Fort Worth Real Estate Online


Selling Your Own listing. Double Dipping ? What A Crock !

This post is dedicated to all of you "Double Dipper" crabby-pies: 

There are a couple of posts currently on Active Rain that use the phrase "Leaving Money on the Table."  That part was pretty-much talked to death.

But also in those posts... the use of a another phrase came up that I absolutely HATE. 

"Double Dipping."

I am sorry... but I really, really do hate that phrase.  And how it sounds.  But also... what it MEANS.  Or is supposed to mean.

First of all... about "Double Dipping." 

What gets dipped ?  And second of all... into what... is whatever it is... being dipped ?

Double dipping... getting both "halves" of a commission... does NOT get you any more commission.

Why not ?  Because of the following:

Let's suppose you have a listing, and it sells.  Not by you.  So, you get one "side" of a transaction.  And one commission.

Let's also suppose you have a buyer.  You sell that buyer a home.  Some "other" home.  So again, you get one "side" of a transaction.  And one commission.  Two total "sides"... each of which brings a commission.

OR... you might take that buyer of yours... and sell them your own listing... (assuming in your state that you can do that) and you still get "2 sides."  A listing side, and a selling side.  Also two total "sides"... each of which brings a commission.  There IS no difference.

So this talk of "oh, she sold her own listing... so she gets the FULL commission..." just serves to make it sound like you are a selfish greedy Realtor. 

How silly.  You closed a seller, you closed a buyer.  There is NO windfall as far as commission in concerned.

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Comment balloon 210 commentsKaren Anne Stone • March 14 2012 07:28AM


Either way, I always recommend to my Buyers that they do NOT use the listing Agent of the house they want to buy as their Agent too.  I do not believe that it's human nature to be completely impartial.

Posted by Eric Peltier, Mortgage Lender in Boulder CO (Eric Peltier - Premier Mortgage Group - Boulder Colorado) almost 9 years ago

Ms Karen- while I'm not a Realtor, "double dipping" does have a certain implication.  If you have earned a commission for listing a house as well as bringing a buyer to that listing it seems to me you have earned whatever your commission is. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 9 years ago

Premier:  If you really believe that, I suggest that you hang out with a higher-grade of humans.  There are some of us "out here" who have no problem being ethical in the face of what you feel is "human nature."

I have worked with both buyers and sellers on the same home since 1973.  Although I think there are agents who would have a difficult time working fairly with both, I think there are many agents of great integrity who have been fair, legal and ethical with all parties... for years.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Karen you are right, it is not double dipping, it is earning a commission for the work you did.   If you have a buyer and a seller and put them together, then you earned a commission for each side of the transaction, you didn't double dip

Posted by Stephen Proski, Scottsdale Homes For Sale (RE/MAX Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Not sure why this would all-of-a-sudden have a bad connotation.  This is nothing new.  And as you point out, unless it's been deemed illegal to do in a certain area, what's wrong with it?  Work performed successfully .. you get rewarded for it ... as it should be ...


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) almost 9 years ago

Ms Kathy:  As I tried to plainly point out in my post... there IS NO difference as far as commission is concerned whether an agent works with a buyer and a seller on the SAME home, or on different homes.  The commission to the agent is the SAME.

I find it mystifying how people, in this case, agents, can repeat something for so long... which if you think about it... it isn't true.  Perhaps it may be easier for someone who is not an agent, but who still works as an integral part of the "real estate business" to see something that is easily very logical.  Thanks so much for your comment.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Stephen:  I think it sounds really strange... when an agent lists a home, and then the seller asks the agent if they "have any buyers" for their home... and the agent says something like... "oh... I never sell the homes I have personally listed."

If I were that seller, and heard my listing agent tell me that... I think I would really question the whole idea of hiring them to "sell my house."

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Karen - Way to go, girlfriend!  We can work as an Intermediary in Texas and that means you get to do twice as much work and walk a tightrope doing it.  Double-dipping - what a crock!

Posted by Pam Miller, Broker Associate - Water Crest on Lake Conroe (Realty Associates) almost 9 years ago

Gene:  Of COURSE it is nothing new.  From 1973 when I first became a Realtor, until the late 80's, mid 90's or whenever Dual Agency became looked-down-upon by some agents... and disallowed in some states... selling your own listing made you an agent that both buyers and sellers sought out to work with. 

Thirty-nine years as an agent... and NEVER a problem, objection or complaint from anyone about selling my own listing to my own buyer.

So many agents continue to parrot the nonsense about how it brings a double commission.  How silly.  It does not.  You have a buyer... and you either sell them one of your listings... or someone else's listing.  No difference in $$$'s.

By the way... if you were a Realtor in France, and you sold your own listing... would that be called a "French Dip ?"  Just curious.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Karen --- double dipping always reminds me of one of the infamous Seinfeld television episodes but I of the things I explain during our initial meeting with sellers is that of dual agency and more specifically me representing both them as well as a potential buyer(or even buyers).    Our company policy states that when I represent both, my broker or representative stands in during the negotiations.  Some sellers feel comfortable while others do not so I like to get it out in the open before the situation presents itself.    I agree with you that many sellers like the idea that you as their Realtor have a cadre of potential of ready/willing buyers for their home.

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 almost 9 years ago

Pam:  Thanks for cheering my onward... my dear.  Actually... it is the same amount of work as if you had your listing sell, and that buyer you had... that you didn't sell your own listing to... you sold them another listing.  So... along with the commission being the same... the work is almost the same... except for two houses, two inspections, and that kinda stuff.

You mentioned that it IS "walking a tightrope."  Maybe us "seasoned agents" had a class in tightrope walking earlier in our careers... because many of us can sell our own listing... be incredibly ethical, legal and fair about it, and end up with both buyer and seller just happy as can be with us.  All that's necessary is that we simply "do what's right."

Yes... the concept of double-dipping... along with how crude the phrase sounds to me... is a crock.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Michael:  Yes, in Texas we have something call an "intermediary."  When we work with both buyer and seller, we are seen as an "intermediary..." rather than representing BOTH buyer and seller.  We can work with them... but we absolutely MUST disclose, disclose, disclose (which is as it should be) that we do not represent either of them.

If the buyer knows the agent, and if the seller knows the agent, and IF all parties are comfortable with doing this... and if the agent is an ethical, moral and fair agent... this can, and has worked.

In the "early days" whenever I listed a home, the sellers ALWAYS asked me if I had any buyers for their home.  That is one of the reasons that sellers hired me, and also one of the reasons that many buyers chose to work with me.

Like I said above... if I were an agent in a state that had some form of "working" with both buyer and seller, and not in a state where it was not allowed... if the agent I was going to hire told me they do NOT sell their own listings... I would never hire them.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Karen Anne - you are so right --- regardless of state laws and perhaps because of them you will always be on the right and ethical side of your clients if you live by the mantra Disclose, Disclose, it makes it a lot easier to sleep at night.

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 almost 9 years ago

Karen Anne

There are times that real estate professional have an opportunity to sell their own listing, double dipping not a professional term.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) almost 9 years ago

Karen,  No disputing your points here.  I respect those who are opposed to representing both sides of a transaction as well as those who choose to do so.  If the buyers and sellers don't have an issue with it ... then there should be no issues - period!  I vote we reserve double dipping for ice cream cones!  <<Suggested>>

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) almost 9 years ago

Michael:  Of course we disclose, disclose, disclose.  I have done that from the very beginning... before it was mandated by all the disclosure forms and regulations.

We used to talk about "no surprises" back then.  Nobody liked surprises.  So as long as everyone knew about everything, and everyone agreed with everything... things went well, and all were happy as clams.  And by "all"... I primarily mean buyers and sellers.

And, being in real estate, I am sure I have had nights when I had trouble sleeping... but never, ever because of anything unethical I did.  It's the only way to be.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Lou:  Not only is "double dipping" not a professional term... it is also incorrect.  One seller, one buyer.  Either on the same home, or on different homes.  Same amount of commission.  Equal means equal.  So... "double dipping" does not exist !

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Kathleen:  I agree with you.  We as agents should do what we are comfortable with.  And... as long as an agent discloses, discloses, discloses, (and that state does not disallow it) agents have choices.  I can understand how some agents are not comfortable with selling their own listings, just as I can understand agents who do.

Not only have the buyers and sellers I have worked with NOT have "issues" with it... they have actually liked it.  And as far as a double-dip ice cream cone... I'll have a triple-dip... if I may.  Most likely vanilla.  It's always been my fave.

And thank you for "suggesting."  It would be interesting to have a ton of opinions on this.  If, that is, everyone reads the post and the comments dialogue/thread as well.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

The double-dipping is just not a good way of describing this transaction.  Many people like to work with the selling agent and many don't. 

If you are truely a Professional, there should be no problem.

Posted by Randi Brammer, Accountant & Tax Preparer (Randi Brammer, Acctg.) almost 9 years ago

I certainly agree even though that has never occurred to me.

thanks, good point.

Posted by Mike Warfel, Associate Broker (Mike & Rita Warfel Real Estate LLC) almost 9 years ago

Karen, I also think the verbiage of "double-dipping" has such a negative connotation and I don't like the term either.

  In Oregon we have to give both sellers and buyers a paper called the Oregon Real Estate Agency Disclosure pamphlet which gives the explanation of Real Estate Agency relationships so that everyone understands.  We also give them the "Disclosed Limited Agency Agreement either for buyers or for sellers and they sign and date it along with the agent.  It is a protection  and states that Oregon law allows a single real estate agent to act as a disclosed limited agent - to represent both the seller and the buyer in the same real estate transaction, or multiple buyers who want to purchase the same property. It is longer than these few sentences but is there for a reason.

I see many many listings that are sold by the listing agent and some agents sell mostly their own listings.  Bravo for them.  I still dislike the term "double dipping", and your explanation is perfect.  Thank you!

Posted by Mary Stewart, Wilsonville and Surrounding Portland Metro Areas (HomeTrust Real Estate, LLC, Homes for Everyone) almost 9 years ago

Randi:  No... it's a yukky way of describing it... except when you are ordering an ice-cream cone.  (smile)

And many people DO like to work with the selling agent.  And yes, many do not.  It's nice to have a choice, I think.

And again... yes, if you are truly a "Professional" Agent... there should not be a problem.  But... perhaps that is why some agents DO have problems with it.  Neither way is always right, or always wrong.  If both are allowed by that individual state... again... it's a choice.  And, thanks so much for commenting.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Mike:  If something like this is explained well, and the agent has the ability to understand... you don't necessarily have to have sold your own listing to understand how it can work well... depending on the expertise of the agent involved.  So, thank you for both reading, and commenting.  Have a great week.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Double dipping?  What is wrong with people?  This is just smart Real Estate.  If you represent the seller then the buyer is a customer unless you have them signed as a client and then it's dual agency.  I am the Broker and Lord help me they are not greedy Agents just smart.  By the way when both sides are in the "house"  I have better control and am assured this puppy is getting to the closing table.

Sorry to pontificate. 

Posted by Liz Wallace, Broker C21 Sherlock Homes, Rockville Centre, LI, N (Century 21 Sherlock Homes) almost 9 years ago

Here I am again going on and on but this is a suggest for me, hope it gets featured.

Posted by Liz Wallace, Broker C21 Sherlock Homes, Rockville Centre, LI, N (Century 21 Sherlock Homes) almost 9 years ago

Mary:  Yes... yukky term.  LOL.

In Texas we also have an up-front disclosure form that we must present to potential clients when we first meet them.  It is called the "Information about Broker Services" form.  It extensively explains that an agent can either represent the buyer, represent the seller, or... with the agreement of both, act as an intermediary between them.

It sounds like the beautiful but soggy state of Oregon has this pretty well handled.  That is nice to see.

Thanks so much for your kind words about the quality of my explanation.  I appreciate it... I really do.  And... you are most welcome.

Seeing you are from Beaverton reminds me of the night I had a very nice dinner with a friend at Applebee's on NW 185th just south of 26.  What a great area.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

What a great explanation, Karen. I've tried to explain to people for years that it doesn't matter if my buyer buys my listing or not as I still have to work just as hard.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 9 years ago

Liz:  There are two kinds of folks, here, who jabber about "double dipping"... those who have no clue, and just jabber... repeating things without thinking about them... the there are folks who have really thought this concept through, and have decided they are more comfortable with NOT selling their own listings.

I don't understand the first group, but I fully respect the second group who have thought it through, and chosen not to participate.  Good for them.

As far as selling your own listing... if you are ethical enough to do it right, fair, honestly and such... you do it (again, assumng your state allows it.)

And about pontificating ?  That's ok.  All that means is that your ability to "pontificate" puts you in line as being qualified to be the first female Pope.  I'll vote for ya !  Funny... but the word "pontificate" I see has as it's root... "pont"... which I believe is French for "bridge."  I sure wish the current "pope" knew how to build bridges rather than tear them down.  But... that is matter for another post.

