A Single-Agency Brokerage - What makes it the best choice for you?
When you sign a contract with an Agent for the sale or purchase of real estate, you establish a Single-Agency relationship with that Agent and their Broker. The Agent and Broker working for you owe you (as a minimum) the following duties:
Whether you are a Seller or a Buyer, this agency relationship and duties carry through the entire transaction and, in the case of Confidentiality, beyond the closing date. Looking back a few years, only Sellers were represented by Agents - Buyers were treated as "customers" and the were not due anything from the listing Agent or Broker. Over time, though, a new group of Realtors emerged who represented Buyers - they were known as Buyer Representatives. These Agents used their talents to represent the needs of only the Buyer in the transaction. These Buyer's Agents were compensated (in most transactions) by the Seller's Broker from the commission paid by the Seller. In present day Minnesota, all licensed real estate agents are qualified to represent both Buyers and Sellers.
When a situation arises where two agents, working for the same Broker, are representing both the Buyer and the Seller in a given transaction, a conflict of interest results. If both Buyer and Seller agree to this condition, then a Dual Agency is created, with some substantial differences in the representation of each client. When Dual Agency is accepted by both parties, the Seller's Agent and Buyer's Agent must remain, in effect, neutral. They can't offer advice which might give their Buyer or their Seller an advantage in the transaction. The Agents and Broker simply assist the process by helping their clients complete the paperwork correctly and ensuring that all requirements are met so that a successful closing of the transaction may occur.
So what is the real purpose of Dual Agency? Dual Agency allows a single Broker to represent both sides of a transaction - which means it increases the commission income of the brokerage. Dual Agency was created to allow larger brokerages with multiple Agents to complete transactions "in house" with the Buyer and Seller being represented by two Agents under the same Broker. However, the Broker does accept some risk in Dual Agency and it must be handled with great care to prevent the misrepresentation of either party.
What is the benefit of Dual Agency? The sole benefit is the non-restrictive nature of Dual Agency. It allows all possible Buyers and Sellers to complete a transaction without regard to which Broker represents them.
Does Dual Agency represent the client well? That is a matter of conjecture. It is clear that the client who allows a Dual-Agency situation in a transaction does lose a portion of the benefit of having their own Realtor represent them - some would say the greatest benefit. However, Dual Agency does allow ALL Buyers to work with ALL Sellers without changing Realtors.
Segue Realty LLC is a Single-Agency brokerage. We will not enter into any Dual-Agency transaction. When working with a prospective Buyer, we determine if any of our current listings would meet their criteria before signing a contract for representation. Any of our listings which match Buyer criteria are shown to the prospective Buyer as a "customer" - which means we still represent the Seller but facilitate the transaction for the Buyer-Customer. If none of our listings meet the Buyer's criteria, or after viewing them there is no further interest, then we will sign a contract for representation with the Buyer and act as the Buyer's broker for all matters pertaining to the purchase of property.
This addresses the needs of our Clients first and at all times.
Segue Realty LLC is a single-agency real estate brokerage licensed in the State of Minnesota.
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