Friday, March 10, 2023 / by Amy Brown
The most common type of agency is single agency and provides the most protection to you throughout the transaction process. This could be in the form of a listing agent or a buyer's agent and gives that agent's sole confidentiality and trust to you as the only party. The commitments owed are:
Promote your best interests
Be loyal to you
Follow your lawful instructions
Provide you with all material facts that could influence your decisions
Use reasonable skill, care, and diligence
Account for all monies they handle for you
The other two types of agency provide limited fiduciary duty to you. They are dual agency and designated dual agency. What this means is that the agent is representing both the buyer and the seller in the transaction or in the case of designated dual agency two different agents from the same firm are representing the parties to the transaction.
Dual agency is most commonly found in new construction contracts where the agent that represents the builder also represents the buyer and when a buyer client that an agent represents decides to make an offer on one of that agent's listings.
A dual agent is bound to treat both parties fairly and equitably. What you need to know as a consumer is that you have the right to prohibit your agent from disclosing certain confidential information to the opposing party, so make sure that you discuss your limits prior to negotiations.
Agents are required to give you a copy of the NC Working with Real Estate Agents Brochure at the time of first substantial contact, which means discussions about real estate. This is a mandatory disclosure given to all buyers and sellers describing what an agent’s role and duties are to you, their client, throughout the transaction process. It also describes the different types of agency and how that affects confidentiality and fiduciary duty.
You will be signing a copy of this along with your agency agreement when choosing an agent to work with. The key to agency for a buyer or a seller is do not disclose anything to the agent that you do not want another party to know until you both have signed an agency agreement and have decided on what type of representation you will receive.
I have performed each of these types of agency successfully in the course of multiple transactions with very satisfied parties. Make sure that you understand the roles and duties, that they are explained to you by a confident sales professional, and that you are comfortable with the terms.
If you have any questions at all, you know where to reach me!