Can the listing agent also be the buyer’s agent?
This is been a source of topic among real estate agents, brokers, and Realtors® since the beginning of real estate agents. And while just about every different broker or real estate agent will have a different opinion, the idea of listing agents also being the buyer’s agent, although possible, can technically not give 100% service to either party.
The listing agent is the agent that takes the real estate listing and markets and advertises it for the seller. They receive a certain percentage of commission on the sale of the property. If a buyer’s agent that’s representing a buyer comes along and chooses to purchase the property, that commission is split between the agent listing the property and the agent that brought the buyer. If the listing agent also brings the buyer the listing agent receives that full commission. So you can already see the reasoning behind why listing agents would also want to carry the buyer side.
The main issue with this is agents represent each party and do so with fiduciary responsibilities. They are required to maintain a level of confidentiality and service their clients to the absolute best of their ability. It would be extremely difficult to give 100% service to both parties considering that an agent knows the financial issues and situations of both parties involved. Naturally, the dedication tends to lean towards one party or the other, typically the seller. If the listing agent sells the property they get the full commission so naturally, they are going to be more on the seller side than on the buyers.
Many agents simply state that “because I found the seller first before the buyer my first responsibility is to the seller”. Although this is true, it is certainly not benefiting the buyer. This type of agency is called dual agency. The agent, broker, or Realtor® is acting as a dual agent for the buyer and the seller. The main goal is to get this particular property sold which certainly benefits the seller and may or may not be in the best interest for the buyer.
This is why I can’t stress enough the importance of a dedicated buyer’s agent. As an Indianapolis real estate agent my main focus is buyers. I want to help first-time homebuyers, investors, and any real estate buyer in the Indianapolis area find the right property at the right price without any hidden agenda as to selling any one particular home.
If ever you are confused or simply don’t understand any part of the real estate transaction I want to make sure that you fill comfortable and at ease through every step of the process. Contact Me for a dedicated approach to your home buying experience.