You and Two make Three – with a Twist


Dual Agency is like taking two special girls to a movie. While exciting, is it professional? Most importantly is it the right thing to do? For the date to work there can be no surprises! They must consent to the date and know the rules of engagement. First rule: I’m only buying one popcorn – Tub of Love size please.

Dual Agency – making threesomes work

First Rule of Dual Agency requires consent from both parties – in writing. At the movie, after a long discussion in the line up, I asked the girls to sign the popcorn box.

Like our date, the terms of engagement in Dual Agency must be absolute. If both parties allow the REALTOR to act simultaneously for them, the REALTOR must make clear to both parties the limitations imposed on him and how those limitations will affect his conduct with them during the transaction. The limitations imposed, result directly in the conflict with the fundamentals of a Realtor, Buyer, Seller relationship. Namely: Confidentiality, Loyalty and Full Disclosure. This means I can talk to each of the girls individually. What I can not do, is share the information disclosed to me by one with the other. Not much fun and makes for dull conversation but rules are never fun!

If you find yourself involved in a dual agency relationship, before making or receiving an offer, both you and the other party will be asked to consent, in writing, to this new limited agency relationship.

This relationship involves the following limitations:

  1. The brokerage will deal with the buyer/tenant and the seller/landlord impartially;
  2. The brokerage will have a duty of disclosure to both the buyer/tenant and the seller/landlord except that:
    • the brokerage will not disclose that the buyer/tenant is willing to pay a price or agree to terms other than those contained in the offer, or that the seller/landlord is willing to accept a price or terms other than those contained in the listing;
    • the brokerage will not disclose the motivation of the buyer/tenant to buy or or lease or the seller/landlord to sell or lease unless authorized by the buyer/tenant or the seller/landlord;
    • the brokerage will not disclose personal information, not otherwise necessarily disclosed in the transaction documentation, about the buyer/tenant or seller/landlord unless authorized in writing.
  3. The brokerage will disclose to the buyer/tenant defects about the physical condition of the property known to the brokerage.

Being on a date with two girls simultaneously can be a good but, it’s a leap of faith. The rules conflict with the purpose, no sordid details. Because fundamentals get in the way REALTORS are split in two, the rules limit their ability to perform at their professional best. While it is legally possible for a REALTOR to act in accordance with the limitation rules and obtain a transaction that is satisfactory to both parties, have the limitations tarnished the professional relationship?

As for the date, if one is called Sybil, that’s another twist.

About Larry Yatkowsky

Larry is a recognized real estate expert. A veteran professional, his experienced counsel leads Vancouverites in his west side community to place their trust in a man passionate about his work. Uncompromising ethics bring a balanced approach to realizing your real estate dreams.

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*Disclaimer: Statistics Courtesy REBGV. While believed to be accurate they are not guaranteed.
**Numbers provided may vary as they are dynamically posted by the REBGV.

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