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9/24/13

Agent Represents Both Buyer and Seller

Q - My agent listed my home and now has a buyer for it.  She is now also representing the buyer.  Who's side is she on?  How does that work for me?

A - In Canada, your agent has to explain the role she plays when she represents both the seller and buyer.  If you agree to the terms, you are asked to sign a document entitled 'Limited Dual Agency Agreement'.

Essentially, this document states that the agent will deal with the seller and buyer impartially.  That means that she is not on anybody's side.  She is simply a facilitator of the transaction.

In addition, the agent has a duty of disclosure to both the seller and the buyer with 3 exceptions. The exceptions are:
1- the agent cannot disclose what the buyer is prepared to pay nor what the seller is prepared to sell for except for what is contained in the listing
2- the agent is not permitted to disclose the motivation of the seller to buy nor the motivation of the seller to sell -- unless this is authorized in writing
3 - the agent is not permitted to disclose any personal information about the buyer or seller that is not already visible through the transaction documentation unless permission is given in writing

If you feel that the real estate agent has not adequately explained the implications of a particular document, don't sign it.  Consumer too often don't ask enough questions and, therefore, do not fully understand the implications of what they are signing.

The agent had the option to only represent you and not offer an agency relationship to the buyer.

My book on real estate covers these situations as well as other issues you might encounter in real estate transactions.


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