Dual agency – what it is, and what it means for you

Dual agency – what it is, and what it means for you

In residential real estate, agents are required to provide you with a statement indicating that they either a) represent you exclusively or b) if they are a dual agent.  Dual agent sounds like something out of a science fiction book, doesn’t it? In the real estate world, it means an agent who represents both the buyer and the seller at once.  How is that possible, you ask?  There’s no way a dual agent can have both parties’ best interests at heart!

In commercial real estate, the law assumes that when someone is doing a transaction, they understand the law, and therefore, it doesn’t come up.  Let’s say you want to lease space and you see a sign. You call the agent and they “help you” lease the space.  If, before you signed, they’d given you an acknowledgement stating that they weren’t representing you (instead, they were representing the building), would you sign off?  Probably not!  And yet, that’s often what happens in our world.

Slowly but surely, however, things are changing. In late 2014, the state of California decided that they were going to require commercial agents to disclose exactly who they represent in a transaction. I suspect it won’t be long before this becomes a trend, and a similar law is passed here in Michigan.  As a firm that exclusively represents end users, we welcome this change.  Companies deserve to understand who is representing them in a transaction, and more importantly, to work with a representative who has their best interests at heart.

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About the Author

Lynn Drake’s status is well known in the industry: She’s the commercial realtor focused on maintaining “true north” for her corporate clients. It’s a reputation built on 35 years of commercial real estate experience. Lynn became a commercial realtor in 2001 after 15 years in corporate real estate. Thus far in her career, Lynn has successfully completed over 1,500 real estate transactions ranging from small business tenant leases to the sale and purchase of industrial complexes.