Friday, December 01, 2006

Buyer Beware: NWMLS Form 41A "Buyer Agency Agreement"

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This is a boiler plate form commonly used by most members of the NWMLS. This includes most real estate professionals in the Greater Puget Sound. I do not like NWMLS Form 41A, specifically, the second clause because it asks the buyer to consent to dual agency. Why would a buyer agree to such a thing, when hundreds of thousands of dollars are at stake? Real estate is not a small ticket item. Real estate is a significant purchase with no room for imposed risks, such as, those risks imposed by Form 41A. Dual agency is a conflict of interest that should be avoided.

Here is the language contained in clause #2 of NWMLS 41A:

“Buyer agrees that if Broker locates a property that is listed by one of Broker’s salespersons other than Agent, then Buyer consents to Broker acting as a dual agent. Buyer further agrees that if Broker locates a property listed by Agent then Buyer consents to Agent and Broker acting as dual agents.”

It is unwise for buyers to consent to dual agency in any sense, because it is a conflict of interest. A well-informed buyer would be wise to draw a line through this language.

Our company does not use this form.

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