Virginia Law allows a real estate firm or salesperson to represent both sides of a real estate transaction as long as all persons party to the transaction provide consent. Because the company has a legal obligation to represent both parties and may know confidential information about one party which could be of value to the other party, there are limits on what the company or salesperson may do in dual representation cases.
The company or salesperson must not disclose confidential information about one party to the other and must not do anything to create a negotiating advantage for one party over the other. Examples would be advising the Buyer that the Seller would accept a lower price or advising the Seller that the Buyer would be willing to pay more.
Generally, information about the motivations of each respective party must remain confidential. In effect, dual representation limits the REALTOR® to a neutral role where the agent is legally and ethically unable to advise either party involved in the real estate transaction.