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Intermediary Agent - good idea?

I am in the market for a single family home & have been working with a Real estate agent.  My agent also has his own new listing and this house fits my requirements.  My agent suggests that he can work as an "Intermediary Agent".  He says he can be fair to both parties - buyer (me) and the seller.

Does this really work well in practice?  Any thoughts or suggestions?


Thanks.

  • June 16 2010 - US
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Answers (8)

This is sometimes a difficult decision.  Since you have been working with this agent you have already developed a relationship, so a lot depends on how much you trust him/her. I have worked as a "dual agent" before and it has worked well for both parties.

However, you must remember that since the agent is representing both parties he is really not representing either of you. The amount of support you will be getting is limited.  The agent cannot favor one party over the other.

You must conduct your own "due diligence" and will essentially be representng yourself.
  • June 16 2010
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In most transaction (cars, stock, real estate, etc) each side inherently have different objectives. They can be price, time, contingencies, condition, etc. In my humble opinion there is No WAY that an agent can do justice to both side of the transaction. If he acts as a mediator, he is not doing his job. Representing both sides is called dual agency. Most law suits against realtors are brought against those who are acting as dual agents.

  • June 16 2010
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I no longer act as an intermediary except, whoever I started with first is the party I represent. The next one is a customer. I usually explain to them that it is in their best interest to secure another Realtor© to represent their interest.
I am only facilitating the sale and not really representing them at all. I explain that I will treat them fair. I always have them sign "The Information about Brokerage Services"

Good Luck!

James Callas - Realtor®
  • June 16 2010
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He says he "can be fair" to both parties. Now that depends on what you think of as fair doesn't it. You might think about this: "Fairness is not representation. Fairness means I'm not going to cheat you; representation means I'm going to take care of you." ~James Warkentin 
Most sellers want as high a price as they can get and they don't want to do repairs either. Most buyers want to pay as little as possible and they want the seller to do repairs if needed. Is the agent going to help you get what you want while he is being 'fair'?
 Standard of Practice 1-5 REALTORS® may represent the seller/landlord and buyer/tenant in the same transaction only after full disclosure to and with informed consent of both parties. (Adopted 1/93)
 The informed consent part means they have to be told of the downside. www.realtor.org/mempolweb.nsf/pages/code This is the reason an organization such as NAEBA www.naeba.org (the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents ) exists.
  • June 17 2010
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Paul puts it well. The agent can probably be fair to you but will he really fight for you? There are times when an agent acts as a transaction broker and both parties end up happy. There are times when they are not. I have seen other agents agonize over this - they started out thinking everything would be simple and straightforward and then a glitch was thrown in. They knew things that could help the seller but couldn't use it; they also knew things that could help the buyer but couldn't use the privileged information. The agents who agonize over this are the good ones who really do care about people. If it were me, I would ask another agent I trust to represent either you or the seller.
  • June 18 2010
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Awesome replies. You bet I will get another Agent.

Thanks all !


  • June 18 2010
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Dual agency is illegal in Texas.  As an intermediary, he can share facts with you and limited data but he can't give you any advice.  Since this is his listing, he already has a lot of insight about the seller's situation and may even know what their bottom line is but he can't share that with you.

Since you are a first time homebuyer, you need to have someone represent you and share with you everything, including what the owners owe on the house, point to you the good and bad features of the home (keeping in mind resale).

Naima
  • June 20 2010
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I would like to do intermedior agent a withhholding agent.

Please tell me how it works in your place and the commission you offer.


Esther Vernet
  • October 16 2014
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