So... what would you prefer ?  Mother Elizabeth, or Pope Elizabeth ?  Just curious.

FYI... Pontifex Maximus - Wikipedia - click, and look under "etymology." 

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Karen Anne, one of the greatest misconceptions that I keep hearing being bandied about by the public is that greedy real estate agents always want to "double dip" their listings. That's really not true. I'm happy to get any offer from any source on properties that I list, and if a buyer happens to approach me directly I can handle that too. I make commission from transactions where my clients are buyers and I make commission when my clients are sellers. Every once in a while it just happens to be the same house. 

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) almost 9 years ago

Liz (or is it Mother Elizabeth?):  Thanks so much for the "suggest."  I think this post would make for a nice, wide, discussion.

And... you can "go on and on" whenever you like.  That's one of the things my posts are for.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Donna:  Thanks for the compliment.  This is such... as they say... a "no brainer."  Two sides... a seller and a buyer... either on the same house, or on different houses.  Two "sides"... and the commissions each bring.

PS... the next time you go rafting, or tubing, or whatever... do a long video, would you please.  I would so enjoy it.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Michael:  this is such a simple concept, and so many just seem to be able to take something simple like this, and complicate the heck out of it.  Two sides... each bringing an attendant commission.  So simply simple.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Interesting thought here I show all properties that a buyer is interested in looking at. If it  is one of my listings great if not that is okay as well. Double Dipping sounds like someone does not have a listing to show oh well I work and enjoy my job have a blessed day

Posted by Laura Filip, What can we do for you today? (Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life ) almost 9 years ago

Laura:  Your position sounds like a pretty logical way of doing things to me.  I am glad it works out well for you.

And... cute comment... about someone who doesn't have show their own listing... is perhaps because they don't have one.  I doubt that most of the time that is the case, but it's a cute idea.  And blessings to you, as well.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Very well said.  I think the feeling some agents have is that an agent who double-ends a deal (represents the buyer and seller) is somehow not sharing the revenue opportunity with the rest of the agents.  My opinion of that is about the same as yours - if I can close both sides of a deal, I'll do it.

I've never double-ended a listing and typically won't but if I could, under the right circumstances, I would.

Posted by Bryan Robertson almost 9 years ago

Dual agency is fairly comman in this area yet it is often referred to as "double-dipping."  Of course you are right, it's really not like that at all. 

On the subject of things we hate to hear, I hate when I lose a listing and the sellers tell me "Well, you could always sell it, couldn't you?" Oh yeah, pal, like it would be so special to do so.  They don't understand that my buyer will probably buy something and there is no glory in selling a house that you didn't get to list.

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Karen, the ones who have the worst issue with dual agency or double dipping or selling your own listing, are other agents. The consumer doesn't care. Most sellers expect their agent to show and sell their listing, even though that's not as likely. This comes up so much, but not once have I read a consumer being negative about it.

I like how you mentioned that an agent isn't selling any more sides by selling their own listing, they are still selling the same amount.


Posted by Pam Graham, Jacksonville, Clay & St Johns Counties (All Real Estate Options) almost 9 years ago

BRAVO!  I love that explanation.  I'm guilty of using that term before, but after reading this...


Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) almost 9 years ago

Whatever!  Double dipping, blah blah blah.  If I have a listing and I bring in a buyer, we settle, I earned it.  Call it what you wish.

Posted by Cheryl Thomson REALTOR Army Ret, Associate Broker in Northern Virginia ( United Real Estate (703.216.5635) almost 9 years ago

Karen, please tell us how you feel.

I believe opposition to double-ending is more about fiduciary duties than commission.  Afterall, who benefits from double-ending?  The buyer can still purchase that listing, but they can have an exclusive agent who is representing them exclusively.  So who benefits from the double-ending?

Also, in a tight market where there are multiple offers, a double-end always smells fishy to buyers and their agents who don't get their offers accepted.  The listing agent has an advantage over the other selling agents.

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) almost 9 years ago

Good explanation Karen Anne. In NY we don't call it "double dipping" we call it a "direct" a direct buyer or a direct sale.  Buyer's agent and dual agent are new to NY. Last year was the first time agency disclosure became law. I know I have always been fair and honest to both sides.

Isn't the job and the definition of a "broker" to act as an intermediary between a buyer and seller? To match a buyer with a seller like putting together a puzzle. The right property for the right buyer. It's "brokering" not brain surgery!

Posted by Mitchell J Hall, Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn (Compass) almost 9 years ago

Bryan:  Not sharing the revenue opportunity ?  Other agents actually think that ?  Gosh, if they were busy working, or prospecting, or whatever... they wouldn't have time to come up with such silliness. 

I cannot imagine that I would feel "slighted" or "robbed" of a "revenue opportunity" because some other agent solkd their own listing... which meant that I could not.

That's a new one on me.  Over the years I have sold many of my own listings.  I would think most agents would never say anything like that... if for no other reason than getting laughted at.

Margaret:  As long as your state of Illinois permits Dual Agency, I would think sellers would really be looking to list their homes with agents who had a decent chance of selling it themselves.

As far as a seller that I made a presentation to... who listed with someone else... having that seller tell me something like "well... you could always SELL it, couldn't you?"  Upon hearing them tell me that... I would wonder if they could see the smoke coming out of my ears... LOL.

And this may surprise you, but if I know in advance that a seller is "interviewing" three or four Listing Agents besides myself... I simply cancel my appointment with them.  I will not put myself in that situation.  They can pick whomever else they want, but they no longer qualify to be someone I will represent.

I see that this post has now been Featured.  Let's see if the "feel" of the comments from here on changes very much...

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Karen - {Bob here} Double dipping seems like such a derogatory term and not professional in my humble opinion. I know I don't look at it that way and it is amazing to me to see some comments above that are coming in... Not professional just good ethical practice is what makes this happen. Dual Agency here in NJ can be tricky but as long as all is disclosed it should not be a problem ....

Posted by Robert Hammerstein -201-315-8618, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Christie's International Real Estate ) almost 9 years ago

We here in Louisiana, have a Dual Agency Agreement that any party whether a Buyer or Seller has to sign. It really isnt a difficult thing as long as you can keep certain things confidential. LIKE dont tell your BUYER oh they will Take $240,000 and it is listed at $260,000. We call it a Double sided deal. When my sign is in the front yard, with my name and number on it, you better beleive I will try to sell MY listing. Apparently they are interested they called on it RIGHT? Maybe I am off base here, and dont get the rant here, but selling any home that your BUYER wants whether it is YOUR LISTING or another Realtor in your Brokerage or another Brokerage all togehter, its about GETTING YOUR BUYER what they want and what they are happy with.

Posted by Jenny Dawson-Coleman, Helping you MOVE in the Upstate (Keller Williams Greenville Upstate) almost 9 years ago

Karen Anne- I call them asshats myself (those who insist I can't be a fabulous dual agent)  Puleez, have listing agents ever actually READ their listing agreement.  I'm not hired to "market" a property, I'm hired to "find a buyer for it" and if I list a house and bring a buyer then I've done my job.  That being said... yes there are some things I can do with single agency that I can't do with dual agency, but my agency explanation spells that out and if either buyer or seller or both for that matter are not happy then we offer designated agency where different agents in my firm then represent the different parties.   

Yeah, the term and people who think I'm sleezy because I do it, kinda stick in my craw too.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 9 years ago

Pam in #37:  Actually some of the more "seasoned" agents really like to sell their own listings.  It's how it has been for many of us... until "Agency" issues became more prominent.  I think it is more the newer agents who for some reason have a problem with it.  I think that in this instance, lack of familiarity breeds contempt.  And, they are afraid of it.

I remember when "Buyers Agency" first came in.  I'd have a home listed, and a "buyer's agent" would bring in an offer... with their guns drawn and blazing (figuratively speaking), thinking they were going to just barge in, and steal my sellers home... showing their buyers how hard they were working for them.

Usually, when that happened... the so-called buyer's agent almost always ticked off my seller, and that buyer ended up with a much worse deal than they could have otherwise received.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Christiansen Team in #38:  I am glad that you agree with me that it's a yukky term.  And... thank you so much for your kind words about my post.  I really appreciate them.

Cheryl in #39:  There is no reason to call it anything other than what it is.  You have a home listed.  You have a buyer for it.  You sell it.  Done.  I agree.  Whatever !

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Lloyd in #40:  Tell you how I feel ?  I thought that's what I was doing... LOL.  Actually... I am pretending to be an agent from back East... who makes it a practice of telling everyone exactly what she feels... and then some ! 

Who benefits from a Listing Agent selling her own listing to her own buyer ?  If done correctly, ethically, honestly and fairly, and done within the the bounds and the "spirit" of the state's regulations dealing with it... everybody wins.

In my opinion, it is a non-issue.  There is neither a benefit nor a detriment to what you are calling "double-ending."  [By the way... I don't like the sound of this term, either.]  It is not "double-ending."  It is a listing agent selling her own listing to her own buyer.

In a multiple offer situation... I am duty bound, ethically bound, to present all offers honestly and even-handedly.  Other agents who know me... will know that about me before hand.

As far as the listing agent having an "advantage" over the other selling agents... that is NOT the case when I am involved.  If one of the other offers is better than the one from my buyer... that is what my seller should take.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

While I agree with your blog that there is nothing wrong with "double dipping"... it is good business... I have seen some bad use of it in my time. I have seen agents actually not present offers brought by another agent to their seller, instead presenting an offer from their own buyer which was for less, just so they could get the listing AND selling commission. That's where the bad connotation has come from. If the agent is ethical, there is no problem and there is nothing wrong with it. Unfortunately, a few bad apples can spoil it for many.


Posted by Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate, Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs (Kelly Right Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Mitchell in #41:  I fully agree with you... and I thank you for your kind words.  It's that former teacher in me, again.

I know there are many things which New York does "the way they have always done it..." and that is totally fine.  Sort of a local option, or a local way of doing things.  And... if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I have not heard the term "direct..." but again, it's a local NY thing.  And you are surely correct that the job of a "Broker" is to "broker" a sale between the seller and the buyer... and to do it from an intermediary standpoint... of course being ethical, honest, legal, fair, and lots of other similar words.

I think that once ANY agent gets the reputation that they do not deal with others in a way that is fair, and ethical... that even IF they are actually within the bounds of the law... their reputation can be damaged severly enough that their career can suffer dramatically.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Bob in #42:  Sure, Dual Agency CAN be tricky.  As can acting as an intermediary.  But it takes a true, ethical professional rather than someone who is in it like it's a game... to do it well.  And many of us agents... especially those of us who are "seasoned" agents... have been dealing ethically with buyers and sellers for many years... way before Agency came to the forefront.

I am not saying that all agents acted ethically.  I am sure many of them did not, and it is probably those agent's behaviour what gave need to raising Agency to the level it is now at.  And yes... disclose, disclose, disclose... and then make sure everyone not only understands, but gives signed acknowledgment and permission.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Jenny in #44:  Yes, we have that here in Texas... it is what we call an "Intermediary" acknowledgement and agreement.  All parties must sign.  I fully agree with you.  What you describe is exactly the way I have always done things... starting way back in 1973... which is probably before you were born... LOL.

Confidentiality, and dealing in an ethical, and (gulp) fair and balanced way.  It is not only the "best" way... it is the only way.

I think it makes no sense for a Listing Agent to have their sign in the front yard, with their name on it, and then a buyer calls... and that agent must tell them that they can't sell that house to them.  Huh ?

Again... it can be done well, or it can be done tragically poorly.  It all depends on the agent.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Numerous times I have been a dual agent and have NEVER had an issue! My buyer and sellers trusted me 100% and I played by the rules and they knew it. If a buyer or seller doesn't want you representing both of them, maybe you are giving them a vibe that they shouldn't trust you.

GREAT POST! And I agree with you 100%

Posted by LaNita Cates (REMAX of Joliet) almost 9 years ago

Tammy in #45:  I think that what those who get all "excited" and start throwing hissy-fits about an agent working with both seller and buyer (in whatever manner that state allows) do not realize is... that all an agent has to do... is screw-up big-time just once... and their career is over with.

Now... I am not saying by any means that that is the basis of one's behaviour.  Perhaps it's necessary for some, or even many... and if it works, it works.  But... working with both my seller, and then finding a buyer myself, and putting the two of them together... I do it very well, very ethically, and (here we go again) in a "fair and balanced" way.

Tammy... what you describe as far as "spelling it out" to both parties, and if they agree, it works, and if they do not agree... there is another option for them... so that they feel their interests are being addressed in an appropriate way.

Very well put... and yes, I admire you, and the way you conduct your business .  I agree with you.  We are not hired to "market" a home, but to "find a buyer for it."

