Home Buying in South End>Question Details

Casey, Home Buyer in Boston, MA

what are the benefits of using the same broker who is both representing the buyer and the seller?

Asked by Casey, Boston, MA Sun Jan 27, 2008

We have been working with a broker for several weeks and have finally decided that we are most interested in a property in which she is also the exclusive agent. Should we find another broker to represent us, or just use a lawyer during the closing?

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A buyers agent will represent your interests and have fiduciary responsibility to you as a buyers agent. A sellers agent has fiduciary responsibility to the property owner. Thus it may not be in your best interest to have the agent serve in both capacities. In Massachusetts, if an agent is representing both the buyer and the seller it must be disclosed and the agent must keep an arm's length to both parties. If you have built a relationship with the broker it would still be worthwhile to have your own independant resource to protect your interests.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 28, 2008
I'm a Real Estate agent in NY where Dual Agency is still practiced regularly. I have been an agent for Both seller and buyer quite a few times. It comes down to your relationship with that agent, do you trust them? As an agent on both side we are a bit more limited as to what we can say and do, but we are still there to help and guide you as we can. It requires a bit more due diligence on your part, put the benefits usually outweigh any issues. Have an open conversation with that agent, ask them to explain to you what they can and cannot do as a dual agent, get all the facts, and then make your choice!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 24, 2013
Yes, most definitely get yourselves represented by your own agent. It is the only way that your interests will be represented. The seller's agent must act in the best interests of the seller.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 30, 2011
In your question you stated: "or just use a lawyer during the closing." You should realize that the closing attorney only represents the interests of your mortgage lender during closing. So if you went with the listing broker and closing attorney only, you would have no one representing your interests.

You can hire an attorney to represent you as a buyer. Often, that attorney will handle the closing as well, which is a generally accepted practice because at the point of closing all of the key terms of the transaction have been negotiated (with the attorney representing the buyer) and at closing the lender and buyer's interests are seen as aligned. Mainly, both parties want to make sure the buyer gets clean title.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 23, 2008
Not a good idea just for the reasons that the other realtors gave you0. Always get your own real estate lawyer to look out for your interest.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 28, 2008
Casey, the answer is in your question- "same broker who is representing the buyer and the seller". If your agent is the listing agent, they have agreed to represent the seller with fiduciary. Even if the agency relationship changes in order to accomodate your offer, having your own representative who agrees to make every effort to get you the best price would appear to be the only alternative that assures you of this effort. I would also avoid obtaining buyer agency via the company that has the listing- you need someone with no connection to the transaction. It is your right to be represented, and it will be your dollars that are impacted- as a buyer, getting the best possible price is an objective that can only be secured with a degree of certainty by having your own representation.
Web Reference: http://optionsrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 27, 2008
There are far more negatives to using the same agent who represents the property, than there are any potential benefits. Yes, find another agent to represent you so that your rights are protected and you have an advocate working for you.

There are too many conflicts of interest, in using the same agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 27, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
I would not recommend the dual agency relationship. I never understood how a Realtor can negotiate on the best behalf of two opposing parties. I stay away from those kind of scenarios. I'd rather have my clients represented by another Realtor if they wanted to buy one of my listings, than to have them have doubts about having received full representation by me. I believe most clients appreciate me looking out for their best interest and will come back to me for their future real estate needs.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 27, 2008
There are two things that can happen if a broker represents both the buyer and the seller. Broker becomes facilitator for both, basicaly broker will handle all the paperwork and make sure that everythign is going as it should be, but will not be able to advise ither the seller or the buyer as to what to offer, or what to ask for as far as contingencies go (ie, you want seller to pain the siding etc) Basically you lose the "negotiator" part of the services an agent offers, and so does the seller.

Option two is the agent will remain as sellers agent and will become facilitator to you. Meaning He/she is still working as a full service agent for the seller, but is only facilitator to you, meaning you lose the "negotiator" part of the service, but the seller still get their.

It's also possible that the agent will be willing to work with another agent in their office for negotiation part, ie, your agent would represent the seller, and some other agent would represent you in the negotiations, but your agent would handle all the paper work etc.

Benefits? Depends on a situation, if you are offering near or full asking price, and have no contingencies (other than the usual mortagage and inspection) then by working with the same agent, you may get an easier/faster transaction, since your agent wwouldhandle everything and won't need to wait for listing agent to get back to them etc.

But that's about it. Seller might have it in their contract that if the listing agent gets both sides of a commission than the total comission is lower (ie. 6% normal, 5% if agent gets both sides) but that has no impact on you since you still pay 100% of whatever offer you make.

I would suggest you talk to you agent, see what they would do if you were to buy their listing. Although, if you plan to lowball or negotiate a lot, I'd suggest working with a different agent, and your current agent could get a referral.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 27, 2008
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