Disclosed Dual Agency... Why you should avoid it.

There are many ways you can be represented by a Real Estate Agent in Kansas & Missouri.  One of the most nefarious is known as Disclosed Dual Agency (only legal in Missouri).  This is where the agent represents both parties and owes a fiduciary responsibility to both parties.  To realize how this is simply impossible one must understand the definition of "Fiduciary".

To operate in a fiduciary capacity one must provide the following services to their client; Obedience, Loyalty, Disclosure, Confidentiality, Accounting and Reasonable Care.  Just looking at the list you can probably already tell that it would be impossible to provide all these services to both sides in a transaction, such as disclosure & loyalty. 

It's simply not possible to hear from the buyer that they are willing to pay "x "& not tell the seller.  Or put the shoe on the other foot and know that the seller is willing to take "y", but don't tell the buyer that. This one little sticking point is what makes it hardest for me to understand why so many states still allow Dual Agency.

If I'm representing you as a buyer or seller, anything I can find out about the opposing party I'm supposed to share with you as my client.  If I can get their agent to blab about how much the clients are willing to deal so they can dump the property, we just found out that they are motivated and I need to disclose that to you.  Or if I'm working with you as my seller client and I know the buyers love the house and are willing to pay full price, then I should disclose that to you and advise you not take anything less than full price.

When you operate as a Dual Agent you know all this information on both parties.  It is impossible to remain loyal and still disclose.  This practice simply should be illegal in all states and no one buying or selling a home should allow for Dual Agency to be any part of it.  In the Kansas City metro there are over 8,000 Realtors.  Surely one of 8,000 would be willing to assist you buy or sell a home and remain loyal to you through the process.

If  a single Realtor wants to put a transaction together between two parties they can do so as a Transaction Broker.  This is where they are neutral and loyal to no one.  This is a suitable alternative if all parties agree and the Relator can still double dip on the commission, which is the only reason some Realtors love Dual Agency in the first place.

In closing I can find no place where Dual Agency is ever acceptable, I suggest to all people who ask me that they stay far away from it.  I'd be interested in your thoughts or comments... am I being a stickler on defining what our agency relationship and fiduciary responsibilities are?  Is it so hard when you find two willing parties to just operate as a transaction broker?  Let me know what your point of view is...