Do you know who your realtor is working for?
Here is a typical scenario we encounter …
A realtor lists a home and tells potential buyers and their agents that no offers will be presented until Sunday. Meanwhile an unrepresented buyer views the home and wants the listing realtor to write the offer. The buyers and the seller sign a limited dual agency agreement …
The promise of this agreement is neutrality on the part of the realtor. All parties agree the realtor will restrict his duties and not disclose his clients acceptable price, motivation for buying or selling or any of his clients personal information.
… the realtor writes the offer, the seller accepts the terms and conditions and everyone is happy. Or are they?
One thing many buyers and sellers chose to overlook – often with the hope the realtor will kick back ½ of his commission (the ½ that pays a buyer agent) – is the realtors impartiality prevents them from putting either party at a disadvantage.
For example, what if the realtor feels his sellers would be better served by waiting until Sunday to review what could potentially be multiple offers? Can he tell his clients that at the risk of putting the buyer at a disadvantage? Conversely, what if the realtor knows his sellers would accept less than what the buyer is offering. Can he suggest his buyer to start his offer lower?
The answer is no and no. The realtor is now smack dab in a conflict of interest quagmire and the above scenario only shows a micro portion of the potential conflicts that can arise in a dual agency situation.
Dual agency was created by lawyers for times when the realtor has an existing agency relationship with both the buyer and the seller, not as a means of saving the realtor, the buyer or the seller money by not having to pay a buyer agent.
This crazy market is showings no signs of slowing down and realtors, buyers and sellers are seeing scenarios never encountered before so it’s real important we as realtors talk to our clients about what we can and can’t do and what other realtors should be doing to ensure our clients can reach their goals.
In other words, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, get yourself a realtor you can call your own!