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Old 02-27-2009, 10:18 PM
 
24 posts, read 57,651 times
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Ok, so please educate me if I am wrong...

But to my way of thinking HOW exactly can a "good" buyers agent also be a "good" sellers agent, unless they only sell in one area and buy in another, or sell in one price range and buy in another or SOMEthing that completely separates the two?

Let's say an agent has several properties listed in so and so an area. Then a buyer comes along shopping in that area and the agent goes "oh, I'll represent you as a buyers agent".

So OK, how can the agent then NOT push the properties they are listing without doing their seller a disservice? Afterall here is a buyer shoppingin the area and shouldn't they do all they can to get their SELLER'S property sold? But how can they be a good buyers agent if they are biased towards their own property?
In the event that their buyer becomes interested in the property THEY are listing, doesn't this create a huge problem? EVEN in the event that they very rightfully give up the representation of one of the parties in such a case, they would still be privy to WAY too much information on the other end, since they might have crucial knowledge about both parties.
In such a case, it would simply be way too much advantage on one side (probably the seller whom they would represent). So in effect, the buyer would automatically try to avoid any listing with that agent, because they know they would be at a disadvantage in such a transaction. In which case, once again, isn't it a disservice to the seller if their own agent is effectively turning a potential buyer OFF their property?

It just doesn't make any sense to me.
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
178 posts, read 1,173,892 times
Reputation: 129
to get answers to your questions simply Google "dual agency defined"
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Knoxville
4,562 posts, read 22,639,199 times
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I don't think it's hard at all for an ethical Realtor. I see it happen all the time.

Say the potential buyer is looking for a 3/2, 2 story with a basement in the Ajax school district, and their price range is $200K.

While the Realtor may have one or more homes that fit that need, it is not likely they will have a bunch, and only show the buyer those. I think most buyers would also see through that ploy.
So the Realtor will find a half dozen or more houses that fit the criteria, explain that they in fact have a listing or two that fit the need, but will show them all of them.

It's really pretty basic stuff.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:01 PM
 
485 posts, read 1,379,874 times
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I thhink the problem comes in when the buyer is interested in one of the agent's listings. How does the agent keep both roles separate when presenting an offer to the seller who they "actually" represent? The agent also might be privy to information about the buyer which they would be obligated to pass on to the seller. I think it could become a very slippery slope. My feeling would be that the buyer would best be served by an independent agent.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
14,712 posts, read 35,591,413 times
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I don't practice dual agency, and most transactions are not done that way. There is a trend away from dual agency in real estate.

In Oregon you have to agree to dual agency as the buyer and seller. I think it is a bad idea for the most part.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Barrington
56,593 posts, read 38,985,915 times
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Laws vary state to state.

In my state, when an agent operates as a dual agency, both the buyer and seller are required to acknowledge and approve this before proceeding. The agent is not permitted to disclose anything that is not public information to either party and cannot advise either party, during negotiations.

Generally speaking, dual agency benefits the agent, not the two principals to the transaction.

Having said this, it can and does work for investors and very seasoned and savy buyers who do not need anyone to represent their best interests. In my area, relationships like this, increasingly become " non-agency", meaning that the buyer is not represented by anyone and the listing agent serves his/her employer, the seller and strives to meet the seller's objective of getting sold at price/terms reasonably satisfactory to the seller, given market conditions.

I would not however, lose a lot of sleep that a listing agent will not show comparable listings of other homes. Most people who contact a listing agent about a specific home end up buying another home. In my area, the most likely agent to sell my listing is an agent with a comparable listing and vice versa.
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,816 posts, read 40,127,625 times
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In Texas, the buyer's rep agreement and the listing agreement are with the broker, not the individual agents. If one agent has a listing and another agent has a buyer for whom that listing turns out to be perfect, then the broker is in the position of representing both parties. Here, it's called "intermediary", and it is spelled out in the information on brokerage services that we're required to give at first substantive meeting to anyone we might be talking about particular properties with. Both buyer and seller have to agree to intermediary at the signing of the respective agreements, though I've never had anyone opt out on either side because that would limit the houses that the buyer could be shown and the buyers who could be shown the seller's house.

Plus, if an intermediary situation does arise, there's paperwork that has to be presented to all parties so that everyone knows this.

If I had a listing and I had a buyer for whom it was perfect, my broker would likely appoint me to represent the seller and another agent to represent the buyer, while he would remain the intermediary. In that case, except for specific exclusions (I can't tell the seller, if I should know it, that the buyer will pay ANYTHING for his house, and the agent appointed to represent the buyer can't tell them the seller is in desperate straights - that's even if we knew this, which we likely won't - and we can't share confidential information with our respective clients.

I'm not really interested in representing both buyer and seller myself, though I'm confident I could do it ethically. It's just makes a complicated situation that much more complicated. But the way Texas handles it works quite well.
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:16 PM
 
1,364 posts, read 1,761,677 times
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There is no such thing as an "ethical agent" who accepts a dual agency contract.
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Old 02-28-2009, 02:36 PM
 
Location: SW Austin & Wimberley
6,212 posts, read 16,175,677 times
Reputation: 5294
Quote:
HOW exactly can a "good" buyers agent also be a "good" sellers agent, unless they only sell in one area and buy in another, or sell in one price range and buy in another or SOMEthing that completely separates the two?
You're overthinking it. As a buyer, you would be better served by an agent who sells a lot of homes in the area you like because they know the market and they know what represents a good deal. If you happen to be interested in one of that agent's listings, then you simply have another agent work that deal and negotiate on your behalf. Depending on your state, it might be handled differently than where we are.

If a buyer is interested in one of my listings, I MAKE them use another agent just to keep things clean. It could be another agent from our office, or any agent they choose, but that agent will be negotiating the best deal possible for that buyer while we remain in service to the seller.

Steve
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Old 02-28-2009, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Mokelumne Hill, CA & El Pescadero, BCS MX.
6,958 posts, read 20,313,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amerifree View Post
There is no such thing as an "ethical agent" who accepts a dual agency contract.
I totally disagree. I certainly can represent the seller and meet my fiduciary obligation to him. I certainly can represent a buyer for the same property and give him the obligation of fair dealing.

A bilateral contract involves a meeting of the minds of the parties involved. If my seller isn't happy with the terms of an offer, I have no problem encouraging him to put down exactly what it is he wants out of the deal. If the buyer wants to put something down that the seller doesn't want, I'll tell them to do exactly that. I become a messenger between the two parties.

Since I'm familiar with both parties, who better to advise them what the other party is thinking? I can't tell you the number of times in situations where there are 2 agents involved, where the other agent asks what my principal wants out of the deal. If I tell a buyers agent that my guy has told me in confidence that he'll take 50K less than asking price, and I pass that on to the buyers agent, I've failed both my ethical and legal responsibility. As a dual agent all I need to remember is that when that meeting of the minds occurs and nobody has been taken advantage of, I've done my job to the highest standard.

I ALWAYS tell the other agent to put down what their client wants and I'll take it to my client and we'll let them know what our response is. It's the same if I'm dealing with both parties as an agent. If I were to violate my ethical responsibilities, I'm going to hear about it later, either in the form of a lawsuit, or a loss of potential future business. I live in a very small town where one can sneeze at one end and 20 minutes later the guy at the other end catches cold. My ethical reputation is nothing to be trifled with.

It's not that hard to be ethical and legal in this business, I don't know why it seems to be so for some others.
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