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Why would you allow an agent to Double End your transaction?

One of the scenarios that still doesn’t make sense to me is a Listing Agent representing both the Seller and Buyer. This is called “Double Ending” the transaction and is one of those things that most agents I know dream of. Not only do they get twice the amount of commission, but they also may get a bonus from their Broker who gives a bigger percentage cut to the agent if they Double End. When I was with a bigger brokerage, everytime an agent double-ended a tranascation, the other agents treated them like they just won the lottery.

Maybe it’s because I come from a business background but I can’t see how representing both the Buyer and Seller in a large dollar amount business transaction passes my “Is this good for the client?” test. I wouldn’t hire a contract lawyer to prepare, review, and negotiate a contract that is also doing the same for the other party so why would I want a REALTOR doing the same???

If they are representing both the Buyer and Seller, how can each party be assured the agent is working in their best interest? If something comes up during the inspection period, will the agent be more concerned about losing their lottery payoff more than what’s best for the Buyer or Seller?

If I was hiring an agent to sell my house, I’d state that I do not want them to represent the Buyer. I wouldn’t want to get a “discount” on the commission if the agent represented the Buyer. I WOULD WANT FULL REPRESENTATION! There are a lot of agents promoting “Full Service” these days but will also double end the transaction. Doesn’t make sense to me.

If a Buyer did approach the Listing Agent wanting to put in an offer, the Listing Agent can refer the Buyer to another agent. I wouldn’t have a problem if the agents were in the same office. Then both parties have their own representation.

When interviewing an agent to sell your home, ask them if they have ever Double Ended a transaction and then have them explain what advantage that gave to the Seller AND Buyer.

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile