by Rona Fischman

As you know, my company only works with buyers because it reduces the conflict of interest that occurs when one agent in an office lists a house that another agent in the office has a buyer who wants to buy it.  It is hard to get the highest price for the seller and the lowest for the buyer at the same time. It must be hard to keep peace in the office.

Inman News is doing a series on dual agency (where the company represents both sides of a transaction — buyer and seller.) The practice is going down. (see chart)  It is going down not because it is bad for consumers, but because it is creating complaints from former clients.

Buyer agency, when it was new, only allowed an agent to call herself a buyer’s agent if she did not work in the same firm as the listing agent for the house the buyer chose. The company could not fully represent both sides. Those were the days when, as a buyer’s agent, I was treated like a leper. Being my dogged self, I made most of them get over it.