Dual agency in a real estate is when the real estate agent represents the seller and buyer in the same transaction. All parties involved in a dual agency transaction in Arizona should have a clear understanding of the rules and laws regarding dual agency in Arizona and the potential risks. Here is a simple guide to understanding dual agency laws for real estate agents in Arizona.
What is Dual Agency in Real Estate Transactions?
In typical real estate transactions involving a brokerage, the buyer is represented by an agent and the seller is represented by a different agent. A real estate agent owes his or her client a fiduciary duty. This means the real estate agent must always protect and look out for his or her client’s best interests. A fiduciary duty requires the real estate agent act with loyalty towards his or her client and honor confidentiality. This presents an obvious set of unavoidable potential conflicts when a real estate agent or broker represents both the buyer and seller.
Dual Agency Laws for Real Estate Agents in Arizona
There are legitimate questions about whether it is possible to accomplish their basic responsibility when representing both parties to a real estate transaction That is the central reason many states have implemented disclosure requirements. Arizona requires the agent or broker to complete the consent to limited representation form when they are going to represent both seller and buyer or landlord and tenant.
Arizona has specific laws regarding dual agents and their fiduciary duty to clients. When a real estate agent is representing the seller and the buyer the law says each party needs to be informed and sign with consent. If the dual agent does not have this in writing from each client, they cannot represent both of them in the transaction. Many real estate agents rely on disclosure and election forms that help explain how the process works and allow the consenting parties to sign off.
Understanding Risks of Dual Agency
Once it has been disclosed to all parties, there are certainly many reasons why dual agency can help facilitate a real estate transaction quickly and cost-effectively. Maybe the buyer simply wants to proceed with purchasing a home without taking the time to find an agent. It is also common for a buyer to find the home through the listing agent and proceed into the purchase without a buyer’s agent. The laws requiring full disclosure exist, so that the best interests of buyer and seller are kept at the forefront of the transaction. The obvious concerns about sharing details like a seller’s willingness to negotiate on price or need to move quickly on the transaction are a part of the risk when electing for dual agency in a transaction.
Real estate agents and brokers should have these same concerns about dual agency in Arizona. It can be a tricky transaction to balance, even if it presents an opportunity for a larger commission or potentially quicker transaction. Even when dual agency has been properly disclosed to all parties, it can be easier for your original client to feel like they have not been provided the best representation possible. That can quickly escalate to a legal issue that threatens your career if you are not diligent about every necessary detail when navigating a dual agency transaction in Arizona. Dual agency cases are extremely difficult to defend in court and may present issues with the Arizona Department of Real Estate. This is an issue that should not be taken lightly by real estate agents and brokers.
Find an Experienced Phoenix Real Estate Lawyer
MacQueen & Gottlieb has significant experience with a variety of real estate legal issues in Arizona. Our experienced attorneys can assist real estate agents, brokers, buyers, and sellers with all the necessary details of a potential dual agency transaction in Arizona. Our firm routinely represents clients in complicated real estate legal matters. Contact us today at 602-533-2840 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment online.