One of the first things that a Real Estate Broker in Oregon should do is offer you a copy of the Oregon Real Estate Initial Agency Pamphlet (click to view it). This pamphlet explains agency for both the buyer and the seller. Both the buyer and seller in Oregon are entitled to specific expectations when working with a licensed Real Estate Broker in Oregon.
The Pamphlet explains agency and many do not take this as serious as it should be taken. The very first paragraph of the pamphlet cites both an ORS (Oregon Revised Statute) and an OAR (Oregon Administrative Rule) these are legal statues and rules. Meaning that you the consumer have rights and the right for specific expectations.
In Oregon an agent can and often times will represent both the buyer and the seller in a transaction. We call this dual agency, it is allowed in Oregon but in many other states it is not. In Oregon Dual Agency or Disclosed Limited Agency is only allowed with written permission and full disclosure. As a buyer or a seller you have the right to your own representation, this means if you are not comfortable with your agent representing both sides, you can use a different agent.
One of the items that I wonder if buyers or agents for that matter think about is how Disclosed Limited Agency falls into place when you have more than one buyer interested in the same property. Oregon law and rules does allow an agent to represent more than one buyer per property. So, if you have 3 buyers and all 3 are interested in the same home because it is priced perfectly – an agent can write the offer for all three buyers.
Some buyers may find this to be a conflict of interest. The buyer wants the home, and is making an offer on the property based on the information that the agent has provided about the market, the home and similar homes that have sold. So, how can an agent represent more than one buyer on the same property?
Really it is pretty simple as long as your agent is trustworthy and does not disclose the details of your offer to the other buyer. As a buyer, if a home has this much interest, I would hope that your agent has explained to you as a buyer that there is a lot of interest in a property. At this point if the home is truly your dream home and you want to move forward with an offer you should make your best offer the first offer.
No agent wants to be in the position to have 2 buyers wanting the same house, but in the market we are currently in, it can happen. Especially with some of the bank owned homes we see come on the market. They are priced lower than other homes, in great shape and gives you a lot of activity with other buyers.
Know your rights and what you should expect from your agent. Ask questions – you need to have a good, trusting relationship with your agent, the Pamphlet helps you know what you are entitled to.