This weekend the National Association of Realtor’s is sponsoring a National Open House. If you are planning to participate as either a Realtor with any of your listings or as a potential buyer here are some things you should remember.

The agent at the open house represents the SELLER (homeowner). His fiduciary duties are to his SELLER.

If you, as the buyer. like the house and would like to make an offer make sure you understand what DUAL AGENCY is before you make the decision to use the SELLER’s agent to present your offer.

DUAL AGENCY is allowed in IL and other states so it is legal but there are certain disclosures that must be given to you before you agree to use the same listing agent to submit your offer.

So what can the listing agent do under a Dual Agency situation:

* Treat all clients honestly

* Provide information about the property

* Disclose any latent material defects of the property

* Disclose financial qualifications of the buyer or tenant

* Explain Real Estate terms

* Explain closing costs and protocol/procedures

* Provide information on comparable homes to provide guidance on potential offer price

* Help buyer find and compare mortgage financing

* Explain the various inspections and recommend possible vendors and coordinate inspections

What Agents CANNOT do under DUAL AGENCY!!!

* Disclose any confidential information you gave them without your permission

* Disclose the price the seller or landlord will take besides the listing price

* Disclose the price the buyer will be willing to offer on the property

* Give a recommended price the Seller should accept or counter

* Give a recommended price the Buyer should offer

Remember that if you are not comfortable doing a Dual Agency transaction let the Agent know and get your own Buyer’s Representative. You are NOT required to do a Dual Agency.

Realtors please make sure that you DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE DISCLOSE! Make it clear to any prospective clients who YOU represent before they show interest. Don’t become involved in an undisclosed Dual Agency transaction. In the long run it is not worth the extra commission if there are any problems.

Buyers please make sure that you understand this type of transaction and are totally comfortable doing your own due diligence, coming up with the offer price,and understanding all your rights. Buying a home is a complex transaction not to be entered into lightly. The services of a Buyer’s Agent is usually free – the commission in most cases is paid by the Seller, so take advantage of this and hire and enter into an Exclusive Buyer’s Agreement.

Enjoy the National Open House weekend!

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