Should We Or Shouldn’t We?


I have been part of a lively conversation lately regarding the practice of “double ending” transactions — representing both the buyer and seller in the same real estate transaction. This is an acceptable practice in California and the Palos Verdes/South Bay area. How does this serve the buyer and seller?

My personal feeling is that I cannot fairly represent both the buyer and seller. The buyer wants to spend the least amount of money and the seller wants to gain the most amount of money. Very simply, I know too much. I know the seller’s bottom line (and they do not want to leave any money on the table). I also know the buyer’s top price they will pay for the property (and the buyer does not want to pay more than they have to).

The same is true when it comes to negotiations during escrow and inspections. Who will pay for newly discovered problems/defects in the property? Will the buyer/seller really walk away from the sale if their demands are not met? Again, I will know too much as I will know the bottom lines for both parties yet I cannot tell them to the other. I would have to negotiate with the seller without letting him know what the buyer is really willing to accept even though I am also supposed to be serving the seller getting him the most money for his home. Does this make sense?

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2 thoughts on “Should We Or Shouldn’t We?”

  • Mary Thomas

    Elaine, I agree, it always amazes me when a buyer thinks he will save money by going through the selling agent. I don’t think he saves any money when the agents fiduciary relationship is with the Seller first. He is employed to get the highest and best price for his Seller. Commission saved does not always mean it is the lowest price the seller will accept. Good Article.

  • elainecarlson

    Mary – Thank you for your comments. You stated very well why it is not in the buyer’s best interest to use the listing agent.

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