Dual Agency in a real estate transaction means the listing broker represents both the seller and the buyer. A dual agent must not disclose confidential information to either party and must operate in a hands-off manner. A dual agent cannot get the highest price for the seller and the lowest price for the buyer -- it is impossible.
Dual agency can happen even if the buyer is represented by an agent other than the listing agent if that agent is also employed by the same broker. It is the employing broker's relationship with the seller that determines dual agency.
Dual agency is not legal in all 50 states.
At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.
A home on Main Street was listed by Broker Betty Boop of the Betty Boop Brokerage. Betty's agent Samuel Goodwin brought an offer to Betty Boop. Mr. Goodwin's buyer was represented in dual agency. The offer was rejected by Betty Boop's seller, so Mr. Goodwin's buyer made an offer on another property on Main Street. This property was listed by the Triple A Agency. Because Mr. Goodwin did not work for the Triple A Agency, his buyer is now now represented by single agency.