Why It’s Better to Have Separate Agents Representing Buyers and Sellers

August 31, 2011

Most real estate agents in the GTA represent either the buyer or the seller in property transactions.

Within the industry, we all have our personal preferences in terms of whether we prefer to work with buyers or sellers. Legally speaking, real estate agents CAN work for both parties in a property deal.

Often, when I’m conducting an open house in order to present a home to interested parties, visitors will approach me to find out if they can buy the property directly from me, as the listing agent. Some ask me because they’ve had a negative experience with a previous real estate agent. Others simply want to get a better discounted price on the property.

In this situation, I tend to take a subjective view of representing both parties. These are my personal thoughts:

1) For those that had a bad previous experience:

If you’ve had a bad experience, why would you want to buy a property from someone that you know nothing about? It’s not a good idea to offer someone who you have not researched the opportunity to be your real estate agent. I understand that offering me the job as your agent is a compliment to me, as it means you like the home and you value the opinion of the homeowners in their choice of agent.

However, in order to get the best deal for my client I would have to represent their interests in any possible deal. I cannot do that when representing both parties.

2) For those that want a discounted price:

When speaking with me as the listing agent selling the property, are you expecting me to help you achieve a lower price? If so, it means that I, as the listing agent for the property, did not set the house price correctly. Secondly, this will put the seller at a disadvantage as I would not be representing their best interests and thus I would not be fulfilling my contractual obligations to them.

Do you really want me to be your buying agent when I’m also representing the seller? Think twice about this situation. I know my seller. I have developed a level of trust with them. I also know the house and the area. Do you?

If we meet for the first time at an open house, it is highly unlikely that that I will be able to help you further your interests in buying the property. When working for you, I would be trying to lower the price you pay. But because I work for the seller, I have to help them get the highest value for the property. Therefore, this scenario is simply unworkable.

In my opinion, representing both sides in a property deal is similar to representing both the defense and the prosecution in court.

Let’s Work Together When I Can Best Represent You!

If you speak with me at one of my open houses and you are comfortable in dealing with me but are not planning to buy the property in which we met, we could certainly work together in helping you find a high value property deal. In this situation I can better represent you by promoting your best interests in every aspect of the deal.

In addition, before I list any house, I do my homework. I know about every single property that’s for sale or has recently been sold in that area. Therefore when you hire me to represent you when buying a separate local property, I can negotiate a great price for you with the seller’s agent and provide you with the benefit of my full care and attention.

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