By JEN SLAYDEN
The annual Missoula Marathon: one of the highlights of the year for many locals and visitors to our town! This year marked the tenth anniversary of the iconic race. Personally, the Missoula Marathon holds a special place in my heart. It was my first marathon ever, and also where I finally qualified for Boston in 2014, after making several attempts, while a special group of friends who I had raced with several times awaited me at the finish line.
This same group of friends joined with me walking the half this year, to commemorate and celebrate a member of our group who passed away on May 10th after bravely living with cancer for ten years. She had signed up for the race before any of us, so we were determined to see her through the finish line. Ironically, the last two numbers on her bib were 10.
As a first time walker, I had a different goal and a different experience than previous races where I was in competition mode with the clock. This time, I was able to switch gears from racing strategy to conversations, laughing, crying, cheering on other runners, and stopping to watch and cheer along my oldest son when he passed us while running his very first marathon! (He rocked it by the way, and I’m so proud of him!)
My purpose this year had dual meaning: to get our friend’s bib over that finish line, and to cheer on the other racers and runners passing us by. I was both the racer and the spectator.
Real estate can be a bit of a marathon sometimes. It takes perseverance, strategy, and a good Realtor® to “cushion” a few bumps in the road. In previous articles of agency I have explained buyer’s agency and selling (listing) agency. Today we will take a look at dual agency.
Put simply, dual agency occurs when a real estate agent or their company represents both the seller and the buyer in a real estate transaction. In Montana, clients sign a Relationships/Consent in Real Estate Transaction form, which states:
IF A SELLER AGENT IS ALSO REPRESENTING A BUYER, OR A BUYER AGENT IS ALSO REPRESENTING A SELLER WITH REGARD TO A PROPERTY, THEN A DUAL AGENCY RELATIONSHIP MAY BE ESTABLISHED. IN A DUAL AGENCY RELATIONSHIP, THE DUAL AGENT IS EQUALLY OBLIGATED TO BOTH THE SELLER AND THE BUYER. THESE OBLIGATIONS MAY PROHIBIT THE DUAL AGENT FROM ADVOCATING EXCLUSIVELY ON BEHALF OF THE SELLER OR BUYER AND MAY LIMIT THE DEPTH AND DEGREE OF REPRESENTATION THAT YOU RECEIVE. A BROKER OR A SALESPERSON MAY NOT ACT AS A DUAL AGENT WITHOUT THE SIGNED, WRITTEN CONSENT OF BOTH THE SELLER AND THE BUYER.
A “Dual Agent” is obligated to a Seller in the same manner as a seller agent and is obligated to a buyer in the same manner as the buyer’s agent except that the dual agent
- has a duty to disclose to a buyer or seller any adverse material facts that are known to the dual agent regardless of any confidentiality considerations; and
- may not disclose the following information without the written consent of the person whom the information is confidential:
- the fact that the buyer is willing to pay more than the offered purchase price;
- the fact that the seller is willing to accept less than the purchase price that the seller is asking for the property
- factors motivating either party to buy or sell; and
- any information that a party indicates in writing to the dual agent is to be kept confidential.
©2016 Montana Association of REALTORS®
Agency Disclosure, September 2015
All real estate agents are licensed under a real estate broker. Therefore you can have dual agency not only if one Realtor® is representing both the seller and the buyer, but also if more than one agent from the same brokerage is involved. For example, if a listing agent from Main Street Realty has a house in which a buyer’s agent from our company submits an offer on behalf of their client on that said house, it would create dual agency. Main Street Realty is the actual “agent” in the transaction, and the company would be representing both sides of the deal.
Understanding agency relationships with your Realtor® is an essential step when you are on course to list or buy property. Whether using a seller agent, a buyer agent, or a dual agent, with a good conversation and full understanding of all the moving parts of the process, hopefully the journey will be a rewarding experience. In real estate, marathons, and life, that finish line holds the end of one voyage and the beginning of the next, after all.
Jen Slayden wears many hats: Mother, Real Estate Agent with Main Street Realty, teacher for the non profit music program Center for Music, UM alumni, runner, and supporter of all things local. Her RealChange program dedicates a generous amount of her Real Estate commissions to be given back locally to organizations of her client’s choice. You can find her on Facebook, or give her a call at 406-370-0300.