Some people have a hard time getting their arms around the idea of the broker representing both sides (dual agent) in the transaction. In real estate it is rarely done, but in business brokerage for smaller transactions under $3M, it is quite common.

The listing broker knows an awful lot about the Seller’s company. They have interviewed the Seller at length, recast their financials, toured the facility, and typically spent hours with the Seller. They know what is important to the Seller and know their hot buttons. When the agent lists the business, typically the business is listed on many web sites. The potential buyers call the listing agent to get more information. Buyers will sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and an agency relationship form prior to getting additional information, agreeing that the listing broker will also be representing them as well.

IF the buyer is already working exclusively with a broker or does not feel comfortable having a dual agency relationship, then they should not agree to sign the agency relationship form. Buyer should identify the broker with whom they are working before the listing broker spends significant time with them.

If the buyer has signed the agency relationship form agreeing to work with the listing broker as a dual agent and changes their mind down the road after getting all the information and having used a lot of the listing brokers time, the following scenario will occur. If the buyer chooses to have their own broker down the line, the listing broker has no obligation to share their commission with the buyer’s broker. The buyer may be responsible for their buyers half of the commission or what ever the buyer and buyers broker agree to. Be clear from the beginning after you have interviewed the Seller’s broker whether or not you are comfortable working together before signing the dual agency agreement.