One person may represent both the buyers and sellers in Indiana real estate transactions. But this dual agency comes with some risks and must comply with requirements under the state’s real estate law.
In general, agency is the relationship that an agent has with a buyer or seller. Dual agency allows one real agency to represent the seller and buyer. This relationship is illegal in eight other states.
Indiana allows dual agency if the buyer and seller provide written consent. Dual agents may not disclose confidential information to either party in these transactions and must stay neutral to the seller and buyer.
Both parties may save money with dual agency. But dual agency can also pose risks for the buyer and seller.
The most substantial advantage may be reducing costs. Dual agents receive the entire buyer and seller fees.
Dual agency may expedite the home-buying transaction. It can be easier for three people to coordinate this process than four. This could take 25 percent off the time and complications of scheduling meetings and closings.
It may be difficult for dual agents to stay neutral. The parties have two competing goals with sellers wanting to obtain a higher price for the transaction while buyers want to purchase the real estate at the lowest possible price.
With a higher sales price, however, the dual agent earns a higher commission. This creates the appearance of a conflict of interest for the agent.
Dual agency may make the process go quicker but it can also restrict advice and communication. A seller, for example, cannot ask an agent for a listing price because the agent cannot take sides on that issue. This can cause confusion for all parties and deny access to options and rights for parties in the transaction.
An attorney can help assure that your rights are protected in a real estate transaction. They can also assist you with reviewing documents and actions in these deals.