• Shannon

Double-ending the deal–just on the borderline of legal

I haven’t had a real estate boot on the ground in a very long time, but I can’t imagine much has changed when it comes to agents’ longings to double-end their deals.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to make twice as much as they otherwise would on a deal?

And, yes, I’m almost positive there are still the shysters among your ranks – those who put “the real estate profession into disrepute,” according to Kelvin Kucey, deputy registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario, Canada.

Do you tell clients the whole truth about dual agency?

Although I’ve never understood why dual agency is legal in so many parts of the country, the fact remains that it is.

But there are rules that apply aside from getting the clients’ signatures on the agency disclosure form. It's the old "fiduciary duty" stuff that some agents seem to have "forgotten."

Real estate consumers have no idea what dual agency can mean to their pocketbooks when it’s in the hands of a less-than ethical agent, so most think nothing of signing it.

If it were legal, it would be like a slick lawyer telling them it's perfectly ok for him to represent both you and your spouse in a divorce proceeding.

Now, I'm not one to diss a process that I took full advantage of last year when I bought my house. Multiple offers were the norm at the time, especially for homes in my price range, and homes were selling far above list price.

I knew I needed to act quickly to beat other buyers and I didn't want to go over list price. My solution?

Hire the listing agent.

And, it worked. I got the home, at list price (and even knew how much the seller was willing to pay in closing cost assistance), despite other offers that came pouring in. Think I'll hire that agent when it's time to sell my home?

Fat chance.

Real estate agents caught on camera

But, I’m about to post a video of an undercover investigation of dual agents in Toronto, Canada that blew me away.

Surprisingly, some of these agents claim that anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of their deals are double ended, which is frightening when you see the lengths they go to when reeling in the buyer – the other end of the deal.

Yes, depending on which agent you’re viewing in the video, you could say what they’re doing is in the best interest of their clients – both seller and buyer.

But, what about the agent who double ended a deal, blocking out an offer for $30,000 more? While he served his buyers’ needs, he threw his selling client under the bus.

What about the one who assured the potential buyer she would make sure that her offer would be the first (and, obviously, only), thereby avoiding a multiple offer situation (which is what happened, pretty much, when I bought my home)?

The whole thing is sickening as I’m sure you ethical agents will attest, and it's doubtful this practice is common here in the U.S. (correct me if I'm wrong).

Take a look

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