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Gretchen in #49:  Ooohhh... there's that darn "double-dipping" term again.  LOL.

I have seen what you describe as well... but a long time ago... way back before the issue of Agency became prominent.  We all knew that there were agents who not only played "loose" with the rules... they "fractured" them on a sale-by-sale basis.

Sure... presenting your offer which was less, and never even showing your OWN seller a better offer that was submitted by another agent.  It happened.  Not often, but it happened.  And even ONCE... was once too much.

And of course, things like that... such horrible stories... are exactly what makes many agents, brokers, and a portion of the "public" hold real estate agents and brokers in such low esteem.

One of the troubles, though, is that even though we may have known about others doing that... we rarely "turned them in."  Well, believe me, Gretchen... that isn't the case, now.  If I knew someone was doing that... I would personally help that "bad apple" be brought before the local Association Ethics Committee.


Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

LaNita in #53:  Very well said. Miss LaNita.  When I was an agent in Ohio before I moved to Texas in 1982... I would say that over 50% of the time I sold my own listings.  And yes, I NEVER had an issue, either.  And yes, as you described... my buyer and sellers trusted me 100%.  They also knew that I played exactly by the rules.

You bring up an excellent point.  Some sellers ARE very intuitive.  And, with that in mind, I am sure that somehow, even if an agent of "dubious ethics" thinks they are good at it... they DO give off a vibe and can be picked up by some... or even by many.

Thank you so much for your kind comments.  I very much appreciate them.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

If you are doing both sides of a transaction and the seller had been your client for quite a while and a couple of deals didn't happen but you learned a lot about the house, what the seller will take, etc.  Now a buyer comes along and that buyer is a first time buyer who has never purchased a house before and needs advice about what to offer, about how to handle the inspection of the property and generally how to put one foot in front of the other.  Now you are going to be a dual agent so you go to your seller and say I need you to give up my obedience because you will no longer be my client.   You go to the buyer and you tell them you will be a dual agent and you will honest with them but you can not advise them they will have to get advice on pricing and everything from someone else.  Everything is great and you the agent will get both sides of the commission - you will double dip.  This works for you? Were it not for the commission you would tell the buyer to go get their own you do that?

Posted by Miriam Bernstein, CRS almost 9 years ago

 I find buyers for my listings about 1/3 of the time.  i think its what my sellers want me to do. how is it double dipping when the contract states i get 5% but can split that if another agent is involved? Why would you hold an open house if you could not write an offer for a buyer who comes in?  Personally I'm glad dual agency exists in Calif.  

Posted by Jim Cheney, Rincon Valley Realtor 707.494.1055 (Saint Francis Property Santa Rosa, CA) almost 9 years ago

Easy concept, the commissions belong to the broker. So what if the brokerage represents both the seller and buyer. Some brokerages use that fact in their listing presentations. XXX brokerage sells more homes than any other brokerage. 

Are pocket listings also seen in bad light as well?? haha

Posted by Satar Naghshineh (Satar - Amiri Property and Financial Services Corp.) almost 9 years ago

What a wonderful post Karen Anne! I've never heard of "double dipping" but it seems like that should be an icecream cone. We had double dippers today... mostly chocolate with another flavor. :) I believe that two parties represented by the same Realtor can happen and in good form and measure.... most of the time.

Posted by Lindsey Hasford, Bringing you home... (Edina Realty) almost 9 years ago

Double dipping is not GREEDY at all, you just have found the buyer to your own listing. Perfectly normal and you should be rewarded Karen Anne.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 9 years ago

Lindsey in #60:  Thanks so much for your kind words.  Yum.  I've only got vanilla in the freezer... so chocolate is out.  And I agree with you that yes... I also believe that two parties can... as it is in Texas... they can have one Realtor act as an intermediary, and work with both of them if they are properly disclosed, and if they, knowing all the ins and outs... agree to work that way.  And yes... most of the time.

Also... if you saw a strange number or two on your cell phone yesterday... that was me... calling to chat with you about the "go around" you had yesterday on Greg Nino's post.  You handled him pretty well, though.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Satar in #59:  My answer to your first paragraph in your comment is... Huh ?

Now... I have not heard the term "pocket listings" spoken in quite a while, but when it used to be more common, what it means was that a listing agent had actually listed a property... and had not submitted it to the MLS yes.  So, he was the only one who knew about it, and thus... had a great advantage in getting a chance to sell it.

I know you are an agent in California.  I don't know if "pocket listings" are in keeping with either the MLS or the Realtor Association's rules and regulations... but I DO know... that having a seller's home LISTED... and not putting it in the MLS so you can sell it yourself... either is, or should be, a breach of your fiduciary relationship with your seller.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

We say "double ending" the transaction, and that does mean just what you explained. I would agree it is not double dipping.

Posted by Kathy Stoltman, Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793 (Balboa Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Miriam in #57:  With you being an experienced agent, I see that you are trying to paint the perfect situation where you think it may not be a good thing... to either represent, or act as an intermediary between both buyer and seller.

Gosh... with my knowing ALL of those things about the seller... honestly, I would be as incredibly thorough with this first time buyer as I would be with any buyer.  And, of course, I absolutely MUST be ethical, and should treat anything the seller has shared with me as confidential.

Disclose, disclose, disclose.  Then get signed acknowledgement of the options, and signed permission on our Texas Intermediary forms, as well.  The buyer and the seller have a choice.  An INFORMED choice.

As far as price... I never tell a buyer what price to offer.  Never.  And again, if this buyer wanted, or gave me an indication in any way, that they wanted to be singly represented... Texas Agency law provides for that in our Intermediary process, as well.  And yes... commission or not... I would do the same thing.  And, yes again... I am that good !

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Jim in #58:  You offer many questions in your comment... some of which would be great subjects for another post.  Dual Agency (in the states where it is permitted) can work just fine if all pertinent rules are strictly followed... and I do mean STRICTLY.  Disclose, disclose, disclose.  And, to answer your double-dipping question... it isn't.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

YAHHHH, someone whom understands ... it's 2 transaction and you were able to do both ...


All Realtor should measure themselves by transaction sides. it's the measure of your skill set. the more 'sides you get, the more money you make. right now we track an average of 5 out of 8 transaction sides ( meaning if you did 4 deals, 3 of them you got 1 side, the other you got both ).

Now what we have learned in the office by this tracking ...

a) some people are amazing at listing presentation and can not sell water to a thirsty person

b) some people are amazing at being a closer but are not any good at listing presentations

c) some people are decent at both sides.

d) their are variations to this but you get the general idea.


Now figure out which one you are, and work on building a marketing plan around that... if you can not close, then why waste your marketing money on buyers..


Posted by Michael Rasch, Michael Rasch 305-741-1819 (International Property Finder - Property Option) almost 9 years ago

I certainly don't use the term double dipping.  It's not a phrase used in our area.  We call it double side or full commission.   Actually, the slang term for in our area....we call it a "Birthday".  Something that happens once a year  :)

Posted by Christine Bohn, The Bohn Team, Gainesville FL (RE/MAX Professionals) almost 9 years ago

Gary in #61:  The point I was trying to make is that it is NOT what you are calling "double-dipping."  (Again... I do not like that term... LOL)  Of course it is "perfectly normal."  That is what our sellers hire us to do.

As Tammy said above in comment #45... our sellers do not hire us to "market" their home, they hire us to "sell" it.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Kathy in #64:  Yes... that is exactly what it means... one listing sold... the "listing side" and one home found for a buyer... who buys that home... the "buying side."  And... the commission that goes with each side.  Things can vary so much from state to state.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Bravo!   This is one of the best arguments for selling your own listings I've heard.   You know the house better than anyone else, you market it, you show it, you hold it open and surprise you sell it and then get criticized?  I think you get a standing ovation because you did your job. 

Posted by Coral Gundlach, Real Lives. Not Just Real Estate. (Compass) almost 9 years ago

Working as a transaction broker under transaction broker law, it's a common thing to work for both buyer and seller.

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) almost 9 years ago

Amen and Amen!  You are so right.  :)  Thanks.

Posted by Joy Daniels (Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.) almost 9 years ago

Extremeley well put, Karen.  I never looked at it like this before.  The only problem, of course, lies in trying to remain neutral.  It is tough to do, especially when one side only is paying your commission.  But I certainly dont shy away from dual agency.

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) almost 9 years ago

It makes perfect sense to me. It's legal here in NY so I have done it. It's important to see your role as mediator rather than dual agent.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) almost 9 years ago

That commission is earned when closing both sides of a transaction. There is a fine line you, as an agent, must walk to remain ethical and fair in the transaction. It also brings on twice the liability.

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) almost 9 years ago


Here is where you are wrong (in my market). Because of multiple offers on most nice, well priced homes, the buyers are going directly to the listing agents to have them write the offers so they can "win". If it wasn't for double ending or dipping as you called it, you would only have one side of the deal. The buyer that you claim you would take to another property and collect the other 1/2 commission wouldn't be your buyer. They would go to the listing agent on that house. So, it's better to double end the deal. And yes, it is a greed thing and yes, Realtors like most humans are extremely greedy, even to the severe detriment of their clients. i.e. double ending.

And the windfall is that you wouldn't even have the buyer except that you have the listing.

Posted by Andrew Martin (REMAX Accord) almost 9 years ago

Karen Anne:  To me it's personal preference.  I saw one comment from Lloyd and it goes along with how I feel.  Fiduciary Duty. 

Jayne and I work a lot with first time home buyers.  They need nurturing and help all along the way.  Representing Buyer and seller in our market is Dual Agency.  It's difficult to walk the thin line when the Newbie buyers look to you to give them advice and strategy every step of the way.

I am not against Dual Agency - I did two almost simultaneously last year.  Those were both seasoned buyers and seasoned sellers.  They knew the drill.

Let's just say I don't go looking for it.  

Posted by Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin almost 9 years ago

I choose not to work with both sides.  Unfortunately, many agents don't know how to be totally neutral to both parties.  When I practiced law, the majority of cases against real estate agents was dual agency or failure to disclose.  I think many agents  do not fully explain "disclosed dual agency" and the potential conflicts of interest....therefore,clients cannot give informed consent.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 9 years ago

Great post Karen, and so true. Another way to look at it: Your seller hires you to sell their home. You do your job in marketing the home, which brings you a buyer, and you sell it. This is not double dipping, this is called DOING YOUR JOB!

Posted by Donald Reich (Prudential Centennial) almost 9 years ago

Karen Anne, I totally appreciate that!  And aside from that, how often does this great fortune or misfortune depending on how you want to look at it actually happen?  Aside from that, when I hear double dipping, my mind thinks ice cream!  :-)

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) almost 9 years ago

This year, all of my sales, except one, have been sales in which I had both the buyer and the seller. It was not intentional, it just worked out that way. Contrary to what some with perhaps weaker characters intimated, I have NEVER, I repeat, NEVER played favorites. I am not allowed to do that legally and my internal conscience will not let me do it. Our state had very specific duties for what they call Transaction Brokers. And we must be fair to both parties, including confidentiality concerning negotiating points. Dual agency is not permitted in Florida for residential properties.

The sad truth is that in today's markets, when we have homes in this area selling for 30K and 40K, when you figure in a poor commission split and other fees that brokers charge selling agents, sometimes we would be lucky to make $150 for a lot of work! Anyone in the mood for applying for food stamps??? So if we do not get both sides, it is often not possible to make a living and also frequently impossible to sell a property due to the low cobroker fees we are allowed to offer.

Sometimes there are people here who forget that many of us are in areas where home prices average way below 100K. It is easy to be happy with one side when the home sells for $250,000. Not so much when it sells for $30,000 or less.

Posted by John Elwell, You Deserve a Full-Time Agent, Not Reduced Results (CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Karen Anne, we have closed both sides of some transactions that honestly would not have happened if we hadn't been negotiating in the middle.


Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) almost 9 years ago

Karen- We call it doing what we were hired by our seller to do, find them a buyer!!! and sell their house!!! Here in Florida we do not have dual agency. We have Transaction brokerage. It is assumed by law that every agent is working in the capacity of a transcation broker, that means you help both the buyer and seller without detriment to the other- selling your listing to a buyer that you found through your marketing. For me, I love those transactions because I don't do buyer sides unless it is to show one of our listings. If they don't buy our listing, our buyers agents take over with that buyer. There is NOTHING wrong with it and it is NOT greedy! It is called, business. Thanks for a great point! Katerina 

Congrats too on the feature! 

Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) almost 9 years ago

Comment #40- Lloyd- hmmm and what is wrong with the listing agent having an advantage over another agent who is not the listing agent? After all, it is the listing agent who procurred the listing. It is the listing agent who has the contract with the seller to sell that property. Actually, if the seller does not want the listing in the MLS, he does not even have to have his listing in the MLS. We have non members of the MLS here in Florida. We have brokers here who don't belong to NAR or any realtor board. They can do what they wish with their listings as long as the owner agrees or expects that. 

