In some cases, a buyer and seller may choose to use the same agent to represent both parties in a single transaction. To help you decide if this is right for you, check out these pros and cons of dual agency for buyers and sellers in Baltimore.
The first thing that can throw a wrench into the dual agency system is either the buyer or the seller not truly understanding what the term means.
In some states, agents may refer to dual agency to mean both the buyer and seller agents working at the same agency, whereas elsewhere it means when the buyer and seller use the same agent to facilitate the real estate deal.
Because dual agency can refer to a couple different scenarios, and it’s an atypical situation for buyers and sellers to find themselves in, this can lead to some questions and misunderstandings.
Before you embark on this type of transaction, ask any questions, and have a full understanding of what you’re entering before you sign anything.
When there’s only one agent handling all of the finalized details, it makes the transaction extremely efficient and fast.
One agent passing paperwork between the buyer and seller speeds up the entire process and leads to the possibility of a quick closing. This of course depends on if both parties can come to an agreement on pricing and contingencies.
Con: No Oversight
In a more traditional transaction setting, you and your agent will keep an eye on your best interests and work out the details that matter to you.
When you’re working with a dual agency, you do not have that agent keeping their eyes peeled for the unsavory details that could fall through the cracks from viewing a property to closing.
Having a dedicated agent representing only you means keeping their attention trained on the goal of getting you the best deal that fulfills your needs.
Pro: Full Disclosure Is Required
A buyer or seller must be forthcoming if they’re pursuing a dual agency agreement, and the other party must consent to the agreement prior to closing on the home.
This allows for you as a buyer or seller to take the time to completely understand what you’re getting into, and to contemplate if it feels like the right thing for you.
Take your time, ask any questions, and only sign once you feel completely comfortable with the situation.
Con: No One Has Your Back
One less helpful point that can be scary to buyers and sellers is that going dual agency means you do not have a dedicated agent on your side to look out for you and work in your best interests.
Not having that support available can be anxiety-inducing or intimidating to some, and can lead to a deal-breaking down due to paranoia.
Also, note that you will not have a person available to lead you through negotiations once you’re ready to discuss pricing and contingencies.
Pro: Financial Benefits
Finally, a dual agency could end up saving you a sizable portion of the money.
Traditionally, the seller is responsible for an agent’s commission through closing costs, but a buyer may offer to pay some or all of those closing costs to sweeten a deal.
An agent in a dual role may be willing to accept less commission because they are acting in a lesser capacity than usual. Always remember that agent commission is 100% negotiable, and don’t be afraid to shop around to find the right agent for you.
Help with Dual Agency in Baltimore
If you’re considering a dual agency agreement for your home sale or purchase, contact us today at (410) 276-7827!