Real Estate Agency Explained

Agency: State law requires real estate licensees in Hawaii, prior to preparing any contract, to disclose orally or in writing to Seller and/or Buyer whom it is that they represent. The licensee could be:

(a) Seller’s Agent – Represents Seller only, unless a disclosed dual agency exists. Seller’s agent owes highest duties to Seller, including confidentiality, loyalty and utmost care.

(b) Buyer’s Agent – Represents Buyer only. Unless a disclosed dual agency exists, Buyer’s agent owes the highest duties to Buyer, including confidentiality, loyalty, and utmost care.

(c) Seller’s Sub-Agent – Represents Seller only. Seller’s sub-agent owes the same duties to you as does your agent. The Subagency arises if Seller offers sub-agency in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and the cooperating broker accepts your offer. There will be no sub-agency unless it is specifically agreed to as a special term or as an addendum to this listing agreement and made a part of the Purchase Contract.

(d) Dual Agent – Represents both Seller and Buyer as clients. To lessen the conflict, the dual agent plays a neutral role in negotiations and must not advance the interest of one party ahead of the other. It commonly arises when other licensees in the listing company have Buyer clients looking for similar types of property. Both Seller and Buyer need to sign a written agreement describing the role of the dual agent. The dual agent acts as a facilitator to bring Seller and Buyer to a common ground of understanding in the negotiations.

Customer – Seller’s Agent can also assist Buyer, as a customer. As a customer, Buyer is not represented by Seller’s Agent. Seller’s Agent can assist Buyer in writing the Purchase Contract, can present the Purchase Contract to Seller, and can report back any acceptance or request for changes to the Purchase Contract.