The answer is almost never!
Think about it… The home seller wants the highest sales price and the buyer wants the lowest.
Letting the same agent represent both sides of the transaction is like having the same attorney represent both the plaintiff and defendant in a legal case.
Known in the industry as “double-ending”, the idea is that by having only one agent involved, the transaction can be done more easily with everybody benefiting financially.
Today’s consumer can find most for sale homes on the internet. The logic goes that by working directly the listing agent (with no buyer’s agent involved), some or all of the buyer’s agent commission can be credited to the buyer in the form of a reduced price.
But it rarely works that way.
How does the buyer know he didn’t overpay? How does the seller know he didn’t undersell? Plus, good listing agents would far prefer another agent earn the buy-side commission for doing the buy-side work than to give commission to an unrepresented buyer.
In this hot seller’s market there is lots of press about unscrupulous listing agents using the lure of a pocket listing to attract buyers so as to keep both sell and buy side commissions. At Top Agent Network, we feel that using pre-MLS or pocket listings this way is wrong and bad for everybody.
When a Top Agent Network member posts an upcoming MLS or pocket listing on TAN they are sharing it with the verified top 10% producing real estate agents; those who sell 3 out of 4 homes in their market. Posting the property to fellow TAN members virtually eliminates any chance of double-ending the sale and is in the best interest of their sellers. As a bonus, the posting member agent builds his or her collaborative relationships with other top agents in their local marketplace.
To be clear, we find no issue with two different agents working for the same brokerage choosing to represent the buyer and seller of the same property. Regardless of their brokerage affiliation, nearly every real estate agent is an independent contractor and will strongly represent their client’s interests. Agents cooperating with other real estate agents is central to the real estate sales process.
As a broker myself, I can tell you from personal experience that the two times I double-ended a home sale, nobody was happy with the outcome.
If you try to burn the candle at both ends you are bound to get burned in the middle!