“If there’s a multiple offer situation and the listing agent has his own buy offer, it is Harvey Kalles’ policy that we have another agent or manager present on their behalf,” says Ira Jelinek, an agent in Toronto. “So I’ll never represent the buyer and seller in multiple offer situations. I’ll have someone work on behalf of me.”
Most protocols, whether put in place by a brokerage or by a provincial regulating body, call for agents to provide fair and unbiased services to all their clients, no matter the situation.
“Multiple offer situations are pretty tough,” says Peter Redekopp, a managing sales rep in Winnipeg. “We have a strict protocol here in Manitoba…basically agents are required to provide a level playing field.”
Regardless of the number of offers, Redekopp says agents need to cover their bases to ensure they are remaining within the confines of ethical practices. For instance, Redekopp says agents should inform potential clients that they are representing other players, and that buyers are entitled to their own representation. Agents are also not permitted to disclose private information to competing parties or to the buyer or seller.
Indeed, double-ending agents essentially act as arbitrators between clients: presenting a buyer’s offer to the seller, and presenting a seller’s counter offer to buyers. Redekopp says agents should still educate their clients about market conditions, but keep from revealing private information, such as the motivation for selling.
“You have to treat each party fairly and let them come to their own decisions,” he tells REP. “And keep your nose clean.”
Agents are increasingly comfortable with the practice of double-ending, but that’s placing greater emphasis on the protocols they have in place to protect both their clients and their reputations when multiple-bidding situations are thrown into the mix.