Open Challenge to the Real Estate Community – Discussing Limited Agency and its inherent Conflict of Interest

The Fishy Side of Real Estate is a book that addresses an issue that very few people in the real estate industry will discuss – Limited Agency, or known in other states as Dual Agency. It is simply when one real estate agent represents both a buyer and seller in the same property transaction.

“Fishy”  deals with the reactions from individuals who work in various jobs in the real estate business. Nearly all of these characters who understand the inherent conflict of interest associated with Limited Agency, just don’t want to discuss it.

My question to all of you people in my line of work – why not?

There's not much room to negotiate when one agent represents both buyer and seller.

There’s not much room to negotiate when one agent represents both buyer and seller.

We are talking professionals that represent the real estate industry on a local and state level – mortgage VP’s, people in title companies, real estate brokers, and agents – all these individuals know that the level of service is potentially compromised when an agent engages in Limited Agency. All of the characters in the book and all the real agents who work out there in the market representing home buyers and sellers – just-don’t-want-to-talk-about-it.

The answer behind their reticence is really simple. Although they know there is a compromising of agency service to the client, they can’t give in to the double-dipping of income that accompanies a limited agency transaction. Rather than stand up and admit that we’d rather potentially screw clients instead of taking the high road, well, many take the low road. The money is worth far more than doing the right thing. That’s why they won’t discuss it. The dangling carrot of doubling your money is far more attractive than doing the more ethical route of single, or exclusive representation.

So I am issuing a challenge to you people at the Indiana Association of Realtors (IAR), MIBOR (Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors, the Attorney General of Indiana, any Indiana licensed broker or agent, any of you real estate industry people are being asked to sit down at a public forum and candidly discuss the details, the ramifications, the inherent conflict of interest that is associated with Limited Agency.

But to all you potential home buyers and sellers who would benefit from such a candid conversation, my guess is that you will never hear it. Why not? Because they don’t want to talk about it. They’d rather take your money instead.

Ain’t that right, Spike?

Advertisements