General Question

mprice78's avatar

Can a real estate agent represent both a seller and buyer?

Asked by mprice78 (7points) September 20th, 2008

If I see a real estate listing and am shown the house by the selling agent, and I don’t have a buying agent, what happens then? Do I need an agent?

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14 Answers

cwilbur's avatar

I think the same agent can legally represent both the buyer and the seller (although it may also depend on the state—state laws vary), but you’d probably want to get your own real estate agent just to be certain. It’s not going to cost you any more—both real estate agents are paid based on a percentage of the sale price.

Fallstand's avatar

You won’t need an agent. When an agent sells his own listing it’s call dual-agency. He is supposed to represent both parties equally and legally cannot disclose certain information such as… the lowest offer his seller would take, or the highest price the buyer would be willing to go to.

pwyatt's avatar

I am a licensed real estate agent in the state of Texas. In Texas, the same agent can represent the buyer and seller and the laws are very clear about what an agent in this position can do and can not do. In Texas, it is called Intermediary. Other states it is called dual agency as Fallstand indicated. The laws are very different from state to state. You should check with your local or state board of Realtors for clarification on this issue.

srmorgan's avatar

pwyatt has the answer: it depends on the state where you are looking to purchase.

In New York, at least as of a few years ago, there were no buyer’s agents. The agent represented only the seller and that was made clear to you the first time you met with the broker or agent. The agent’s only responsibility was to the seller and his or her only objective was to obtain the highest price possible for the property while at the same time bringing together “a meeting of the minds’” which covered all other details other than price. But real estate law in New York is different and more complicated than in other states and other states do permit agents to act as buyer’s agents and to sign representation agreements to that effect.

I can’t comment whether having one agent act in the best interests of both buyer and seller is a good idea. A lot depends on your own outlook.


Judi's avatar

Yes they can (depending on the state) as long as it is disclosed and the client knows that the agents first responsibility is to the client who pays them, usually the seller.

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RomanRealtors's avatar

dual agency is allowed in CA

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