One of the things that you will be asked when hiring your Buyer’s Agent is whether or not you want them to represent you and only you. We touched on this during “Working With Real Estate Agents”.
On the Buyers Agency Agreement, there are a series of questions that your agent will ask you. The first is if you want your real estate company to act as a “dual” agent. That is, if the situation does arise, can your company represent both you and the sellers? If we say no to that, I cannot show you any homes listed by other Fathom agents. If we say yes, then I can show you all homes in this area. The next question is: do you want me to act as a “dual” agent or do you want me to be your “designated” agent? Even though my company may be a dual agent, you do not have to agree to me being a dual agent. If you want me to represent you and only you, then you would choose for me to be your “designated” agent. This is the way I prefer to work. It means I am loyal and obligated only to you.
Let’s say that you agreed to let my company function as a dual agent and chose for me to be your designated agent. Now I can show you houses listed for sale by other Fathom agents. I can even show you houses that I have listed, where I am also representing the sellers.
What happens if you decide to make an offer on a home where I represent the sellers? If both you and the sellers still wanted me to work with you both, I would have to get permission from you, the sellers and my management team in order to stop being a designated agent for each of you and become a dual agent for everyone. In this scenario, I would stop being your coach and I would really become everyone’s referee. I would no longer be able to advise either party. I would just work on the process of getting you both through to closing.
If, on the other hand, anyone is not comfortable with me becoming a dual agent, I will need to refer both parties to other agents so that those agents can finish up in my place. This is the only way to ensure that everyone gets representation and advice in a fair and balanced way. It can be pretty confusing, but the important thing about this process is that it is meant to protect both you and the sellers in the best way possible.
Next time we will move on to actually searching for your new home!