The listing agent only agrees to pay fellow agents if they bring a buyer. They can also say that they only want to pay the buyers agent $1 so that they can then procur their own buyers. We don't do this, but it is totally legal to do so in our state. 

I just don't see why it is a bad thing for the listing agent to have an advantage. Just the fact alone that they got the listing and the buyer agent did not is an advantage. That is why we teach, The power is in the listing. Katerina 

Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) almost 9 years ago

Andrew in #78:  When I read your comment just now... I could not help but smile.  This should be interesting.

You said to me... "here is where you are wrong."  You seem pretty sure of yourself.  Gee, I wish I knew everything.  LOL.

I rarely write an offer on a home with a buyer who has only seen one home with me.  The great majority of my clients are referred to me.  So... I do NOT have that buyer simply because I have that listing, and they called on the sign.  So the buyer that YOU claim that I claim I would take to another property... is one I have probably been working with for quite some time.

There goes your attitude/argument that I would not have had the other 1/2 commission.  I prefer to call my selling of that buyer... a "selling side..." regardless of what home they purchase from me.

Also... if that buyer has been referred to me, and has been working with me... they will NOT contact any other listings agents of homes they drive by and like.  Sorry.  Wrong again.  By the way, are you counting ?

I will either sell them my listing, or I will sell them something else.  So, there is "side #2."  There IS no "double dipping... except at your local Dairy Queen. 

And no, it is NOT a greed thing.  Wrong again.  If I do not sell them my listing, I will sell them something else.  Two sides... a listing side and a selling side... can equal "two sides"... by either being on the same house, or on different houses.  (Are you taking notes ?)

And... if you think that "most humans are extremely greedy"... you need to start hanging around with a different crowd.

Severe detriment ?  Are you serious?  My buyers and my sellers appreciate me.  Invite me over for dinner.  Send me cards.  Wrong again.  (Are you sensing a trend, here ?)

My "windfall" comes from the fact that my buyers and my sellers are so happy with my service... that they send me their friends, family and others... as referrals.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Joy in #73:  Thanks for your kind words.

Jane in #74:  Thank you, my friend.  And yes, it takes lots of practice to remain neutral.  But often, although practice does not "make perfect"... at least it gets you closer to it.  And actually it really is not true that only one side is paying the commission.  Although it does come out of the seller's proceeds... I really see it as partially being paid for my the seller, and partially by the buyer (with it being IN the sales price that they pay.)

Dual Agency is really difficult to do well.  But I have found that extremely professional and ethical "seasoned agents" are usually much better able to do it.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Jill in #76:  I am sure, from what I know about you, and from your experience, I would guess that you have sold your own listing, and done it very ethically and fairly.  And your use of the word "mediator" is a great choice of words.  It fits being a dual agent very nicely.

Debbie in #77:  Yes, I agree that there IS a very fine line.  But... as I have said... some of us have been doing this... we "seasoned agents" for many years.  I know that does not necessarily make the way we do it... right... but some of us are pretty close to it.  And yes... you have twice the liability because you have TWO sides in that transaction.  Or, if you represent the seller, there is one "set" of liabilities, and then take that same buyer to another home, and there you have another "set" of liabilities.  In my opinion, it all balances out.

ps... give Bear a hug for me... puhleeze.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Bonnie in #79:  I very much understand what you are saying about the extra care you must use when working with first time buyers.  And the extra strategy and advice.  And yes... every step of the way.  With my former-teacher abilities... working with first-time buyers is something I really enjoy.

Even in that situation, although it will be difficult, I think working with both buyer and seller can be done correctly and ethically.  Some Realtors can do it... many simply cannot.  Perhaps my degree in Psychology helps.  I don't know.

I will very much agree... that I do not go "looking for it" either.  But if it falls into my lap, I will not chase it away.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Joan in #80:  I respect you for doing what works for you... which for you is not working "both sides."  And I agree with you that many agents, if not most agents... don't know how to be totally neutral to both parties.

Here in Texas... we must disclose, disclose, disclose.  There is no such thing as doing it too many times.  And explain, and then get signed acknowledgment and permission forms... our "Intermediary" forms.  We do not have Dual Agency, but we are permitted to act as Intermediaries. 

I would much rather "over-do" informing, acknowledging and disclosing... than miss it by an inch.  Then... if a buyer or a seller does not agree, the Broker will appoint another agent to "work with" one of them.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Love ya Karen, but it's not about the money ! It's about who should come first in the transaction. And just how important is REPRESENTATION(REALTOR advocacy) in  a real estate transaction? As a Dud Dual Agent, consumers can say goodbye to advice, nego strategy,and price counseling. Because the agent lusts after more they rationalize that as long as they act FAIR(now that's a crock) to everyone in the transaction that the consumers(who thought they were CLIENTS) won't now notice that the agent has reduced themselves to a zombie-like mere facilator. And we wonder why "do it yourself" FSBO's exist. JMHO

Posted by Michael J. Perry, Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist (KW Elite ) almost 9 years ago

Karen, what I was trying to say in the first paragraph is that all listings belong to the broker, not the agent. In fact, the principal is hiring the broker to find a buyer for the property. Whether the broker finds a buyer on their own or with the assistance of another broker, makes no difference. In fact, I will be surprised to learn if there is a state in which a broker cannot procure a buyer for their own listing.

"I know you are an agent in California.  I don't know if "pocket listings" are in keeping with either the MLS or the Realtor Association's rules and regulations..."

You can have pocket listings regardless or not if you are a member of the local association or not.

"but I DO know... that having a seller's home LISTED... and not putting it in the MLS so you can sell it yourself... either is, or should be, a breach of your fiduciary relationship with your seller."

Why? A broker is hired to find a buyer for the property. What difference does it make what marketing method the broker uses? If a broker doesn't create flyers or hold open houses, are they breaching their fiduciary relationship? How about if you don't have a full page ad in your local paper?? How about transaction brokers, is it OK for them not to list it in the MLS? ;)


Posted by Satar Naghshineh (Satar - Amiri Property and Financial Services Corp.) almost 9 years ago

In San Diego, the agents use the term "double-ending" rather than double dipping.  Sounds a little nicer.

As long as the agent is truly able to have both side's best interests in mind when negotiating the offer, then I do not see a problem.



Posted by Kevin Kueneke, San Diego Mortgage Banker (Caliber Home Loans) almost 9 years ago

By the way, as long as you act in the capacity of a sub agency, you are not acting in the buyer's best interests. That can only happen in a buyer agency using a buyer broker agreement.

Posted by Satar Naghshineh (Satar - Amiri Property and Financial Services Corp.) almost 9 years ago

Satar in #95:  Sub-agency is something I rarely see in Texas... although it is still allowed.  In the DFW market area... once the listing in the MLS it even states the commission split to the cooperating broker... as BAC = 50%  SAC = 0% with BAC meaning Buyer's Agent Commission, and SAC meaning Sub-Agent Commission.  Whenever I have a listing, this is what MY MLS info says, as well.  If the agent for the buyer is acting as a sub-agent... there is no split.  IF they are working as the Buyers Agent... they get 50% of whatever the commission is.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Hi Karen, I think agents have a problem with it is when agents have a hard time getting to a house to show to their buyers because some agents do try to bring in their own buyer for their listing. Other than that, I have no issues with it. Here in NY if my buyer-client wants to buy my listing, then it's dual agency. If it's a buyer customer then I'm still working on behalf of the seller, not the buyer.

Posted by Jackie Connelly-Fornuff, "Moving at The Speed of YOU!" (Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY) almost 9 years ago

Hello Karen ... What can I say, great post and I don't like this word and or "Dual Agency" ... I really don't believe that and agent can represent both the Seller & Buyer equally. The days of Dual Agency will end in the future when a client really goes after a Broker or Agent and hit's them hard in there pocket book.

Your post has been Highlighted/ Featured at ...


Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz almost 9 years ago

Satar in #93:  You ask a lot of questions, my friend.

I can only answer about Texas, and Ohio... when I have been both an agent and a broker... so here goes.

There are some states where acting as a Dual Agent is not permitted.  So a broker... by which I mean a broker's sales agent... cannot represent both buyer and seller.  That is the case in Texas.  But we have something that Texas calls being an "Intermediary."  Once that process is presented to both buyer and seller, and accepted by them, then the agent can "work with" or "mediate" between them... with that agent NOT representing either of them.

Perhaps it is similar to what other states call a "transaction brokerage."  I do not know.  Also... in the great majority of real estate offices in my market area... the actually BROKER... usually does not list OR sell.  They train, manage, recruit, or whatever.  They have agents who list and sell.  Sometimes a Broker is in business for themselves, and chooses not to have any agents.  Obviously, in that case, they do list and sell.

Our MLS REQUIRES any home that is listed by an MLS Member Broker... to be put into the MLS within five days.  IF that does not happen... they can be fined, or other penalties can happen.  The only way that does not need to happen... is if the seller signs a letter requiring/demanding that their home NOT be put into the MLS.

You ask... regarding pocket listings... what difference does it make what marketing method the broker uses ?  IF what that broker is doing is done without the knowledge and permission of the seller... and that seller is being harmed... the agent "hiding" the listing in his pocket... could be liable for breach of contract... and even subject to suit for damages.

And please, enough of that nonsense about flyers and newspaper ads.  Sheesh.  And again... you ask about transaction brokers.  We do not have them in Texas... so I do not know what that entails.

Remember... in the fifty states... there can be fifty different sets of rules that each state's Realtors have to work with.  Just as all real estate is local... ways of doing things per the State Departments of Real Estate can change... state to state.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Karen -  Ditto - "Thirty-nine years as an agent... and NEVER a problem, objection or complaint from anyone about selling my own listing to my own buyer." says it all.

Posted by Kathy Clulow, Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results (RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Karen Anne - I do not have an issue with dual agency or double ending as long as both buyers' and sellers' interests are represented.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) almost 9 years ago


I am old enough to have been around pre-buyer's agent.  We routinely did both sides.  A co-broke could happen but it was rare.  I represented the seller and facilitated the transaction for the buyer.  Everyone was advised of what i was doing and it was to the best interest of us all to get it negotiated and done.  And hey, the seller still pays everyones commission, and does so on the basis of sale price.  Ignore the nay-sayers. 

Posted by Marge Piwowarski, Phoenix AZ Horse Property, LLC (Phoenix AZ Horse Property) almost 9 years ago

Hi Karen,

I like your approach to this topic.  My previous broker's policy was no dual agency.  Either the buyer or seller had to be a client and the other party a customer.  I'm with you and do NOT see a problem being a fair representative on both sides of the transaction.  Best of success to you this year!

Posted by Jordon Wheeler, J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service (The Jordon Wheeler Group) almost 9 years ago
Karen, I call it doing my job! I spend money for web presence which equals Buyers contacting "You" on "Your" listing! Therefore, "double ending". Which in CA we can disclose (disclosure for that) when writing the offer. I take pride in my oath to work as an ethical Realtor(R) when given my license and act with full disclosure and with a fiduciary duty to both parties.
Posted by CA COASTAL ESTATES Lauren Selinsky Perez CRS, "Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren (California Coastal Estates) almost 9 years ago

Karen-Anne, as always I am late to the party, I see you have again touched a hot button with the community. Well stated post. I totally agree with you. Some of the comments make me smile. BTW staying Neutral can be done if one has ethics, morals and principals, Period!

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) almost 9 years ago

Hi Karen, I too called it double dipping, but I didn't use the term negatively; the term was used in lieu of saying I worked both sides of the the transaction.  I do understand your resentment with the term and I'll be more sensitive to those that have the same feeling.

Posted by Ron Cooks, Texas Real Estate, Ft Hood/Killeen Homes for Sale (The Real Estate Marketplace) almost 9 years ago

Good morning Karen,

A great post, the term "double-dipping" obviously caught a lot of attention.  I agree with you that it is a derogatory term, and a brokerage that manages both sides of the contract, with proper disclosure, has done exactly what they were contracted for - sell the property.  This is a situation that must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the agent to determine the best course of action to take on that particular transaction.  Nothing in real estate (or in life) is a "one size fits all". 

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 9 years ago

Boy oh boy has this generated some heat!  Very interesting reading these comments.  Annie, get your gun!

Posted by Paula McDonald, Ph.D., Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Beam & Branch Realty) almost 9 years ago

Karen, dual agency is legal in my state of Virginia. As long as the agent understands its meaning, there is nothing wrong with doing both sides of a transaction with proper disclosure.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 9 years ago

What I don't like to hear is when a sellers ask me to reduce my commission if I sell their house my self? Huh? 

