Brokers, in a real estate transaction, can act as dual agents or Intermediary (a term utilized by Texas Real Estate Commission). This information is specific to the State of Texas as each State has different laws.
The “Information About Brokerage Services” form, which must be initialed by seller, buyer, landlord or tenant prior to any substantive conversations with a client, sets out the meaning and responsibilities of Brokerage Services.
Several conditions must be met to act as intermediary inclusive of obtaining “written agreement of each party to the transaction” to act as intermediary; the broker is required to treat both parties impartially and fairly; and broker may assign a different license holder to each party to provide opinion and advice to seller or buyer.
What this means to you, the consumer?
First, a definition – a Broker is responsible for all acts of sales agents that they sponsor. Sales Agents (Realtors) are sponsored by a broker and work with the client on behalf of the broker.
If both parties utilize the same agent in a transaction; neither party can be privy to opinion or advice. The agent provides only factual information to both parties and must remain impartial to both sides. The value of representation by a brokerage firm may be diminished substantially by taking this action.
It is recommended that prior to accepting Intermediary Representation, that the consumer be aware of the pitfalls in doing so.