Real Estate Attorneys L-O-V-E Dual-Agency Cases ~ LOVE Them
Recently while holding Open Houses, some "customers" asked if I would represent "both buyer and seller" (dual-agency) and if so, would they "get a good deal?" Usually, I ask them to finish viewing the home, first. The questions customers usually ask at an Open House are very telling of current trends: When is the seller taking offers? How many offers do you anticipate receiving? Conversely: How many days has it been on the market? How motivated is the seller? The trendy question I now hear at Silicon Valley Open Houses involves "dual-agency." (Greg Swann, Bloodhound Realty Blog article) has several agents commenting on this hot real estate topic (land mine). At my last Open House a returning customer enthusiastically proclaimed all the agents holding Open Houses volunteered that since she (the buyer) does not have an agent they would represent both the buyer and the seller. I quickly got down on my knees in a begging position and asked her "is this how the agents offered to represent both you and the seller?" She laughed.
I shared with her what I've always said: while dual-agency pays (at most) twice the broker fee, yet requires three times the capability; it carries four times the responsibility and gives the agent five times the liability. Then I enthusiastically referred her to a competent Realtor.
Pat Kapowich, "Negotiating Smooth Transactions Throughout The South Bay"