigned understand:

1. That following the commencement of dual agency or representation, the licensee cannot advise either party as to the terms to offer or accept in any offer or counteroffer; however, the licensee may have advised one party as to such terms prior to the commencement of dual agency or representation;

2. That the licensee cannot advise the buyer client as to the suitability of the property, its condition (other than to make any disclosures as required by law of any licensee representing a seller), and cannot advise either party as to what repairs of the property to make or request;

3. That the licensee cannot advise either party in any dispute that arises relating to the transaction;

4. That the licensee may be acting without knowledge of the client’s needs, client’s knowledge of the market, or client’s capabilities in dealing with the intricacies of real estate transactions; and

5. That either party may engage another licensee at additional cost to represent their respective interests.

The undersigned by signing this notice do hereby acknowledge their informed consent to the disclosed dual representation by the licensee.

And now I can finally close the tab!

I’ve been writing about this for a long, long time.

One of the primary values a Realtor brings to a transaction is representation – representation of his client’s best interests. How can a Realtor advocate for the best interests of both parties and still maintain the perception of fairness and full representation? In my mind, there is a difference between treating all parties fairly and honestly and being able to advocate with 100% vigor for one party.

Realtors practice dual agency all the time – successfully. Never had I had someone remark how much they appreciated their agent representing both sides. I have been told numerous times by clients how they perceived their agent in a shady, less-than-honest manner because that agent had both the buyer and seller.

Dual agency devalues Exclusive Representation.

In a divorce, would you have the same attorney represent both parties?

Having a client perceive that my loyalties were less than 100% is simply not worth whatever amount of money I might make. My reputation and high percentage of repeat business are far too valuable.

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