Single, Dual, & Designated Agency: What’s the Difference?

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|10 min read

When we think of real estate agents, we often think of two types: buyer’s agent and seller’s agent. However, there are actually several different types of real estate agents, each with a different role to play in the home buying or selling process.

In this article, we’re going to discuss the differences in duties between single agents, dual agents, and designated agents. With this information, you’ll be able to better understand which type of agent is right for you.

What is Single Agency?

A single agent is a real estate agent who works solely on behalf of one party, whether it be the buyer or the seller, but they cannot represent both parties. The advantage of having a single agent is that they are legally obligated to work in their client’s best interest.

A buyer’s agent, for example, will be focused on helping the buyer find the perfect home and negotiating the lowest possible price. A seller’s agent, on the other hand, will be working to get the highest possible price for the home and will be more likely to push for a quick sale.

While a single agency is the most common type of real estate agent, it’s important to understand that there are some drawbacks. First, single agents can only represent one party, which means they may not have as much information about the other side’s intentions. This can make it difficult to negotiate a fair deal.

Additionally, single agents are often less experienced than dual agents or designated agents. This is because they haven’t had the opportunity to work with as many different types of clients.

What are the Duties and Responsibilities of a Single Agent?

The duties and responsibilities of a single agent vary depending on whether they are representing the buyer or the seller.

If they are representing the buyer, their primary duty is to find homes that match the buyer’s criteria and schedule showings. They will also be responsible for negotiating the purchase price on behalf of the buyer and helping to coordinate the closing.

If they are representing the seller, their primary duty is to list the home and market it to potential buyers. They will also be responsible for negotiating the sale price on behalf of the seller and helping to coordinate the closing.

What is Dual Agency?

A dual agency occurs when a single real estate agent represents both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. This is less common than a single agency, but it can happen in certain situations.

For example, if a friend is selling their home and you’re interested in buying it, they may ask you to use the same real estate agent that they are using. Or, if you’re working with a buyer’s agent to find a home, they may also represent the seller of the home you end up purchasing.

While a dual agency can be beneficial because it allows both parties to work with someone they trust, it’s important to understand that there are some drawbacks. First, dual agents are not allowed to offer advice or opinions about which party should receive certain concessions. This can make negotiations more difficult.

Additionally, dual agents are not allowed to disclose private information about either party to the other. For example, if the seller is willing to accept a lower price, the dual agent cannot tell the buyer this information.

Lastly, some people feel uncomfortable with the idea of a single person representing both parties in a real estate transaction. If you’re working with a dual agent, it’s important to be upfront and honest about your needs and expectations.

What are the Duties and Responsibilities of a Dual Agent?

The duties and responsibilities of a dual agent vary depending on which party they are representing at any given moment. In general, however, their duty is to facilitate communication and negotiation between the buyer and the seller.

They will also be responsible for ensuring that all contractual agreements are met and that both parties are satisfied with the final outcome of the transaction.

What is Designated Agency?

A designated agency is when there are two real estate agents involved, each representing a different party. This is similar to a dual agency, but instead of a single agent working with both parties, the two agents are part of the same brokerage.

For example, if you’re working with a buyer’s agent to find a home, the agent’s brokerage may also have the listing for the home you end up purchasing. In this case, the buyer’s agent would work with their listing agent colleague to negotiate the purchase price and coordinate the closing.

While a designated agency can be beneficial because it allows both parties to have their own representation, it’s consequential to understand that there are some drawbacks. First, when you sign a designated agency contract, you’re not necessarily signing with a specific agent, you are signing with the agency. This means the agency owes you loyalty, not the individual agent.

If you’re working with a designated agency, it’s important to be upfront and honest about your needs and expectations. You should also make sure you understand who exactly you are working with and where their loyalty lies before signing any contracts.

Searching for a Real Estate Agent Near You? Let FastExpert Help!

If you’re searching for a real estate agent to help you buy or sell a home, we can help. At FastExpert, we work with the top agents in the country and can match you with an agent in your area who has the experience and expertise you need.

When you use FastExpert, there are no obligations and you’re free to choose any agent you’d like. We make it easy to find the right agent for your needs so you can focus on what’s important – buying or selling your home.

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