Posted by Blatt + Cutino, Broker-Associate 831/206-8070*Call today* (Coldwell Banker Realty) almost 9 years ago
Karen, it is a glass half full or half empty perspective. When someone else sells it, you forfeit half would be the flip side of the dialog.
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge almost 9 years ago

I'm so used to Facebook and Pinterest that I keep wanting to "like" many of these comments! I've never liked the term double dipping either. What are you doing when you get one side? Single dipping? No, you are working for your living! I have dealt with many buyers over the years that were veterans of the home buying process and all they wanted from me was to submit their contract like they told me they wanted it done. Peroid. This is not to say that I can't be impartial if they wanted representation as well because I know I can. Every buyer and every transaction is different. Congratulations on your doubl...getting both sides!

Posted by Andrew Herren (Craig Massee Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Karen we need to bronze your post.  You spelled it out so clearly.  Our job is to bring Buyers and Sellers together.  Our rules allow us to do both sides of the transaction, but we must disclouse and we must not coach either party with regards to the price offered or accepted.

Why do Agents offer to reduce their fees when they are taking a listing if they find their own Buyer just to secure the listing.  They need to read your blog.

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Well said!

Betty Bart

Fine Homes in 905

Posted by Betty Bartusevicius, Fine Homes In 905 (Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Karen when i first starting reading i was expecting a bashing on listing Agents who sell their own listings. After reading through i must say I totally agree with both those who brag to double dip or those that complain there is money left on the table. No matter what agents should not be bragging or using either of these terms. When an agent sell s their own listing there is at least twice the work and the commission is often well earned when working direct with listing agents. Investors have klearned the advantages of working direct with bank owned listing agents and are comfortable doing so. I know for me i love working with investors and invite and wllcome the challenge. It is more work but without hard work you can not close the sales. I agree with no more talk and using thiose terms as it shows one in a bad light when they do,

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) almost 9 years ago

Karen, we call it a Birthday Sale here in St. Augustine, cause we are celebrating. Florida has Transaction Broker Agency unless otherwise stated, so working both sides of a Transaction is both normal and legal. Happy Birthday to you !

Posted by Clay R. Seay (Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage) almost 9 years ago

The article makes sense, if you have a buyer that is serious, whether you sell them your own listing or another listing you get the commission.  Very true.  However, if you sell them your listing (providing it's a comperable home), you've also done your other client a service by selling their home quicker.

Posted by Nathan M, President (Rentec Direct) (Rentec Direct Property Management Software) almost 9 years ago

Double Dipping, Both Sides, Birthday Sale, Jealousy on the Part of the one who didn't get the sale it what you will, I call it a good pay day! As long as you disclose and are ethical about the process, Congrats to you! Enjoy your commission!


Posted by Margie Kopp Sorrell, Lake Oconee Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty and Lake Country) almost 9 years ago

As with you, Karen, my listing clients LIKE the fact that I have buyers who will look at their home.  My most successful listing prospecting tool has always been the simple mailing that says: "In marketing <fill in the blank, a neighbor's home>, I have found x buyers who are actively looking for a home in your neighborhood...".  My last 2 listings came from one of those, in fact, and the question "so you have buyers who are looking here?" is posed by the prospective seller early during the listing presentation.  NO "double-dipping" references.  The commission is what it is, and they are happy to have a quick sale that is being completely handled by someone they trust... me.

Posted by Chris Jenkins-Sarasota Realtor, "Expect Success" (PalmerHouse Properties) almost 9 years ago

I am so glad that the post turned out to be different than the title implied.  I am totally with you Karen Anne.  Some people compare such agents with the scum of the earth and they are so vengeful about it.  I say if they don't want to represent a seller and work with a buyer and get paid the full commission then don't do it.  But don't bash an agent who is willing to do so.

Amen Karen Anne. Amen.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (eXp Realty) almost 9 years ago
Love it!
Posted by Veronica Smith (Alliance Associates Realtors) almost 9 years ago

It doesn't matter what it's called. If someone calls me about my own inventory..should I tell them to find another agent? Sorry but I'm not going to turn it down. Why should I? It's legal as long s I disclose it. How many times do we as agents get a listing only to hear from the seller that we as the listing agents aren't showing it our selves or bringing them an offer? Well I showed it and here is the offer...not sure what so wrong about it. Calling it a double dip is just one's opinion and opinions vary...just my humble opinion.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (Brokered by eXp Realty LLC) almost 9 years ago

I agree with you 100%, you are representing both sides and would have sold that buyer a different home. As long as both sides are communicated with about the dual agency, you're good! Congrats on the feature!!

Posted by Sylvie Stuart, Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta (Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765) almost 9 years ago

In NJ it's called Disclosed Dual Agency.  I think the problem is that many don't understand their state laws, and what they can or can't do in the role of a Disclosed Dual Agent.

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) almost 9 years ago

George Costanza was a double dipper.  He also at a donut that he picked out of the trash.  No problem.  It was on the top, and only had one bite out of it.

Posted by Bob Willis, Orange County & L.A. County Real Estate Agent (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties) almost 9 years ago

Morning Karen,  You're so preaching to the choir here !  While representing both sides requires a very high level of disclosure it can also mean a very high level of service being provided.  For those not comfortable with dual representation - refer one side out.

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) almost 9 years ago

I just love it when someone takes some common buzzword and looks at it from a slightly different point of view.

You have added some light to a normally heated discussion.  Keep up the good work.

Posted by Thomas McCombs (Century 21 HomeStar) almost 9 years ago

Very interesting post, I have never double dipped a listing, I feel this would be very dangerous on a short sale.

Posted by Jack O'Neal (HomeSmart Elite Group) almost 9 years ago

Karen, I don't care for the term "double dipping" - reminds me of food, and I don't need to be reminded. Dual agency, representing both buyer and seller in a transaction is legal in California. Some states it's not. The commission to be paid is whatever is negotiated in the listing agreement. 

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) almost 9 years ago

I love the way you wrote this - exactly how I've thought about it all these years.  There's nothing greedy about it - if the buyer wants my listing and they and the sellers accept dual agency then I'm going to sell my own listing.  I'm seeing more and more buyers going through listing agents today than ever before and although I think their ideas of saving money doing this is laughable, I'll certainly work with them if my listing is chosen.

Posted by Judy Orr, SW & Near West Chicago suburbs (HomeSmart Realty Group) almost 9 years ago

Karen Anne - I'm in total agreement with your original premise - that every buyer and seller you are working with represents an opportunity to close a side - so when a buyer you are working with chooses a home you have listed, its not in any way "extra" commission.

I choose not to practice dual agency, so when my buyers choose to make an offer on one of my listings they sign a customer acknowledgement form in conjunction with that offer.  We also have a clear conversation about the limits of "customer service" versus "client service".  Since my buyers are usually intelligent adults (and usually are experienced buyers) - I have confidence in their ability to determine the extent of service they require.

Posted by Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA (Coldwell Banker Lake Country) almost 9 years ago

I agree with you.  Out here in California, we can do both sides.  When you look at the fact that we are doing both sides of paperwork, we have earned both sides of the commission.  I also get asked at Listing Presentations - "And how many buyers do you have, have you brought in to your listings?".  I have only brought in buyers to 3 of my listings but each time I heard this same phrase used to their neighbors, family or friends - "She sold my home AND brought in the buyer, how great is that!!!"

Posted by Cyndi Mino, SFR, e-PRO (First Team Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

I agree 100% Karen Anne.  If I do both the work of 2 "sides" I have no problem accepting payment for 2 "sides".

I had seller tell me one time that he wanted me to cut my commission if I also sold the house, so I said "Oh, you don't want ME to sell it?"  Of course he did, he just didn't want to pay me.  When I explained it the way you did in your post he changed his tune ASAP.

Posted by Gayle Barton, Forsyth County Real Estate, Cumming GA Homes For Sale (404) 710-0204 (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY Georgia Properties) almost 9 years ago

Karen Anne, I agree with you in principal. There are times when a seller would love to sell off market; other times a house has been listed for a month or so with no offers imminent--good times to bring in your own buyer and negotiate a contract that's fair to both parties. I've done so.

In our area, with the lack of inventory, we often see multiple offers, in which case I refer buyers to a colleague. California is just too litigious a state to do otherwise.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 9 years ago


Subagency is allowed in Texas. Most brokers will not pay a subagency commission so it's a moot point.

Texas does not allow dual agency.


Posted by Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR, ACRE, Plano TX Ambassador (RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs) almost 9 years ago

Karen, I love your selective reading. You skipped over where I said "in my market".  What you do is perfect in your market, what I was suggesting that in my market, with my demographics and multiple offer situations, people go to the listing agent to "win" or to get a "deal". So, the buyers you may have on your listing, may not stick with you and will go to the next listing agent. See, I'm in an area of people that may not be loyal to any agent, as it's all about the deal.

Instead of most people that assume Real Estate is a national thing, I know that each market is very different and each market has different economies and demographics that drive the market.

Instead of the usual "great post" or "your awesome", I was trying to relate it to different areas and how what you were saying may or may not be the same in different areas.

Anyway, great post, your awesome.

Posted by Andrew Martin (REMAX Accord) almost 9 years ago


If you want to say negative things about me offline, that's your choice. But please don't call me names and make unkind remarks about me or how I conduct myself in a setting that I rely on for my business. It's not kind or professional. It's also against AR policy to attack a felllow member.

Thank you.

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) almost 9 years ago

Karen Anne--you can be the most fair, honest, ethical agent in the world but you will never be able to get the highest price and best terms for the seller AND get the lowest price and best terms for the buyer at the same time.

Do you ever sell one of your listings to a buyer who is not a client--but a customer who may not have used you to buy another home?  That would be a "side" you would not necessarily have gotten otherwise.  Also, when you are "representing" both the seller and the buyer in a transaction, what happens to all of the fiduciary duties that were promised to both parties? 

Posted by Laura Degiovanni, Milford Exclusive Buyer Agent (Home Buyer's Agent of Ann Arbor) almost 9 years ago

Here we call it a Me/Me internally. Pretty common and if both seller and buyer trusts you, as ours do, it actually goes a little smoother than normal sales. Just bites more when they fall apart....

Posted by The Derrick Team - Indy Metro Realtors, Your Pet Friendly Realtors (Carpenter Realtors) almost 9 years ago

Hello again Karen ... all I can say is WOW! There sure are some mixed feelings around here, and remember members ...

Everyone is entitled to their own "Opinions"

VB ;o)

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz almost 9 years ago

Maybe we can call it "double-ending".... hmm, not sure I like that any better.

While your scenarios work nicely... the case does come up when you find a buyer who's just walked-in the door, (perhaps at an open house, or from a sign call) who was not already your client, and you had no connection with them at all.  That would be the double-siding that people are referring to.

I'm not a fan.  While it can be done, and you can be fair and honest to both sides, that's not what your seller hired you to be.  They hired you to be a bull-dog for their interests, and to help them negotiate, and strategize... and you can't really do that as a dual, transactional, transitional or transendental agent.  Nor can you truly "represent" the buyer in that case.  Yes, you can handle the sale... but the buyer and seller are not being vigorously represented, in my opinion.

Personally, I'd prefer to offer the buyer different options... In Illinois we're allowed to do "designated agency"... where we hand them off to a different agent, from whom I can collect a referral fee.

Or, I can treat the buyer as "ministerial acts", or notice of "no agency"... in other words... I am not your agent, I represent the seller, but I'm happy to handle the paperwork... but cannot advise you in anyway... remember, I represent the seller.  (worth repeating over and over).

Posted by Alan May, A moving experience! (Jameson Sotheby's International Realty) almost 9 years ago

A seller's goal is generally to get the most money for their house, a buyer's is to purchase for the least amount. No problem acting for both as long as all parties understand you are straddling the fence rather than being on one side or the other.  Unfortunately our industry is rife with stories of agents who do not have informed consent to dual agency and our reputation suffers. Personally, I prefer to act for one side or the other,

Posted by anna sogliuzzo (Berkshire Hathaway Home Svcs NE Properties) almost 9 years ago

Greg in #137:  I have "adjusted" my comment #60.  Actually, I was going to join in on that post of yours I spoke of... and defend Lindsey right then and there... but I chose not to.  But if I had... I would have been nowhere near as "mild" as I was in this post.

I have also thought about deleting your comment here... but I decided to leave it... just to show the irony of it all.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Hello Karen ... why does Vegas Bob miss all the fun ... ;o( ... deleted comments, I wish to know!

VB ;o)

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz almost 9 years ago

Karen Anne - Double dipping is frowned upon in my house. It's when you take a stalk of celery, dip it in something yummy, take a bite and then ... dip it again. Talk about spreading germs! Personally, I don't like to "double end" real estate deals even though it is legal in California. I will refer the buyer out to an agent who works under a different brokerage. That is a business decision, nothing more. And I agree, the term "double dipping" does not make any sense whatsoever.

