Is it legal for realtors to represent both the buyer and the seller in a real estate transaction?
The answer to that question is: yes, it is. That’s called a transactional broker and whenever you list the property, if you’re the seller, you will sign something where they’ll disclose that they will be acting as a transactional broker rather than a seller’s broker or a buyer’s broker and from my experience that a very, very high percentage – as much as 99 percent of the residential realtors serve as transactional brokers.
So, they take the listing and they advertise it and if a buyer happens to call someone else or the listing agent – the same realtor – well, they can then show it to the buyer and enter into a contract. They are really not representing either party.
The seller pays the real estate commission and they have a duty to deal in good faith or deal in good faith with both the seller and the buyer and there’s certain things that they should or should not do as far as in that capacity.
A transactional broker is different than a buyer’s agent. A buyer’s agent has only loyalty to the buyer and the buyer may be obligated to pay his own agent and the transaction and that should be disclosed as far as whenever the agent goes forward with the transaction.
And also you have exclusive seller’s agents from time to time and in commercial transactions it’s not unusual to have a agent who is the buyer’s agent and who’s the seller’s agent, but residential transactions, it’s almost the rule rather than it’s the exception to the rule where you don’t have the real estate broker serving as a transactual broker and dealing with both the buyer and the seller and really representing neither other than dealing in good faith with both.
If you have any questions about it or need to review your listing agreement, give me a call at 727-847-2288.