Buyer's and Seller's agents.

Asked by Gary, Paradise Valley, AZ Fri Mar 2, 2012

If the buyer's agent and the seller's agent both work for the same agency, would there be some kind of conflict of interest or something else that might prevent the buyer from getting the best deal?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Randy Hooker’s answer
Randy Hooker, Agent, Chandler, AZ
Fri Mar 2, 2012
Keith & Kinsey, you might want to re-think answering a question like this when you're not Arizona agents or brokers. You might very well be stepping into legal quicksand.

Gary, be mighty careful about listening to counsel from agents in other states. Your question, and the issue of "dual agency" is a highly loaded, risky and legal concept that must be treated with kid gloves.

Also, Gary, I would highly recommend that you sit down with your agent and discuss all of the pros and cons of such a scenario. It's way too important an issue to count on random comments from folks on this forum.
1 vote
Sonny Shriva…, Agent, Goodyear, AZ
Fri Mar 2, 2012

That's a great question that I wish more people would ask! The answer to your question is both yes and no. When there are two agents with the same brokerage - one representing buyer and the other representing the seller - the basic rule of thumb is that neither agent can disclose information to either party that may damage the other party unless those disclosures are part of the agent's/broker's normal disclosure duties.

Here's an example: The seller contacts his agent and tells him "I'm listed at $200k but I'll take $150k". The agent cannot disclosure that information to the buyer or their agent, and if the buyer's agent becomes aware of that information, he or she cannot disclose that to their buyer. So in this limited scenario, the answer to your question would be yes. As a seller in this situation, your interests would be protected.

The opposite is also true: The buyer contacts his agent and tells him "I am offering $180k but am willing to go up to $220k". The buyer's agent cannot disclose to the seller that the buyer is willing to pay more, and if the listing agent becomes aware of this information, he or she cannot disclose that to their seller. Again, this is a rare circumstance, but in this case the answer to your question would be no, and as the buyer your interests would be protected.

We have represented both buyers and sellers at the same time and have never run into any issues. I would not be too worried unless there is a specific situation about which you are concerned. If you had the same situation with two agents from different brokerages, the likelihood that either agent would be in possession of inside information from the other side is extremely unlikely, but if they do come into possession of such information, then there would be no limitation on sharing that information with you.
0 votes
Tiffany Carl…, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Sun Mar 30, 2014
As discussed below this is a Dual Agency with Limited Representation. The agent owes both parties honest and fair dealing and can not offer opinions just facts. If you would like to discuss this further please give me a call.

Best Wishes,
Tiffany Carlson- Richison
Realty One Group
Cell 480-215-1105
Awarded as one of Top 40 Agents under 40 in 2013 from SEVRAR
0 votes
Andrew & Lisa…, Agent, Anthem, AZ
Fri Jan 10, 2014
Usually the buyer's agent will have the buyer's best interests in mind when they are negotiating the deal. If they are negotiating with an fellow Listing Agent from their office, they should be negotiating the same way as if it were a complete stranger.
The main thing is that a buyer should always have a buyer's agent representing them throughout the process and never should rely on several listing agents to get them the best deal on their new home.
Hope this helps!
0 votes
Bianca Benne…, Agent, Glendale, AZ
Tue Jun 25, 2013
Even if the buyer and seller are represented by the same agent should not be any kind of conflict of interests. Nevertheless, both parties must agree in writing before moving forward.

Best Regards,

Real Estate Professional / Prestige Realty
Bianca Bennett / 602-570-7898
0 votes
Temporarily…, , Tempe, AZ
Fri Mar 2, 2012
Just to clarify a previous comment a bit, Arizona does not allow designated agency.
0 votes
James Wehner, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Fri Mar 2, 2012
Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. The scenario you are referencing is called limited dual agency. Either one agent represents both buyer and seller or two agents (both from the same brokerage) represent the buyer and seller.

There is a fine line that the buyer's agent and listing agent need to be on. There is now a LIMITED representation they can provide. They limited on what information they can share with you.

I've been involved in several limited dual agency situations. I would provide several scenarios and options for my client to weigh out when faced with a decision. For you as a buyer, you may want to have your buyer's agent, provide you with enough information as possible to make an education decision on what you think is the best price you are willing to pay. If you don't get it for that amount, move on.

Each buyer will need to determine for themselves if they feel that they got a good deal or not. When it comes to value, especially in today's market, even the professional appraisers have time determining value and it something is a good deal or not.

The way that the market is going right now, a buyer may consider just being able to find a home to purchase a good deal.

Best regards,

James Wehner
West USA Realty
Web Reference:
0 votes
Brad Bergami…, Agent, Prescott, AZ
Fri Mar 2, 2012
Usually what keeps the Buyer from getting the best deal is well the "buyer and the seller" agents are there to Broker the deal not price set. When you work with a broker that is also the list broker. Just keep in mind there is an inherent conflict of interest for both parties, but we are professionals that take our job and license seriously.
It can usually be handled without many issues. 35% of the transactions we did as a company last year where dual agencies.
It just means that we market for the buyer and have them come to us..
Best of luck to you,
0 votes
David E Smith, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Fri Mar 2, 2012
Hi Gary
If it were the same agent representing both sides you might be cautious. But if it is two separate agents from the same agency you should feel confident - if you are working with professionals. We live on referrals and you will refer an agent only if you feel they have given you their best.

David E Smith
Sotheby's Intl Realty
Web Reference:
0 votes
Keith & Kins…, Agent, Verona, WI
Fri Mar 2, 2012
It is considered dual agency as Hugh mentioned. Although, the agents obligation to you is dependent on your contract. If you allow for multiple representation with designated agency, that means your agent is still required to work for you as your designated agent. This helps minimize any conflict of interest.

I work for a fairly large brokerage and do deals with other agents within our brokerage all the time. In every case, I have been working for my client and negotiation for my client. I negotiate against agents within my brokerage just the same as agents outside my brokerage. I'm concerned with my clients interest, not my brokers interest or the other agents interest. Any ethical real estate agent would do the same.

Now if your contract says multiple representation without designated agency, then your agent may not be working specifically for your interest. Be a little cautious if this is the case.
0 votes
Pook Bellini, Agent, Charlotte, SC
Fri Mar 2, 2012

The Listing Agent represents the Seller, but can also represent the Buyer if both parties agree and sign a Consent to Limited Representation document. The document includes an explanation of duties and limitations to both parties.
0 votes
Hugh Lorch, Agent, Chandler, AZ
Fri Mar 2, 2012
Yes. It is considered Dual Agency when they work for the same broker...even if it is two different agents. Many agents and companies completely try to stay away from this type of representation. It becomes an awfully thin line on what can be said and how it can be said.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more