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA almost 9 years ago

Buyers and sellers have choices and choose a Realtor they like and trust to achieve their goals and objectives, so regardless if it's my listing or another, I'll represent them with the utmost diligence and that's how they become lifetime clients, don't they? Love your illustration and perspective.

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) almost 9 years ago

I believe that someone already mentioned that most complaints against agents and brokers have to do with agency disclosures, which should be a warning to all of us.

The bottom line is that dual agency varies from state to state.  For example, we don't have "intermediaries" in Louisiana.  Instead, the state assumes we are representing the person we are working with in an agency capacity (ministerial acts excluded).  So while it may be fine for you to work both sides of a deal in other states, this puts us in the position of single agent dual agency in LA.  Not something that I want to engage in.

As for double dipping?  It's taking more than one bite from the same bowl, plate, dish, whatever...with the same spoon.  I get where you're coming from, but I don't have a problem with the analogy, because I think it fits.

Posted by Lisa Heindel, New Orleans Real Estate Broker (Crescent City Living LLC) almost 9 years ago

Hi Karen,  Ecellent point!  I just closed one Monday where I had both sides and it was so horrible, almost swore off ever doing it again.  I earned every penny of both sides!

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) almost 9 years ago

Karen Anne,

I understand the semantics you are decrying here. On the one hand, it does make sense. But the whole issue of representation comes up, and how one can truly represent both sides and negotiate from two different vantage points continues to escape me. Unless one is only acting as an intermediary (which means, if I understand the term correctly, that one is only supplying the forms and the language necessary for the contract to be binding, not advice to either party), then serving both buyers and sellers in the same transaction as their agent is fiduciarily impossible.

I am surprised to find you on the opposite side of the fence as Lenn on this one....hmmmm.....

Posted by William James Walton Sr., Greater Waterbury Real Estate (WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group) almost 9 years ago

The way I see it is, if you have a listing and acquire a buyer the two of them are both your clients. If you show the buyer your listing first and they want to see others then show them, otherwise they're not going to be your client long.

If you have a listing and you offer to take less commission and treat it as a pocket listing then you are doing the seller a service, provided that you can get the buyer. Of course your not going to treat it as a pocket listing if you can't actually get a buyer so that last part is a moot point.

Just because you have a listing doesn't mean you have to offer it to other agents like so much fresh meat. Your responsibility is with your clients, not all the other local area agents. Let them create their own business.

Pocket listings are in keeping with your fiduciary responsibility as long as there's full disclosure of the fact that the home will NOT be offered on the MLS.

Posted by Jack Snyder, Loan Officer, San Clemente, Orange County, CA. (Loan Officer in Orange County for FlexPoint Mortgage) almost 9 years ago

Thank you for standing up for dual agency.  As you say, with an ethical Realtor, what's the problem?  Both buyer and seller have  minds of their own and they are entitled to use them and act accordingly.  

When acting as agent for buyer and seller at the same time, it can sure make for an efficient transaction since the wild card of another agent is taken out of the equation.

I have not had any probelems when acting as a dual agent, as everything is handled properly and in writing, and both parties can express themselves freely.  Both parties have the same goal in mind and it doesn't have to be a tug of war.  

I find that some agents like the drama and like to "encourage" actions from their clients that may not be what the client themselves desire.  I feel bad for buyers and sellers who choose to work with adversarial agents.

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) almost 9 years ago

With very few commercial agents in my market, I frequently find myself handling both sides of a transaction. Typically because I have the listing, and buyers/tenants call me directly from my signs. I simply make it clear that I represent the seller/landlord, and that the buyer/tenant will be unrepresented. They are welcome to find an agent, and I have frequently given them the names of the other commercial agents in town. And we get the deal done.

Posted by Tim Bradley, Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY (Contour Investment Properties) almost 9 years ago

I think the explanation about how "double dipping" isn't really double dipping is a good one,  To each their own on whether or not a broker allows for both sides of the transaction to be represented as far as I am concerned.

To the point about not putting a listing in the MLS and it being a fiduciary breach, I disagree.  In fact, on most of the listings I take, it would be a disservice to the seller to enter it within 5 days.  I would agree that it could be a breach under the most typical of circumstances, but there are valid reasons not to MLS it and they vary based on the seller and the seller's needs. 

Our TAR listing agreement does state that the listing is to be on the MLS within 5 days but that is one of three choices offered in the agreement as it relates to the MLS entry.  It depends on the instruction from the seller, but the choices are the following: 

1. Enter/file the listing within 5 days.

2.  Enter/file within ____________ of days due to __________.

3.  Do not enter/file at all.

(I have 5 of them right now that fall under #2.)

Tom is right about subagency being allowed in Texas.  It just doesn't really exist because it isn't practiced much. 


Hope you're enjoying our fabulous weather.  Take care!



Posted by Amanda Evans, Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas (DFW Living) almost 9 years ago

I handle it very carefully. If it's a short sale....then it's very simple since the seller's only concern is getting it closed and coming out in the best possible situation. Representing both parties actually benefits them both.

In an equity sale...if I'm representing the buyer, I try and get information from the listing agent to put my buyers in the best possible position, I can't really do this if I also represent the seller...and vice versa. So I typically hand my buyer over to my broker to do the negotiation portion of the transactions...both price and repairs/if any. I handle everything else. I find this takes away any possible conflict and I've had both sides feel very comfortable with the outcomes.

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) almost 9 years ago


I agree with you on that wording. Double dipping is not a fair term. On the other hand, there is the issue of trying to adequately represents both sides in the same transaction and understanding our obligations as agents. Case in point is commenter # 41, who clearly has no idea what the job of a Real Estate agent is. Nowhere in any standards of practice or any training material are the words" act as intermediary used". That is a completely incorrect statement.

Posted by Linda Fidgeon, Make your next move your best move! (Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Page Realty) almost 9 years ago

And that's cool, Karen but like they say.. attack the subject matter, not the person. I got no problem with you or anyone else attempting to shred my opinions as long as we can do so without going there. If I recall, Lindsey and I exchanged opinions just fine. I don't want to take away form your post here .. so I'll let you do your thing. Thanks.

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) almost 9 years ago

My issue is lots of agents basically do a pocket listing and are determined to get both halfs on the same sale.  Not right and I agree with your logic.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Florida allows us to be transaction brokers in which we can represent both the seller and the buyer.  It is very easy to do, not unethical and I am a professional who knows how to broker a deal.  This is much about nothing and the term double-dipping is very negative and has nothing to do with the transaction. 

Posted by Marnie Matarese, Showing you the best of Sarasota! (DWELL REAL ESTATE) almost 9 years ago

Interesting how different terms and phrases get used in different markets.  Up here in my part of Canada, a "Pocket Listing"  is one that really hasn't had any paperwork completed and the Seller simply asks the Realtor to keep their place in mind in case they have a Buyer in the future.   Then the Seller would actually list it for sale, knowing a sale would be imminent.

We also have the choice of listing a property for sale on the MLS or as an "Exclusive" Listing meaning it is exclusive to that brokerage only and no one else has a right to show it.   They are not usually in the best interest of the Seller if their goal is to sell quickly.   I did have a few over the winter because the Sellers didn't want any agent but me in their home while they were away down South.

Also, the term "double dipping" doesn't exist here but we can "Double End" which means representing both the Seller and the Buyer.   Isn't happening as often anymore as Buyers are becoming more aware which is a good thing.   Some of our old-timers, the Seasoned Agents who've been around 30+ years are used to operating that way and are having a rude awakening with half their income being stripped away.  

Posted by Susan Emo, Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area (Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Donald in #81:  Doing your job is a good thing, and obviously that is why the seller hired you.  I mean... most, if not all sellers are hoping that we DO have a buyer in mind for their home when we list it.

Silvia in #82:  I think how often it happens depends on what is typical in the different market areas of the country.  It's kind of like the "this is the way we've always done it" attitude.  When I was an agent in Ohio long ago, it happened all the time.  What happens now, there, I do not know.  In Fort Worth... it seems to happen much less often, but some Brokers actually discourage it, and others just expect you to stringently follow the rules... which, of course, is the only way to do things.

John in #83:  It appears that in your area of Florida, selling your own listing is something that happens more often than not.  Again, regional ways of doing things.  You mention Transaction Brokers.  I would love to see a very detailed post showing the ins and outs of just exactly how that works.

Sharon in #84:  I know exactly what you mean.  I see you are also a Florida agent.  I think it is great that in Florida that selling your own listing can work as well as you say your ability and ethics allows you to.  Good for you !  And yes, I can remember sales that had a cooperating broker who didn't have a clue, and fell through, and I would think... if ONLY I had that buyer to work with, I could have put the sale together.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Katerina in #85:  Ahhh... another Florida broker.  Welcome !  Sure... it is exactly why our sellers hire us... to sell their home.  I would love to see a detailed post showing all the ins and outs of Transaction Brokerage, and how it differs, or is better than, Dual Agency.  Perhaps you have already written such a post.  If so, a link would be great.

And, I obviously agree that it is NOT greedy.  Again... it is two different "sides"... that just happen to be on the same house.  Thank you for your kind words and Congrats.  I very much appreciate them.

Michael in #92:  I never said it was about "the money."  The money is the same... either way.  Two different sides, and the commission that goes along with that side.

Hmmm... yer gettin' fairly opinionated here... LOL.  The key here is disclose, disclose, disclose, and make sure your buyers and sellers understand, and then sign the acknowledgements and permissions.  I really do NOT think that... to use your word... "lust"... has anything to do with it.  What would my seller want ?  For me to sell my buyer their home, or another home ?  And if my buyer wants that home... and I feel I can work within the very strict guidelines of whatever the state allows... it can work.  But... it takes a very experienced, and very ethical agent to be able to do it, and do it right.

By the way, Michael... you mentioned "zombies."  What on earth do House and Senate Republicans have to do with this ?  LOL

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Kevin in #94:  This is exactly the intent of most experienced and highly ethical agents that I usually deal with.  Loose cannons need not bother to apply.  And as long as that is the case, as you said, I do not see a problem, either.

Jackie in #97:  Things in your market area of course differ with what is the "norm" in other market areas.  In each market area, actually in each state... buyers and sellers have different options, and agents have different mandated guidelines to follow.  As is always the case... disclose, disclose, disclose... and have it in writing.

VB in # 98:  Thanks for the "highlight."  As far as the days of Dual Agency ending in the future... mebbe yes, but probably not.  Clients will only "go after" Brokers if they feel they have not been dealt with fairly and honestly.  As long as we disclose, disclose, disclose, and then very strictly follow that particular State's mandated guidelines... things should be ok.

Kathy in #100:  Yes... Ditto.  So you are a "seasoned agent" as well, huh ?  LOL.  As you know... it's the same here.  If an agent strictly follows the mandated guidelines, and acts in an extremely ethical way... things should go smoothly.  And yes, the absence of problems, objections and complaints does "say it all."

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Christine in #101:  It appears that just about every state has different guidelines to make sure that both buyer and seller are treated ethically and fairly.  But... fifty states, and prolly fifty different ways of making that happen.

Marge in #102:  Ahhh... another "seasoned agent"... huh ?  <smile>  Yes, back then, it was routine that we worked with both buyer and seller on the same house.  And somehow... everything worked out for all partied.  Or at least it did when agents like you and like myself did it.  But, I am sure we both have "stories" to tell about what some of the others did.

Jordan in #104:  Thank you for your kind words.  Regardless of the state guidelines, one's Broker can make their own rules... as long as they work totally inside of the state mandated guidelines.  It is difficult for a Broker to allow one agent who they deem to be experienced and ethical enough to work with both the buyer and the seller, but then not allow an inexperienced agent or a loose cannon to do the same.  So... with the liabilities that the Brokers fear, they may choose to not allow it.  And, of course, best of success to you, as well.

Lauren in #104:  Wouldn't it be lovely if all agents... "did their job ?"  What a concept.  I love your attitude, and I am sure you do a fabulous job when working with both buyers and sellers on the same house.  Ethics, and working within the state mandated guidelines is the key.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Thank you for your thoughful response to my comment in #40.  But Karen, you didn't address my concern. Why shouldn't a buyer (or seller) have his/her own exclusive agent to represent their interests exclusively? 

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) almost 9 years ago

Endre in #105:  You are not "late to the party."  You just prefer to "make an entrance."  I hear the stylish kinda guys like to do that.  <smile>

Yes... this is a subject that brings out lots of opinions, and lots of stereotyped ideas as well.  And thank you for your kind words.  Yes... I know what you mean about how some of the comments make you smile.  Me, as well.  It does make me wonder why some folks think it is so difficult for others to stay neutral... but as you said, if they have ethics, morals and principles... it can and does work.

