• December 6, 2016

I recently obtained a full dismissal of all charges brought by the Nevada Real Estate Division (NRED) against one of my clients for alleged violations of Nevada broker licensing laws. In my opinion, NRED was reaching on a number of issues, and was bowing to some uneducated political pressure by bringing the cases in the first place. My client was not the only broker or agent subjected to these charges and it bears noting that most of the cases were fully dismissed before hearings (including that of my client), two after a hearing and another two cases are pending judicial review. There were a number of important issues at stake in these cases. One of which was the propriety of dual agency.

Dual Agency refers to the situation in which the same real estate agent represents both the seller and the buyer in a real estate real-estate-dual-agency-buyers-and-sellerstransaction. Dual Agency is legal in Nevada, however, under NRS 645.252, if an agent acts on behalf of more than one party to the transaction they must obtain written consent from each party which must include: (i) a description of the real estate transaction; (ii) a statement the agent is acting for two or more parties who have adverse interests and that in acting for those parties the agent has a conflict of interest; (iii) a statement that the agent will not disclose confidential information for 1 year after the transaction unless compelled by a court to do so or given written permission by the party to do so; (iv) a statement that the party is not required to consent to the dual agency and v) a statement that the party is not being coerced into consenting and understands the terms of the consent. NRED has prescribed forms for these disclosures.

Where a broker assigns two different agents, who both work under the same broker, to a single transaction, this is not referred to as dual agency and does not require the same disclosures as set forth above.

Dual Agency representation by realtors is a practice that may be questionable in, or outside of, the context of short sales because of the inherent conflicts of interest. The policy implications are significant to the protection of buyers and sellers.

Regardless, it is legal in the state of Nevada and neither our legislature nor the local realtor boards have sought to make changes to this practice. As with many aspects of contracts, and law in general, parties to a transaction or contract are advised to be aware of their rights and what they are contracting for.

Cassell von Baeyer is a partner at the Incline Law Group, LLP. Incline Law Group, LLP - Providing Legal Clarity for Over 40 Years Incline Law Group, LLP, is committed to providing legal clarity. Our transparent approach to delivering legal services is designed to get beneath the surface of the matter in order to minimize surprises and maximize our clients’ outcomes. Founded in 1973 by John C. Rogers, Incline Law Group has earned a reputation for professionalism, discretion, honesty, diligence and positive results. Most of our attorneys are licensed in Nevada and California and have been providing legal clarity in the areas of Real Estate, Litigation, Family Law, Contracts, Business Formation and Estate Planning for over 40 years to our Northern Nevada and California communities. Cassell has been practicing law for 16 years and is licensed to practice in all courts of California and Nevada. Cassell's areas of practice include: -Real Estate transactions (commercial and residential) -Purchase and sale of real property -Commerce development -Common interest community developments and homeowner's association matters -Commercial development -Leases -Easements -Construction contracts -Mechanics liens -Land use -Distressed real estate, including judicial foreclosure -Business Entities and Transactions - formation and administration of business entities -Contracts -Real property -Business -Licensing agreements -Construction Cassell is a member of The State Bar of Nevada, The State Bar of California and the Washoe County Bar Association.