Question Details

Lynn T., Home Buyer in Santa Barbara, CA

Is it a conflict of interest to have the seller's agent and your buyer's agent from the same realty?

Asked by Lynn T., Santa Barbara, CA Tue Jul 10, 2007

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Lynn, that is a good question. It is not a conflict of interest to have the sellers agent and the buyers agent from the same office. Each agent is representing their client and the rules of confidentiality still apply. It probably makes the transaction run more smoothly simply because the agents can communicate easily.
Sometimes it is difficult to get in touch with the other agent in a transaction. If they are in the same office or same company they can always be found!

Good luck in your real estate adventure,

Sheila Alderman Dunigan
Zachary, La
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2007
There is no conflict as both parties are represented by two different agents. Quite frankly, these deals often work out the best as the agents are familiar w/each other and want the deal to work for both their clients. It can be a win-win situation.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2007
Absolutely not... Each agent is self employed and represents each client individually. As an agent, I would feel completely comfortable with another agent from my office - working for the seller or buyer. I will know their integrity and reputation first hand and know what was happening to be above board.

You will however have the same broker. The broker will be overseeing the activities of each agent to ensure a smooth, ethical transaction.

Your agent has a fiduciary relationship with you, whereby his/her loyalty is to you. This is a relationship that every agent protects. We understand the deep trust and commitment you are placing in our hands and we will protect that relationship throughout the transaction and beyond.

I hope this helps in some way; however, in the final analysis you will have to go with your own internal voice and your own comfort zone. If it feels good - do it. If there's something nagging at you - step away!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2007
No, but both the buyer and the seller need to agree to that. Frankly, it is often easier for me to put together a deal with another agent in my own office than it is with an agent from another firm. The buyer and the seller do not suffer in any way from my experience.
Web Reference: http://mioaklandcounty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2007
Maureen Fran…, Real Estate Pro in Birmingham, MI
MVP'08
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Go with your gut feeling. If you are working with an agent with high ethical standards, you can expect professionalism no matter who's listing you are interested in.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 11, 2007
Dear Lynn,

Not at all... it actually makes for an easier transaction in many cases. As long as you are represented exclusively by a Realtor that you trust and are comfortable with.

Good luck with your purchase!
Irina
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2007
Not at all. At Keller Williams, we have approx. 250 Realtors working out of our Brandon office and I have never met most of them. The reason you are hiring a professional is because you need their help. Each Realtor is an independent contractor. However, if the Seler's agent and the Buyer's agent is the same person, I would probably go with a different agent within the Brokerage company.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2007
It is not a conflict to have both agents from the same office. In fact, it can work to your advantage. Good people like to work with other good people. Agents from the same office usually will have a team spirit and will work together to better the reputation of their company. This can be a very good situation for all parties involved.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2007
I believe that sometimes a co-op from the same office can offer a little more in terms of willingness to make a deal work. If they know YOUR reputation and you know theirs it is much easier to negotiate on behalf of your client . By this I mean that they are less likely to flat out reject a lowball offer, more likely to truly compromise and make it work for both parties. There does not seem to be the 'nastiness' that we sometimes find w/ a competing brokerage.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2007
From my personal experience yes. I had a buyers agent and every property from her office was good and has "potential"...on the other hand NY realestate scene seems so dogged that outside agents are treated in a hostile manner...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2007
Not really! Agents are individuals and serve to protect the rights of their clients. It would be more amicable since the agents probably know each other and would rather work together toward a closing and not create undue conflict or stress. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2007
After more thought and reading Jeannette's answer I have to agree with her. She summarized very well what I was trying to say - no, as long as everyone is acting ethically.

-Nate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2007
In Arizona it is possible to have both the seller's agent and buyer's agent from the same realty. You must disclose this fact and the agency disclosure form ( to be signed by both buyer & seller ) we use does this. If the seller and buyer are comfortable with this arrangement, you can proceed. If either buyer or seller are not comfortable after full disclosure, most likely you should not proceed.

When there are really two agents involved, the form clearly states which agent is representing which client, however, the designated broker is still responsible for both buyer and seller. In this case there should be no conflict of interest because buyer and seller have representation and the two agents are obligated to their respective client and can be held resonsible through the Code of Ethics.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2007
If both are from the same brokerage that is called dual agency and may present some inherent problems and conflicts with regard to being able to perform ones fiduciary duty to all parties. Some states, though not ours, have adopted legislation that prohibits dual agency. In Arizona we disclose if there is dual agency to all parties several times in writing.

With that said, I have seen some of these deals go great where everyone wins and I have also seen deals where there was clear agency and the agent didn't look out for their client's best intentions.

The bottom line is find an agent that comes well recommended and work with that person closely. Ask questions - get answers - and if you have any questions talk to the broker.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2007
This depends somewhat on the state. In Georgia this is allowed. With only one broker involved, both agents work under that broker. The broker would designate one agent to represent the seller and one agent to represent the buyer. This is called "designated agency". Each agent is responsible for representing the best interests of the party they represent. The Purchase and Sale agreement states the names of the agents and the party they are each designated to represent.
There may be states in which designated agency is not allowed. To find out, you should visit your state's real estate commission website.
I hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2007
In Texas no...as long as the intermediary relationship is disclosed. My broker also requires both parties to sign an intermediary relationship form that acknowledges the situation. Realize in large brokerages the buyers agent may have never even met the selling agent. Heck that could be the case in small brokerages as well.
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2007
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
MVP'08
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