Is it normal for an agent to represent both the buyer and seller on a multi million dollar deal..

The agent stated that his comp is normally between 7-10% but is negotiable.. The land is not listed with a realtor.
In Selling Property - Asked by Bernie M. - Sep 28, 2013
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Answer(s)

Travis S.
Broker/Agent
El Segundo, CA

It is legal(in most states) and common practice for an agent to represent both the buyer and seller of a property as long as the buyer and seller both acknowledge this in writing. In California, we have a form that addresses this situation. I believe that in commercial dealing that there is nothing wrong with representing both parties in a transaction because both sides are usually knowledgeable about investing and can make their own educated decision whether a deal is good or not . However, I do not believe it is in either parties best interest in residential and I avoid it whenever possible. Think about it like this, if you were the defendant in a lawsuit, you wouldn't hire the plaintiff's attorney to represent you.

Sep 28, 2013
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Tim Q.
Broker/Agent
Indianapolis, IN

Yes

Sep 28, 2013
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Josh T.
Broker/Agent
Los Angeles, CA

Yes- I have done it all the time

Sep 30, 2013
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sudersan j.
Broker/Agent
Houston, TX

Yes. It is normal in commercial transaction. (As long as you Can represent both the buyer & seller Equally from negotiation of price to closing. I would not do it in a residential transaction.

Sep 30, 2013
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S M.
Broker/Agent
Marietta, GA

It is done but it is foolish. As an example, if you were defending yourself in court would you hire the prosecuting attorney’s office to represent you—no?

Oct 1, 2013
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John P.
Broker/Agent
Glen Burnie, MD

It is legal in Maryland, but must be acknowledged by both parties: It must meet ethical tests as well. My Commercial Listing agreements provide me permission to handle both sides. In Maryland, the residential ""Dual Agency" rules are very stringent and specific; includes the broker in most cases.

Oct 1, 2013
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kathy p.
Owner/Investor
Orlando, FL

It may be legal, but it is not logical. It does not make good business sense either. Would you sue someone and have your lawyer represent the guy you sued? Does the Defense Attorney represent the Case for the States Attorney's Office who is prosecuting the case? NO. Trying to save a little money on sales commissions by sharing the same sales agent is very shortsighted.

Oct 2, 2013
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J. David F.
Broker/Agent
Brentwood, TN

In Tennessee, you may provide services to all parties in a given transaction, however to call it "representation" for both seems misleading. It usually is safer for all to become a "facilitator" meaning you represent neither party per se, but are providing services as necessary to the transaction. The services may also involve advising either/both parties as to opinions of value, negotiating contract terms, financing, inspections, feasibility and more. In absence of a contract in Tennessee you are a facilitator anyway. When the listing agent you notify the Seller the potential of your status changing from Listing side representation to faciliitator status and notify the Buyer of the status if they are separately represented that you are the Seller representative. You may also always be the Seller representative if he Seller wants such and the Buyer agrees and has been explained such. If you are the only agent you have an obligation to deal honesty with all parties, and may assist both sides however you also have an obligation of silence in that you may reveal to either side only that which you are authorized to reveal by the respective party.
Hope this is of value.

Oct 2, 2013
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Kalpana P.
Broker/Agent
Savannah, GA

Disclosure is required to inform the buyer and the seller know that the broker/agent is representing both parties. It is pretty normal in commercial real estate transactions.

Oct 2, 2013
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Roman K.
Broker/Agent
Norristown, PA

In commercial sales transactions it is quite common that the Listing Brokerage is also the Selling Brokerage. The reason for this often has to do with the fact that the Listing Brokerage in commercial transactions prefers not to co-operate with other Brokerage Companies because if they do, they would have to split-up their commission. With commission margins so thin, if they do co-operate, the require the Buyer pay the Selling Brokerage commission which would be an additional cost that the Buyer would prefer not to have. It is not the way to "truly" do business, but that is the reality. Sellers should ALWAYS require that Listing Brokers co-op so that Seller's property gets exposed to the entire marketplace not just to the Listing Broker's in-house list. Just the way it is in real life...

Oct 3, 2013
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Patricia S.
Broker/Agent
Orlando, FL

In Florida it is legal but the broker needs to clarify that they are a transaction broker and have different fiduciary responsibilities as a transaction broker/agent instead of a single agent.

Oct 21, 2013
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Jason T.
Broker/Agent
Green Bay, WI

Somebody else hit on this – “representation” is the issue here. And can never be given to both parties. One party is the client, the other the customer. In the instance you had agency with both parties generally they both end up with customer privileges. That is pretty much fair dealing and standard disclosures.
Clients have contracts with you. You have a fiduciary duty to them.

Oct 29, 2013
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Otis D.
Broker/Agent
New York, NY

Dual Agency authorization is required. Dual agency typically arises when a real estate broker employs two salespeople, one who works for the buyer as a buyers agent and the other who works for the seller as the sellers agent. The real estate broker and his salespeople are one in the same when analyzing whether a dual agency exists. When the buyers agent introduces the buyer to the property in which the seller is represented by the sellers agent, dual agency arises.
This is only one of the ways it can happen.
By consenting to dual agency, you are giving up your right to have your agent be loyal to you, since your agent is now also representing your adversary. Once you give up that duty of loyalty, the agent can advance interests adverse to yours. For example, once you agree to dual agency, you may need to be careful about what you say to your agent because, although your agent still cannot breach any confidences, your agent may not use the information you give him or her in a way that advances your interests.

Jul 6, 2014
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