Ron in #106:  If you use the term double-dipping... I'd rather have three scoops than two, and make mine vanilla, please.  Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla is my preference.

Yeah... remember we are in Texas... or as I jokingly refer to it as The People's Republic of Texas... so ice cream brings to mind good things... but that "chaw" stuff makes me sick just thinking about it.  But... that's Texas.

Lisa in #107:  Ahhh, another Texan.  Thanks for the kind words.  I fully agree with you.  Disclosures, ethics, and a top-notch Brokerage firm all come together to assist us in doing exactly what we were hired to do... sell the property.

And of course, every sale, and every buyer, and every seller is different... to a rigorous analysis is always the best way to go in helping one choose the best way to do things.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

God bless you Karen!  The ethics question comes up to people who are not fair and honest.  Since I share the same pricing tools with buyer and seller, who is cheated?  The ETHICS people believe in working over the other party.  If the home meets the needs of the buyer and the net money meets the needs of the seller then it is a "Win-Win". 

What about multi offers? Present ALL offers and let them choose. Have I missed out if my buyer is not the highest? Yes, but I sleep good knowing the seller got the best deal.

 Texas IABS says I cannot tell the seller what the buyer would pay or tell the buyer what the seller would take.  Easy!  I do not share confidential information with either party.  That is ethics.

Well done and said Karen!


Posted by Tony Barker (Premiere Home Realty - Tony Barker 832-867-0835) almost 9 years ago

Paula in #108:  Heat, yes.  But remember... one woman's excessive heat may be another woman's sauna... LOL.  I don't do the gun thing, but now... whips... that's another story... LOL.

Michael in #109:  Ahhh... the man from Woodbridge.  I lived in Northern Virginia for six years... and just love the area.  Yes, I agree... things are so simple when one follows the rules... and stays strictly within their state-mandaged guidelines.  But again, you and I are experienced, "seasoned" agents... LOL.  Disclosure is always one of the most important keys.

Angelica in #110:  When I hear that question asked by my seller, when I bring the buyer... I ask them if they would prefer I took the buyer to a different house so I could be assured of getting my fee.  They usually get the point when they hear that.

Cheryl in #111:  Well... not really.  No "forfeit"... because I just take my buyer and sell them a different home.  A "side" is still a "side"... no matter what home they buy.  At least in real estate... my glass is always half-full.

Andrew in #112:  I am only on Facebook in self-defense... meaning to silence those who kept pestering me to do it.  Pinterest has no value to me.  I am much more into face-to-face referrals from previous clients and my sphere of relationships... as I call it.  And yes... every buyer and every seller, is different, and with those differences comes a unique way of helping them all.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Karen, great post and great dialogue as a result. I agree that the term "double dipping" has a negative connotation. I also agree that there's nothing wrong with dual representation and earning the full commission as a result... in certain circumstances. I have seen the practice abused over the years, though, by agents who are greedy and aren't necessarily looking out for the best interests of either the buyer or the seller. When an agent fails to expose the property to the market and guides the seller accept an offer that is below market value, it's not a win-win situation.

Posted by Shannon Jones, Long Beach CA Real Estate (The Shannon Jones Team) almost 9 years ago

I may disagree with you about the buy side.  One of the perks of having a listing is the sign and advertising calls may generate a buyer.  True they could buy another property from you if the conversion is made but it is so easy to convert on the property called if a short sale or REO at this time because of the current inventory shortage.

Posted by Michael Blue, REALTOR - 760-889-8877, Encinitas/Carlsbad (Home Smart Realty West) almost 9 years ago

All & Peggy in #113:  Your kind words honour me.  Thank you so much.  Spelling things out clearly comes with being a "former teacher"... if there IS such a thing as a "former" teacher.  And yes... bringing buyers and sellers together... what more could any client want ?  The rules of working with buyers and sellers on the same home are pretty easy... and very difficult at the same time.  Simply treat others as you would want to be treated.

As for reducing my fee if I bring the buyer... as I said above... I then ask the seller if they would prefer I sell my buyer their home, or take them somewhere else ?  That pretty-much takes care of it.

Betty Bart in #114:  Thanks for your kind words.  Have a wonderful week !

Scott in #115:  Nah.  No "bashing" here.  But I do occasionally jump in and defend folks when I see they are being "steamrolled" by another commentor. 

That "leaving money on the table" business... I guess those who use it think they're being cute or something.  Using that phrase have no appeal to me whatsoever.  A "side" is a "side"... no matter which house it is on.  I have never worked with any investors... it's an area I chose to avoid.  Personal taste as far as what my preferences are.  Nothing negative about it... just not my thing.  And honestly, if I tell someone that I worked with both the buyer and the seller on a transaction... I am not bragging... I am simply doing my job... and doing my absolute best to do it well.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Lloyd in #164:  I am sorry I did not address your concern.  there is NO reason that a buyer... if they prefer to have their own exclusive agent to represent their interests exclusively... should not be able to do that.  Whatever the buyer prefers.  That is why we have our disclosure forms, our Informatin about Brokerage Services form, and then a separate form which a buyer must sign if I am to work with them and the seller as an "Intermediary."  There is no Dual Agency in Texas.  If they are not satisfied with the Intermediary concept, it is their right to do what works for them.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Darn:  I keep trying to catch up here with the comments, and folks keep sneaking in new ones in between my replies.  Whew !  LOL.

Clay in #116:  A Birthday Sale.  I like it.  Prolly best slang term of all those I have heard... to describe selling your own listing.  Gosh... I don't need another actually Birthday just quite yet.  I am getting older by the day... and I don't need to hit the "speed up" button.  Again... I wish someone from Florida would write a nice tutorial post on just exactly HOW "transaction brokerage" differs form what the other states do.

Nathan in #117:  On no... I have made sense AGAIN ?  Some days it's hard to do, Nathan. 

Whenever I sell a buyer a home, I do my best to build what I call a sense of "market awareness" in them... by showing them the best homes in the area.  If in doing that... they want to purchase a home that I have listed... cool !

Margie in the beautiful dress in #118:  Yes... all of those terms... and unfortunately, the inevitable Jealousy you mention.  It's funny (in a bad way) how an agent who normally does not put forth their best efforts... can get jealous when they find an agent has sold their own listing.  Sometimes nasty remarks can be heard... but, as always... just consider the source.

Disclosing to the nth degree, and superb ethics will take care of just about anything.  (And I DO love your profile picture... but I have told you that before... LOL)

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

@Karen yes you are right I am not a great believer in Dual Agency - where one agent sits on the fence between the buyer and seller and doesn't represent either.  May be your laws are different but a first time buyer needs advice and as a dual agent we can't help them.  I am of the belief that it is not possible to be a dual agent, have two masters and ignore what I know, not even talking about disclosing what I know.  To me it is a slippery slope.  Your seller is no longer your client and has given obedience up --- why would any seller agree to it....each state is different.

Posted by Miriam Bernstein, CRS almost 9 years ago

Thanks for the great post Karen.  I love to find the buyer for one of my listings.  I work twice as hard, so i earn both sides of the transaction.

Posted by Karen Steed, Associate Broker Haralson Realty (Tallapoosa, Bremen, Waco, Buchanan, Temple, Carrollton) almost 9 years ago

I always caution buyers to have their own agent. A lot of top agents here, even when they have the opportunity for both sides of a deal, recommend the buyer get their own agent. Most "horror" stories I have heard over the years are when the buyer used the listing agent, and got screwed. And a lot of the complaints.

Posted by Jon Quist, Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996 (REALTY EXECUTIVES ARIZONA TERRITORY) almost 9 years ago

Karen, I have worked in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, in this area getting both sides is called "double ending" the transaction. Double dipping refers to someone who retires from the government or military and then goes to work for another branch of government so they get two checks every month while the taxpayers get poorer every year.

Posted by Wayne Jackson, North Idaho Realtor, Serving Coeur dnullAlene and Hayden Lake (Lakeshore Realty 208-714-4109) almost 9 years ago

Karen - I am late to the party, but wanted to say "Thank you". I am really tired of all this crap, and here, in Florida we hear it a lot because we are transaction brokers and can work with the deal, where we worl with both sides.

First, we do not sit and wait till we get the buyer for our own listing. If it happen, fine. The right to work with both sides does not automatically makes us greedy bastards.

Thanks again

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) almost 9 years ago

Jon Zolsky in #177:  Actually, you are NOT late to the party.  We were waiting to start it until YOU got here...

You are very welcome.  But selling one's own listing really, and having the interests of both sides protected... depends on the high ethics of the Realtor involved.  Anything, I repeat... anything or any idea can be abused.  And, as is often the case... those who abuse it by taking advantage of one party or the other... (seller or buyer) are the ones who give the idea of selling your own listing the negative feeling about it that some have.

There is no greed here... at least not for those who have high ethical standards.  The Listing Agent has the listing side... and if that agent also has a buyer... she can sell that buyer her own listing if they fall in love with that house, or she can sell them another home if they do not like... her listed home.  The buyer purchases whatever they want, and the agent gets two "sides" and the commission that goes with each.  Those "sides" can either come from the same house, or from separate houses.

Once again... you are very welcome.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Wayne in #176:  Ahhh... double ending and double dipping.  So that is what our dear Governor Perry here in Texas is doing.  Double dipping.  He turned 61, and now he is getting approximately $110,000 income yearly as retirement income, and then his full salary as Governor of The People's Republic of Texas.  Nice job if you can get it, methinks.

Where did you live in Oregon ?  I made an attempt to move there from Fort Worth late in 1999.  I was there for 35 days... and it rained on 33 of them.  Much too damp for my health, and my doctor actually told me I needed to move back to Fort Worth.  It figures.  I really liked it there, but it didn't like me.

Back to "double-dipping."  Make mine vanilla.  Three scoops, please.  :)

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Jon Quist in #175:  I see you are in the Tucson area.  As we know, all real estate is local, and sometimes the way agents DO things can also be "local."  So perhaps it is just the thing many are used to... in not wanting to work with a buyer who wants to purchase their seller's home.  We all need to do whatever we feel works best for all concerned.

As far as the buyer getting "screwed"... we both know that depends so much on the individual agent they dealt with.  To me, it makes no sense whatsoever to take advantage of someone.  Ethics is so personally important.  But even without considering ethics... if an agent treats a buyer badly, or if that buyer ends up feeling taken advantage of... the agent has most definitely lost a great opportunity for referrals in the future.

Dealing without ethics is not only wrong... it also makes very poor business sense.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Karen in #174:  Thank you so much for your kind words.  Actually... having both sides of a transaction can definitely be an awful lot of work.  But... with the happiness of both buyer and seller riding on it... all of that work will end up making two families very, very happy you did your utmost to fill their needs.  Good for you.

Miriam in #173:  As I have said... each of us must work with our buyers and our sellers in a way that works not only for us, but for each of them as well.

And sure... first-time buyers DO require special attention.  We do not have Dual Agency here in Texas.  When we work with both buyer and seller on the same transaction... after we disclose, explain, and get approvals from them on our acting as an "Intermediary" there is much we still can do as far as meeting their needs. 

And... if they feel they need more hand-holding... which I am saying in a very positive and nurturing way... the Intermediary process allows our office Broker to appoint another agent to work with them during the process.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Double dipping to me means that an agent made both sides of the commission without fully representing either the buyer or the seller.  It's called dual agency here in SC.  So both of the participants, and especially the buyer, did not receive the level of service and representation they deserved and the agent received a nice fat check.  It's a dis-service to the public and needs to be changed to help clean up the perception of our industry....and I hang out with ahigh-grade of human beings.

Posted by Gene Donohue, Flat Fee Service...Exceptional Results! (Only Way Realty / almost 9 years ago

Gene in #182:  In reading your comment, I mean... what else would you say ?  You are an Exclusive Buyer's Broker.  You claim that a buyer who does not work with someone like you does not receive the level of service and representation they deserved ?  That working without you would be a dis-service to the public.  And that working with agents like yourself would "clean up" the perception of our industry ?

There is just so much you do not understand.  There really is.  But, if what you are doing works for you, and for your clients, good for you, and hopefully, good for them.

When I am working with a buyer... I am acting as their Buyer's Agent.  I have their interests fully at heart.  I have counseled them extensively, and have helped them build a keen market awareness as far as pricing of comparable homes.

I have connected them to an extremely competent and ethical loan officer, and together the three of us have come up with a loan program that best suits their needs and their "pocketbook."  I have made sure they also have an extremely competent and ethical home inspector ready to go over the home they choose with a fine-tooth comb.

And then... after we have looked at many homes and not found one that suits their needs... I show them a home that I have personally listed.  Before I do that, though, I will disclose and explain the in's and outs once again... as I did the first time they met me... of the differences in the way Realtors can work with, or represent, the two parties in a transaction.

