Representing two buyers on the same house?

Don’t do it (in Montana).

I have been in this situation only once and I disclosed my situation to both buyers. Both sets trusted me and felt comfortable with my going forward submitting offers for both of them on the same property. I don’t remember whether either got the property, but I do remember the gratitude I felt that they both trusted me to represent their best interests ahead of my own.

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3 Comments

  1. Rick December 31, 2007 at 02:12

    Representing 2 buyers at the same time may result in a conflict of interest. So, it is best to be transparent to both buyers. If they are ok with the arrangement, then this is fine and should not be an issue. However, if they are not comfortable with the arrangement, then alternative solutions should be sought.

  2. Pavel December 31, 2007 at 15:03

    In Graduate Realtor Institute I learned that this is a form of “dual agency” and should be absolutely treated as one.

  3. Joe Vita February 23, 2008 at 17:00

    I don’t believe this has anything to do with honesty on the part of the agent, the gratitude expressed by the two buyers, or their acceptance of the arrangment. You are probably a very honest and straight forward person, but intentions or reputation are not going to keep you or the rest of us out of trouble in this type of situation.

    It has everything to do with the inherent inability of any agent, no matter how honest, to “represent the best interests” of two clients at the same time. It’s essentially no different than “representing” a buyer and seller in the same transaction. It’s simply another form of dual agency which always places the agent in a conflict of interest situation.

    If we can’t advise a client, especially when we know all of the details about another offer being placed at the same time on a property, we aren’t representing them. We can’t be their advocate.

    It is rare, I believe, when agents take the time and effort to thoroughly educate their clients as to how the array of services they originally contracted for become so limited and stunted so as to result in merely ministerial duties. I wonder how many clients, when offered the alternative of real representation by another agent, wouldn’t jump at the chance.

    Simply put, we can’t serve two masters at the same time. In actuality, we are only attempting to serve ourselves.