‘Dual Real Estate Agency’ Poses Ethical Risks

Let’s say your selling your Brigantine home. What happens if the Real Estate agent you hire to sell your property represents the buyer as well? This happens more than you think. Yes, the Realtor gets the entire commission. But more worrisome is where the agent’s loyalty lies. Without great caution, this can turn into a hairy situation.

From NorthJersey.com: Douglas Miller of Wyckoff, a lawyer and founder of Consumer Advocates in American Real Estate, a non-profit dedicated to “exposing conflicts of interest in residential real estate,” says flatly: “Dual agency should be illegal. It’s only legal for Realtors because they have such a powerful lobby. It means that the real estate brokerage firm collects a double commission. It also means that the buyer and seller forfeit their right to representation. The firm gets paid double, and the client receives a fraction of the service.”

Another concern is the possibility that a broker will push her own listing on a buyer in order to unload the home and double her commission. “Big brokers thrive on the double commission,” Miller says. “They’re addicted, and they’ve influenced laws and the training given to Realtors, who are trained to see dual agency as almost an advantage.”

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