In the State Of Arizona, Listings are owned by the Broker. If a REALTER® signs a listing contract with a seller, the listing actually belongs to the Broker acting through the agent selling the property. So whether the selling agent works for West USA Realty, HomeSmart, or Caldwell Banker etc., these firms (The Broker) own the listing. This works the same for the Buyer’s agent. When the buyer enters into a Purchase Contract, the Broker while not a party to the contract, represents the buyer. How does this work in practice? For example, if I, as your listing agent, cannot fulfill my duties to you for reasons such as incapacitation or death, the purchase can continue to move forward.
What are our duties to you? We owe you the fiduciary duties of loyalty, obedience, disclosure, confidentiality, and accounting in the dealings with the other party.
Limited Representation or what some call Dual Agency, occurs when the same broker either individually or two separate sales agents represent both the buyer and seller in the purchase transaction. This is lawful with written consent from both parties. Dual agency will involve inherent conflicts, which introduce the limited representation.
Are all limited representations equal? There are two different scenarios which come to mind, the first being a single agent representing both the buyer and seller. In our minds, both parties have limited representation. We would not be able to disclose any confidential information which would give one party advantage over the other. We are not able to advocate or negotiate on behalf of either the buyer or seller. As you can imagine, it does not just stop here.
What happens however when I as a West USA Agent has a listing. Another West USA Agent brings a buyer to my listing. I will be acting in my seller’s best interest, and the buyer’s agent will be acting in their client’s best interest. However, since we both work for the same Broker, West USA Realty, it is still considered Limited Representation and the appropriate Disclosure must be signed by all parties of the contract.