So... let's say they love the home.  They then have a choice.  To continue to work with me within the "Intermediary" mode... or have my Broker appoint or assign another agent to specifically focus on their needs.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Reply to Gene in #182... cont'd:  When we get to this point, and the buyers have a choice... the great majority of them choose to continue to work with me using the Intermediary process.  Over the previous weeks we have been working together, they have gained a great level of confidence in me and my ethics, and many tell me that because of that... they feel very comfortable with what in Texas we call the "Intermediary" mode.

So... I do.  Perhaps someday, as you gain experience, you will begin to see why they might choose to proceed in that way.

You make it sound like once they change from the Buyer's agent mode to the Intermediary mode... that they could be compared to a little unwanted puppy being dropped off on a country road out in the middle of nowhere... to fend for themselves amoungst the wolves (and the Realtors who prowl those woods) who will eat them for lunch.

I am going to doubt that anything I have said here will cause you to modify any of your views... and that is ok, too. 

I just wanted to add to your obviously incomplete knowledge base about this... and perhaps bring you closer to the ethical reality under which many, many seasoned professional and highly-ethical Realors work... who sell buyers homes they have listed for sale.

And... you just have a wonderful weekend with that "group" of yours that you mentioned in your comment.

Happy St Paddy's Day.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

You are absolutely right...and there is no less work....In fact I think there is more "work" doing two sides of one transaction.  There is certainly more stress in the negotiation phase and adhering to the responsibilities to both parties.. disclose disclose disclose.    I have had this experience just once...and I happened to have known both parties for 3 or more years...and both trusted my integrity.  "bonus".   And this property was more than twice the average within the general market community.   I worked really hard...and of course the seller got a "Discount", because I did both sides.

If I am ever in this  postion again... there will be no discount for "both sides".  it is twice the work, and like you say, I coulda taken the buyer up the street for a full commission.  

Still I am grateful....and both clients are happy and grateful,   truly a win-win.

However,  In general practice and principal, I believe every buyer is best served by their own agent, not the name on the sign that represents the seller.   And sometimes I think there is the belief that there are agents who still show only their own listings.... dont see that much anymore, too much public information, which is good!  

This time, both parties were represented by their own agent, and through it all, everyone felt is was a "meant to be".

I dont know how I will react the next time it presents itself, but I always keep in mind referring an agent in my own office, to conduct the contract negotiations...and always tread carefully into water that isnt real clear.



Posted by Gloria Matthews, MAKING CLARK COUNTY HOME (Principal Property Brokers) almost 9 years ago

Thanks for the post Karen. What agent would not LOVE to sell their own listing? Work done to get a property listed and work done bringing a buyer both deserve pay. Yahoo!

Posted by Rachel Tipton (KingOne Properties International) almost 9 years ago

I think it is up to each individual agent to perform their duties, either to the buyer or seller, or sometimes even both. There is nothing wrong with that as long as the agent stays within the guidelines. 

Posted by Jairo Arreola #SOLDBYVETERAN, VA Home Loan Specialist - SF Bay Area (PRG Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

I also agree with you about that not only is it both sides of work, but both sides of grief sometimes too! If you get the total commission, then you worked very hard for it.

Posted by Sandy McAlpine, Search Lake Norman Homes For Sale - Lake Norman NC (RE/MAX EXECUTIVE) almost 9 years ago

Hah!  Great topic and discussion, Karen.  I have been in real estate since June, 1972.  Many of the older Realtors® I worked with at that time seldom didn't sell their own listings.  In fact, when someone said that they saw that they sold their listing and another broker was involved they would say:  "yeah, but I had to split the commission."  So it was perceived as not getting twice as much when they sold it themselves, as it was getting half as much (half-dipping?).

Most sales were constructed by building bridges to agreement; not as I see it today, with so-called 'Buyers Agents' trying to screw over the seller and 'Seller's Agent' and he who is able to be more conniving wins, in many cases.  There was a lot more honour then and in the ensuing years it has come steadily under the control of unseen minions, working in office for government, not ever having been in the trenches or having to be face-to-face with a real customer/client who needs you.  

The business now has taken on an adversarial slant that doesn't always benefit the clients.  This can be seen in many of the comments here as well.  Further, it has been promoted by the state/provincial bodies as 'fairness'.  This, to me, is a further sign of the deterioration of our culture. It's also seen in the mud-slinging political campaigns, the backwards-looking way a teacher has to egg-shell walk around rowdy and unruly students, and many other signs of lack of honour, discipline and sense of duty and rightness...the things we used to stand for that set us apart in the world.

Is it any wonder the world no longer respects, likes, or even fears us anymore?

Posted by Ken Anderson, Broker in Burlington, Ontario (Apex Results Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Karen Anne ~ I agree with you 200% and more!  I just love it when buyers want me to lower my commission on my own listing if they buy it through me.  Hello?!  My commission was already negotiated with the seller when I took the listing.  And negotiating with the seller at the time of the listing, hello?!  I still have the same amount of work whether I sell a buyer your house or another, I still have the same amount of work, I just have control over the transaction and I don't have to worry that the other agent is doing their job.

Congrats to you Karen Anne for being so straight forward by a topic that is always around.

Posted by Dawn A Fabiszak, The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience! (Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado) almost 9 years ago

Dawn:  Thank you so much for your kind words.

This post was about two things.  One... working with a buyer and a seller on the same house... my listing... is NOT about the money.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with the money.  And I am sorry, but anybody who uses that aspect about it... as my  dad used to say... is "talking through their hat."  <anyone ever heard that expression before ?>

Working with the buyer is one "one side."  Working with the seller is "one side."  And each side we "work"... brings a commission with it... no matter if it is on the same house, or on different houses.

The other thing... has to do with whether both buyer and seller are treated "fairly."  Well, if the agent involved IS ethical, knows how to be fair, just, and professional, and IF that agent is a "seasoned" agent with enough knowledge and empathy to really, truly work ethically... it can be done.

I tend to think, also, that those of us (myself included) who worked with buyers and sellers wayyyy back... since 1973 for me... well, that's the way we did it all the time.

We weren't out to take advantage of anybody.  If the buyer and the seller can meet "somewhere" where everything is mutually agreeable... then the house sells.  The "deal" is made.  Perhaps it was my nine years of teaching before that... and my degree in Psychology... that allowed me to do it right... simply because it was the right thing to do... way back then.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

Unless it is not allowed dual agency is just that!  But I do hate it when the listing agents are given free reign to advertise and put signs up BEFORE it goes in the MLS, which is what happens in Cali all of the time.

Posted by Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula, Realty Works Temecula (Realty Works Temecula) almost 9 years ago

Jane:  It might sound like we are mincing words here, but really, we are not.  Dual Agency is not allowed in Texas.  But we have something called acting as an "Intermediary."  Some might say it is pretty similar, but legally, it is different.  But again... every... yes, every state does things anywhere from a little differently, to quite a bit differently.

As far as getting signage up... in Texas... an agent can plant the sign the minute the home is actually listed, but Fort Worth/Dallas MLS rules give that agent up to five days to get the information into the MLS.  This is the case, unless the seller directs the Listing Agent to do something differently.  That, by the way, in my experience, is a rarity.  It is an advantage for the Listing Agent, but as long as it is allowed by the state, or local MLS or associations... it is legal.  Again... every state is different.  Thanks so much for your comment.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

I'm sorry Karen Anne it took me 1/2 hour to scroll down to the bottom of the comments section and I forgot what the topic of your post was. This was a very good post only made better by the comments... 

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker! (Fathom Realty Washington LLC) almost 9 years ago

Loved this! I, on occasion, act as both buyer's agent and seller's agent. A dishonest, unethical agent will be just that whether working with a buyer, working with a seller or both. Acting as a dual agent doesn't suddenly initiate dishonesty.  I truly believe there are many agents, like myself ,that toe the line when it comes to law and ethics and always fairly represent the parties in a transaction.

I've always believed if you have trouble trusting other people, it's often because you can't be trusted yourself!!!

Posted by Jamie King, Sandusky, OH (Hoty Enterprises, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

 I must admit I have been quilty of saying "Double Dipping" but only to my husband, I would never say it to a client! 

Posted by Tracy Lee Parker, Buy*Sell*Lease (RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs/PLATINUM PROPERTIES & MANAGEMENT) almost 9 years ago

The way you present it, I see no problem with this situation. The problem arises when the buyer is not actually your"client" but someone that has called you on the listing or that you have met at the open house. In that case, you are obligated to represent your seller & in order to keep the transaction ethical, you should refer the buyer to someone else (a fellow agent at your brokerage) in order to avoid "conflict of interest".

Posted by Monique Ting, Your agent under the sun (INET Realty Honolulu, HI) almost 9 years ago

Karen, I think there is MORE work involved in working both the buyer and seller!  Here we transition to Transaction Broker if/when that happens.

Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) almost 9 years ago


              Another Great Blog and I agree double dipping is a bad term; I think sometimes perception is reality. If you bring buyer and seller together that is great just some people do take advantage.

Posted by Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert almost 9 years ago

Hi Karen,  In Alaska, the term dual agent has been replaced with "neutral licensee". Both buyer and seller have to agree in writing, of course, to the agent being "neutral". I have found  transactions in which I work for the seller and the buyer to actually be easier, because I am in control of the whole process without having to rely on the other agent doing his/her part to make it a smooth transaction and pleasant experience for my clients. Call me a control freak. On the issue of money-why would I not deserve the listing and the selling side commission, if I accomplish what I promised when I was hired by my seller: to make every effort to find a buyer, and by my buyer: to help him/her find and close on a home.

Posted by Marianne Grant, Realtor, CRS 907-529-6602 (Jack White Real Estate) almost 9 years ago


I am still holding at 3 over my long career and every time I was asked to do by both sides....I did discount the overall fee to the Seller, I just felt it was the right thing to do.

Posted by Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR, SRES, e-PRO,ABR,GREEN,CSP (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038) almost 9 years ago

Karen - Fact is the home Debbie and I now own and live in I had listed. When I listed it there was no intent on buying the home.  It was new and I knew the builder well.  After checking it out we decided to make him an offer and he took it.  Almost nine years later the home we brought to flip in a couple years has become home sweet home and I think we've finally rooted :)  The deal left both us and the home owner happy. 

Posted by John McCormack, CRS, Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me! (Albuquerque Homes Realty) almost 9 years ago

Only you Karen Anne only you look at all the double dippers lurking here LOL

Posted by Charles Stallions, 800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl. (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services ) almost 9 years ago

Tracy Lee in #197:  I think I will leave all the places I COULD go... as far as you only using the term "double dipping" with your husband... but I am thinking this would be a great time to simply leave well-enough... alone. 

Paul in #195:  Forgetting things that quickly happens a lot to us older folks seasoned agents.  Not to worry, though.  You've got lots of company.

Jamie in #196:  You are very wise, Miss Jamie.  If someone finds themselves distrusting other people, they may not be very trust-worthy themselves.  Very nicely put.  I see you are from Sandusky.  Is Cedar Point still open ?  I went there many times as a little girl... and loved it.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

As usual, dear Karen Anne, you have put it all in perspective perfectly. Amen!

Posted by Liz Lockhart, GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate (Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO) almost 9 years ago

Bear got his hug. Now I'm going to send you an email, and you might not like me anymore. But I'll still like you.

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) almost 9 years ago

Hello once again Karen ... look at the comments to your post, WOW! "Great Job" and all your replies to these comments ... unbelievable!

VB ;o)

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz almost 9 years ago

Ah man!  Another featured post I missed.  I so want to take the time to read all 208 comments, but I just don't have time.  I don't often "double end" our listings, though on short sales it is actually beneficial because we have the control to make sure the buyer knows what is going on and sticking around.  But, either way, you are right - we sell that buyer our listing or we sell them another listing. 2 sides. -Kasey

Posted by Kasey & John Boles, Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties (Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - almost 9 years ago

Along with working with both sides and having greater liability involved in a dual agency, the commission is more than earned.

I'll use the money to buy a double dipped fudge sundae.

Posted by Pete Xavier, Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide (Investments to Luxury) over 8 years ago

In Virginia, the way dual agency works, neither side would truly be represented because we become paper pushers.  When someone hires us to represent them our duties include advising them on how to make or negotiate an offer.  When we "represent" both sides, we can long do that.  So for me, I don't feel that it is appropriate, or really what the client's each signed up for when they hired me to represent them, if I trip into dual agency.  So from where I sit in our state, it feels like the only person that wins IS the agent because they get paid the same amount for each client for doing LESS than they would normally do.  

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 8 years ago

double dipping should be against the law. you are not being ethical. dont post the listing to attract other buyers if you already have one you are working with. smh.

Posted by lisa almost 6 years ago