The Truth about Dual Agency

What independent professionals say about the practice of “double dipping”.

At Landmark, our business is based on the philosophy that dual agency does not serve the client’s interest. Sometimes it’s more credible when other people say it.

First, let’s be clear what dual agency is. Dual agency occurs when a single agent or agency represents both the buyer and the seller in the same real estate transaction. Sometimes it’s called “double dipping” because the agent receives twice as much commission.

Jim McKinney, General Counsel, Professional Publishing Co.
In his June 2001 newsletter, “Litigation News”, Jim McKinney, General Counsel to Professional Publishing Co., the publisher of widely used real estate forms, wrote an article about dual agency. In the concluding paragraph of the article, McKinney says, ” It is the recommendation of this office that single person dual agency be avoided. It is simply impossible for one agent to fulfill his or her fiduciary duty when representing both sides of the transaction. Whether or not technically legal, it is simply wrong.”

That’s a powerful statement, but is he alone in this view? It appears not.

Jeremy Olson, Legal Counsel to the North Bay Association of Realtors
In the September 2001 Association newsletter, Olson writes to agents about the dangers of dual agency. He said, “Because of the near impossibility of satisfying all these duties with both clients, cautious real estate professionals never represent two prospective buyers for the same property, and many will not even represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction.” By “these duties” he is referring to the fiduciary duties all agents owe their principals.

Matt Difanis, Coldwell Banker Agent in Champaign, IL
In a letter in the October 2001 issue of the National Association of Realtors magazine, Difanis writes, “Both buyers and sellers benefit from the advice and zealous representation of their own agents, especially when those clients are suddenly confronted by adversity. At best, dual agency provides less effective representation for the same price as exclusive agency; at worst, dual agency leaves clients out in the cold while providing a strong financial incentive for the agent to cut ethical corners.”

Landmark agents only represent buyers, so we promise 100% loyalty to our buyer clients, 100% of the time. In addition, we have assembled a group of listing agents who have committed to represent our clients, without compromise. Ask us about this referral program if you plan to sell property.

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