Dual Agency in Real Estate – What Every Home Buyer and Seller Should Know About Their Real Estate Agent’s Interests

Wheaton real estate lawyersPeople often assume that a real estate agent is there to represent them and their interests. Sadly, this is not always the case. Neither state or federal law prohibits a real estate agents from having conflicting interests, and some exploit that loophole to the fullest extent possible. Learn more about “dual agency” among real estate agents, including how it could affect your next real estate transaction, and discover how our seasoned Wheaton real estate attorneys can minimize the risks. 

Dual Agency in Real Estate – What It Is and Why It Matters

In an ideal world, a real estate agent would work with only the buyer or the seller – never both. Sadly, dual agency is extremely common among agents. In this scenario, the agent provides services to both the buyer and the seller, and that allows them to keep the entire commission. In short, the only interests they are representing are their own, and that can create all kinds of issues in a real estate transaction. 

As an example, consider a situation in which the seller informs the agent that they recently learned of some foundation issues with the house. Instead of disclosing the full extent of the details to potential buyers of the house, the agent may then downplay the severity of the issue. As a result, the buyer loses money on a house that is unfairly priced.

Avoiding Dual Agency in Your Next Real Estate Transaction 

The one key thing that buyers and sellers can do to protect themselves from the consequences of dual agency is to ensure they know whose interest their agent is serving. Ask them, point blank, if they are representing you exclusively, and if they have a fiduciary duty to do so. These are known as single agents. Other types of real estate agents – most of which you will want to avoid – include subagents, who work with the buyer but have a duty to the seller; transactional agents, who facilitate the transaction but have no responsibility to either party; and dual agents, who are somehow supposed to represent the interests of both parties in a real estate transaction. 

Our Wheaton Real Estate Lawyers Can Protect Your Interests in a Sale or Purchase 

Finding a single agent can be difficult, so not all buyers and sellers can rely solely on the ability to do so. Instead, know that there are other ways to protect your interests during the purchase or sale of a home. The seasoned DuPage County real estate lawyers at Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC can help. Call 630-655-2500 to schedule your consultation today.




Do You Really Need a Real Estate Attorney for Your Home Purchase?

DuPage County real estate attorneysEvery day, people buy homes without the help of a real estate attorney. However, there is value in hiring one for your real estate purchase. This is especially true if you run into legal issues along the way. The following will help you understand how a real estate attorney can help, and when you should absolutely have one on your side.

When a Real Estate Attorney is Necessary

If the property you are purchasing has unique issues, such as a pool, a fence, or other structures that could cause problems with local zoning and building codes, an attorney can help to ensure everything was built according to code and with the proper permits. An attorney can also help ensure that property lines have been adhered to when structures are near property lines. And you should certainly hire an attorney if you have any plans to build or expand on the existing structures. This can help ensure that any plans for the house do not violate any local zoning laws.

A Real Estate Attorney Can Protect Your Interests

Not all home purchases require the assistance of a real estate attorney. In fact, many are successfully completed with only the help of a real estate agent. However, it is important to understand that agents are commissioned, and this gives them a vested interest in making the deal go through. This is where the legal guidance and protection of a real estate attorney can really pay off.

Real estate attorneys are hired by you. They are not commissioned, and they have an obligation to protect your interests. For example, real estate attorneys can work to negotiate better terms on your contract, notify you of costly problems that may not have been disclosed, ensure all inspections have been passed, and work to smooth the entire transaction process for you and your family.

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC, we have more than 35 years of experience in helping families and investors purchase property. We are intimately familiar with local zoning laws and can protect your interests if an issue arises with the seller of a property you are interested in. To learn more about how we can help with your situation, contact our DuPage County real estate attorneys today. Call us at 630-665-2500.