Los Altos Real Estate Blog

head_left_image

Can a REALTOR represent both the seller and buyer in a transaction?

I had a buyer once who got advice from some telling them to go directly to the listing agent to write an offer?  Really?  So, tell me how it is that an agent working on behalf of the seller is supposed to give a buyer the best advice on saving money?  Let's forget the argument about commissions and focus on the fundamental flaws with having a single agent represent both the seller and buyer at the same time.

 

Conflict of Interest

The listing agent can't possibly give the buyer the best advice on negotiating the offer price.  This is because that agent has a fiduciary duty to the seller - not the buyer.  The agency relationship existed with the seller first and takes priority.  Technically speaking, the agent can represent both - but it will rarely, if ever, work to the advantage of the buyer. 

 

Negotiating

The listing agent will not spend time with the buyer working on the details of how to make an offer. The buyer often assumes the agent will simply write the offer - be a paper pusher.  This is NOT what the buyer needs.  The role of a buyer's agent is to determine the optimal price and make a recommendation to their client.  The listing agent won't do this.  You may need other things as well including special terms, repairs, etc that will not be included in the offer written by the listing agent.

 

Phantom Savings

The buyer often assumes two things when using a listing agent; they'll save money on commissions and still get a good price.  Both are more often wrong than right.  First, most agents are reluctant to reduce their commissions.  Even when pressed they'll push back.  You might save a bit but not much in most cases.

Second, as mentioned above, the listing agent isn't going to get to the seller's "bottom line".  You need a good buyer's agent to do that.  That agent will work on negotiating the price down to get a real price reduction.  That's where the real savings comes in - an effective agent who represents...ONLY YOU!

 

Don't be fooled by the allure of a small commission discount and fake savings.  Let your own buyer's agent do their job - you'll do better in the long run.

If you have enjoyed reading my blog, please subscribe HERE!

 Want to know more about me?  Just Google Me! 

 

 Bryan Robertson, CEO | T: 650.799.9951 | Email: bryan@catarra-re.com | Website: http://www.BryanRobertsonHomes.com |CA BRE# 01191946 | Catarra Real Estate, Inc  | 171 Main St #220 | Los Altos, CA 94022

 

 

View Bryan Robertson's profile on LinkedIn

 

//

 

Comment balloon 16 commentsBryan Robertson • March 04 2013 07:46PM
Can a REALTOR represent both the seller and buyer in a transaction?
share
I had a buyer once who got advice from some telling them to go directly to the listing agent to write an offer? Really? So, tell me how it is that an agent working on behalf of the seller is supposed to give a buyer the best advice on saving… more
Stage your vacant home - nobody wants to see an empty beige room!
share
We've all seen that picture on the MLS of the empty living room with the off-white walls and beige carpet screaming "BORING! ". It's enough to make a seller cry all the way to the poor house. And the rest of the photos get worse, you… more
On-market and off-market homes for sale in Los Altos CA
share
Check out these homes in Los Altos. There are 51 homes in Los Altos that include a combination of homes for sale via the MLS and those not on the MLS. The ON-MLS inventory is about 20 - not a lot! The local markets have been challenging with… more
I haven't written a post all week… but I don't feel guilty
share
I'm a very regular blogger and usually write at least 4-5 posts during the week (almost daily) before posting a few "quickies" at the end of the week. This week has been tough. As of today, and up till this post, I haven't written… more
Still only 1 condo for sale in Los Altos! Call now for more
share
There is only one condo for sale in Los Altos right now on the MLS and one is priced just under $4, 000, 000. The good news is that there are actually many more, off the MLS. Looking for a nice 1 bedroom condo downtown? I've got the details on a… more
New listings and only 20 homes for sale in Mountain View
share
There are new homes for sale in Mountain View but only 20 city-wide! Regardess of the neighborhood, there are only 2-3 homes available in the best neighborhoods. Most of these will sell in their first week, regardless of price and with multiple… more
Last call for these 12 Los Altos luxury homes for sale!
share
With only 12 luxury homes for sale in Los Altos will your favorite be available? Inventory has been extremely limited in recent months. which is extremely limited inventory considering the demand in this price range over the last year. Only five… more
Home prices in Los Altos California 2013
share
Home prices in Los Altos are in their fourth year of recovery. Beginning with the end of declining prices in 2009 and the bottoming out of the market in 2010, Los Altos home prices have been steadily rising since then. 2010 saw the first gains in… more
Only 1 Los Altos condo for sale! Call now up upcoming properties
share
There is only (1) condo for sale in Los Altos right now on the MLS and it is priced just under $4, 000, 000. While there are typically more options to choose from, inventory has been extremely limited with listing selling out all available inventory… more
How the 49ers will beat the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII
share
I have decided to become a professional sports broadcaster. With my ample time watching football and supporting my favorite team, theSan Francisco 49ers, I think I've got what it takes to tell you how my favorite team will crush the Baltimore… more