Legal Hotline: If I Have Two Buyers Interested in the Same Property, am I a Dual Agent?

This Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® Legal Hotline piece deals with what to do when you have two buyers interested in buying the same house. There are legal and ethical implications at play.

Q. If I have two buyer clients interested in submitting an offer on the same property, am I a dual agent?

A. No, dual agency occurs when one licensee represents both sides of the transaction. An agent may represent multiple buyers interested in the same property without entering into a dual agency relationship.

Although license law does not require clients to consent or receive notice if this situation arises, the MAR Buyer Agency Agreement does include language that acknowledges that it is a possibility that the agent may represent multiple buyers submitting offers on the same property.

Given the current market conditions, these situations are occurring more frequently, and it may be worthwhile having a conversation with a client at the onset of the relationship to address this possibility. It is important to note that a buyer agent representing multiple buyer clients offering on the same property is not relieved of any fiduciary duties owed to each individual client. In some instances, it may be worthwhile referring one buyer to another agent to avoid potential conflicts.