Dual Agency fleshed out..

By Jack Barry • August 24th, 2009

When I was a kid, our family never talked about sex or money at the supper table….   How impolite!..

Today, agents are still that way, about money…

A typical listing, in SF, on a $100,000 property, carries a 5% commission… the typical agent would rather pocket $5,000, as a dual agent, than take $2,500, and see another agent take $2,500.. That “twin killing” is enough to lead people to squeeze anywhere it seems will help close the deal, too much so.

I pre-discuss this with the seller, and we usually agree, that I will not also act as an unrepresented buyer’s agent. I WILL act to protect them from mistakes made out of ignorance. I will not let them breech any term of the contract that I would have written for their signature. I will give them all the data on recent sales, and current competing properties. I will not advise them on what to offer, or how to disadvantage my client.. I do only take the 2 or 2.5% for the “listing agent commission. I do also charge my seller an extra fee for all the extra work that I do, but never more than 1/3 of what a buyer’s agent would have pocketed. In that case, the seller is saving 2/3s of the missing buyer’s agent commission, and I point that out to the buyer, as well as the seller…. so that both principals are aware of who is netting what… Some call this “transactional agent”… I call it “Facilitator”…

I expressly cite all things a “buyer’s agent can do for the buyer, that I cannot. I cite the only clear benefit to the principals as the saving of 2/3s, or more of the ‘buyer agent commission’.

I do think that if a “Fully Disclosed Dual Agent” is taking the whole “commission pie”, they are being patently greedy, to put it mildly.

Finally: I do not believe that there can be such a thing as a “Dual Agent”, anymore than there can be “a square circle”…

One of the prime requirements of being an Agent, is to be totally loyal to the principal, and their goals. The seller wants the top dollar, the buyer wants ‘bottom dollar’. A “Dual Agent” is going to have to betray the interests of one OR the other, if not both.

The only reason that “Dual Agency” is legal..is due to the lobbying of the big brokerages, from what I can deduce.

1627 Tenth Ave, S.F.,Ca.94122-3624
“These are My Principles…If you don’t like them, I have others!”


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