The Single-agent Dual Agency debate is revitalized at VARBuzz

Thanks to the monthly email newsletter from VAR. (Not everybody reads blogs?!) I know some members of the Virginia Real Estate Board have opinions; why don’t they share them now?

A sampling:

As a listing agent, how can I promise to do the best job possible for the seller, who hired me to protect his interest and sell his home for the best price and terms, then turn around under dual agency where I cannot give him any advice that would harm the buyer? It takes away the ability to negotiate on either party’s behalf. As the seller’s agent, if I think that the buyer is in love with the house and would come up $20,000 to avoid losing it, I am in a much stronger position to negotiate. As a dual agent, my hands are tied and I become a mediocre agent for both parties and truly feel I have been stripped of all my skills and have to keep tape over my mouth. I have to walk a fine line that serves no one except filling the agent and brokers pockets.

Sellers see right through greed and self serving agents.

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  1. Bryant Keefe March 25, 2008 at 09:45

    I have always thought Dual Agency made as much sense as hiring a lawyer to sue yourself. I know the traditional broker model does not find profit without dual agency so there is not motivation to eliminate it. But no matter how you try to spin it you just cannot serve two masters. This is where law firms have it right. They do searches and cannot represent folks who oppose previous clients of their firm. They call it “Conflict of Interest”.

  2. scott March 25, 2008 at 14:22

    Jim — There’s actually a comment from Virginia Real Estate Board member Schaefer Oglesby on the Buzz posts in question. It’s been up a week or more. They’re reading…or at least one of them is.

  3. michael guthrie March 25, 2008 at 15:27

    I may be out to lunch on this but I think the real problem is folks use Dual Agency incorrectly. the only time where it technically makes sense is in the rare instance that an agent already represents both parties exclusively and the buyer for whom you represent chooses to buy the listing that you represent the seller as well. in that case, you get both to mutually agree to dual agency. Unfortunately, agents who represent the seller use Dual Agency as a way to sell their own listing without having known the prospective buyer prior to their call or visit to an open house. The cleaner and more honest way to do it is to tell the prospective buyer who is interested that you represent the seller (standard agency)but would be happy to write the contract for them and perform the ministerial acts allowed by law.

  4. michael guthrie March 25, 2008 at 16:23

    The rebuttal on your post on VARBuzz is a great example of what I was trying to communicate in my last comment. She has or will work for both buyers and sellers for quite awhile and would be hard pressed to do anything but treat both equally.

  5. Bob Hughes May 14, 2009 at 07:31

    First congratulations on being accepted to speak at the Inman Connect Real Estate Conference this year. That is mighty impressive. I hope when you get back you will still speak to us little agents.
    Thanks for bringing to light the serious nature of dual agency . .. it is a slippery slope legally and hopefully soon will be dealt with on a legislative level.

  6. Pingback: HB 1907 – Agency in Virginia, Disclosures and More |

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