Let’s Get Real Estate: Dual Agency

Dear Jan: Our neighbors are selling their home. Their own agent brought them an offer from a buyer he had been working with for a long time. The agent now says he is working for both the seller and the buyer. Can he work for both parties? RP

Dear RP: Ahhhh, Dual Agency. Until a few years ago, in Washington, all agents worked for just the seller. Then an agency law was created so that buyers, too, would have representation. As they created the law, they knew there would be cases where one agent was working with both the seller and a buyer (as they had in the past). So as the law was written, a category was created regarding what would be called Dual Agency.

The law requires that both parties be given the Agency Law pamphlet, which clearly spells out the duties of the dual agent. One of the duties is that the agent must have the consent of both parties in writing to be a dual agent. Another is that the agent must not disclose any confidential information from or about the other party. In another words, if I were the dual agent, I could not tell the seller the buyer would pay more nor could I tell the buyer the seller would take less. Instead, I ask the buyer what they would like to offer, present it to the seller to see if that is what they want to accept and if not, ask whether they want to counter offer.

This is what most good agents do anyway in a transaction. Some clients don’t care about dual agency, others do. It is strictly a preference. There are agents who wear the hat of a dual agent well and there are agents who would never consider being a dual agent due to the liability. Bottom line, personally, I think it is a matter of trust. A person should know their agent well and make their decision according to their comfort level.

If you have a real estate question you would like answered, e-mail Jan Zufelt at janzufelt@telebyte.com.

More in Business

Port Orchard restaurant at in-dining standoff with state over COVID restrictions

State attorney general seeking temporary restraining order against That One Place

Sound offers grants to help local businesses with advertising

EVERETT — Sound Publishing has launched a local stimulus program to help… Continue reading

That One Place penalized by state board for COVID-19 infractions

Port Orchard restaurant has its liquor license suspended for 180 days

Fred Meyer store reports having nine employees with COVID-19

Business says it is taking ‘extensive measures’ to keep store safe for employees, shoppers

Sweet memories greet visitors to Port Orchard’s The Candy Shoppe

Nostalgic candies and seasonal fudge smells are part of store’s alluring treats

Gingerbread House contest, Senior Giving Tree at Port Orchard Market

… and Santa will visit downtown Port Orchard location later in December

Rainy Daze is hosting a Pints for Purpose Event Nov. 28 raising money for Fishline's Christmas Child program.
Fundraiser Saturday for Christmas Child Program

Grab a pint and do some good at Rainy Daze Brewing in… Continue reading

Downtown businesses are bracing for a harrowing holiday season

COVID-19 fear, state-mandated restrictions will likely gouge holiday profits

Sylling’s Elderberry wins edg3 FUND’s Innovation Award

Campfire Coffee of Tacoma wins grand prize of $25,000

Scarecrows will be out on Bay Street this Halloween

Visitors can vote for their favorite at a downtown business

Two Port Orchard businesses named edg3 FUND finalists

Winning small business will be awarded $25,000

City extends CARES business rental relief funding
City extends CARES business rental relief funding

Almost $100,000 delivered already to more than 20 local businesses