Multiple representation means a designated representative or brokerage represents more than one client, with competing interests, in the same transaction. This can happen in different ways, depending on the type of representation agreement you and the other clients have with the brokerage.
Under brokerage representation, multiple representation happens when:
This is true even when the clients are working with different real estate agents.
Under designated representation, multiple representation happens when:
Multiple representation is not permitted unless each of the clients involved agrees. You should seek independent professional advice (for example, from your real estate lawyer) before proceeding.
The brokerage or your designated representative has a duty to promote and protect your best interests and avoid conflicts of interest. If your brokerage or designated representative enters into an agreement with another client who has an interest in the same property as you, this places both clients in multiple representation. Multiple representation introduces risks you and the other client should consider.
It’s important to understand the risks. If you agree to multiple representation, the brokerage or designated representative:
What to expect before you agree to multiple representation
The brokerage is required to provide you with a written disclosure that explains:
Until this information is disclosed in writing to all clients or prospective clients in the transaction, and they all agree in writing, the brokerage or designated representative cannot not take any further steps on behalf of any of the clients or prospective clients.
Confidential information you provided to the brokerage or the designated representative when you were represented cannot be shared without your written consent.
You can refuse multiple representation
If you don’t agree, the brokerage or your designated representative is not allowed to proceed.
Ask the brokerage or real estate agent about alternatives to multiple representation. For example, if you are a buyer, the brokerage could refer you to another brokerage or another designated representative to help you make an offer on the property.
Agreeing to multiple representation significantly reduces what the brokerage and its agents can do for you, which could have consequences and costs.