Is It Okay to Represent Both the Buyer and Seller in a Real Estate Deal?


In an ideal real estate world, every person who wants to sell or buy a house will get their own agent to represent them in the transaction. This ensures that both parties are being represented by someone who understands the industry and exactly what they have to both lose and gain in the deal. While the main point is the price, the final contract and terms should be reviewed by both agents who must agree that the terms are fair and desirable for everyone involved.

Of course, the world isn’t an ideal one and unique circumstances happen. Most modern home sales are listed online. Sellers can, if they want to, handle their own listing by taking pictures and posting their home on websites like Zillow and buyers are just as free to research and look for properties they like. However, this can and often does result in situations where there is only one real estate agent in the picture. If that agent is you, it’s important to know what to do.

The Role Of Each Representing Agent

The reason that two agents is the standard is not to collect two commissions or play two parts in a performance, it’s to represent two people in a contract negotiation. Because the case of a house is both large and variable, it’s vitally important that due diligence is performed and an agreement met on the correct price of the house. The seller’s agent is responsible for ensuring that they don’t sell the home for less than it’s worth and to try and get the best price for the seller.

Conversely, the buyer’s agent is there to ensure that the buyer doesn’t overpay for the property using a combination of inspections and industry knowledge. In each case, it’s important that the clients can trust their agent to have their best interests in mind when the contract is finalized.

It’s Hard to Stay Objective

Representing two parties is enough work for two people and trying to do it all on your own is a lot harder than you might expect. For every positive thing about the house you’d like to highlight and boost the value for the seller, you must also diligently seek flaws to bring down the price for the seller. This double-agenting is not only stressful, it can also damage your relationship with one or both clients. Don’t think you’re the first agent to try working a sale from both sides.

Two Agents Are Always Better Than One

All that said, there are a lot of ways to wind up as the only real estate agent in a deal, at least at first. Sellers are more likely to have listing agents while buyers will often reach out to you personally or perhaps buyer and seller came to you together looking for a smooth guaranteed sale. Whatever the circumstance, get good at referring one of the two clients to another agent. Goodness knows you’re not the only agent within a reasonable driving distance and you can even work with another agent in you office as long as there is one representative per party in each real estate deal.

Even if the clients seem to really want only one agent, it’s your job as the professional to advise them to follow standard procedures and recommend a good opposite agent to work with. For more tips on real estate best practices, contact us today!”