Beginner Drafting Mistakes

“As I am smoking . . . I don’t expect to be thanked.”

—What John Hurt’s character ” in “Love and Death on Long Island” (1997) ” says to the cab driver, when the latter points to the cab’s “Thank You For Not Smoking” sign, and asks Hurt to extinguish his cigarette.

[Editor’s Note: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway, or any other entity referenced.  If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney.]

To be sure, it’s far more common for novice Realtors to miss needed signatures, than to collect extra signatures that aren’t actually required.

Which is why the “Dual Agency” signature block on the standard Minnesota residential Purchase Agreement is such an easy blunder for newbies to make.

“Dual Agency Does/Does Not Apply”

At least in Minnesota, Realtors must disclose to their clients if the Buyer and Seller are being represented by the same broker.

In theory, that can affect the level of representation the Buyer and Seller receive, because their agents can’t do anything to harm the other party, who technically is their client, too.

So, clients must explicitly agree to dual agency, in writing, in the Purchase Agreement.

One Error Begets Another

Ahh, but if the Buyer’s agent and listing agent (representing the Seller) work for different brokers, there’s no need for the Buyer and Seller to authorize dual agency.

The newbie error?

They get their clients to authorize dual agency even when it’s N/A.

Annoyingly for the veteran agent, the Purchase Agreement can then be flagged by the lender or one of the title companies, who require the other party to also mistakenly sign dual agency, or, require an Amendment clarifying that it doesn’t apply.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

Leave a Reply