The real cost of double-ending

by Olivia D'Orazio04 Dec 2014
Opponents suggest double-ending represents little monetary gain for potentially large reputational losses, but just how little is that gain? REP does the math.
 
“I personally don’t think [the money] should [matter] but we know it certainly does,” says Ken Lamb an agent in Calgary, adding he believes double-ending should be banished all together. “It makes a big difference. I’ve had situations where individuals cut corners and do things they shouldn’t just to end up with a double-ender. We can say [the money] doesn’t matter but it does.”
 
That scenario and the potential erosion of a client’s respect for an agent is something preventing many professionals from adopting the practice of acting as both the buying and selling representative. That potential risk notwithstanding, the number of agents on the other side are growing, but at what cost?
 
The average double-ending deal sees an agent take about double the commission. Considering an average home price of $419,699 – based on the latest national CREA numbers – and assuming a five per cent commission and a 50/50 split, an agent takes home $5,246.24. A double-ending agent, however, would take home about $10,492.48.
 
However, a good number of agents don’t share Lamb’s take on the practice.
 
“I think the value I bring to the table is what it is,” says Rod Doris, an agent in Oshawa, Ont., adding he doesn’t have a problem with double ending. “At the end of the day, both the buyer and seller are happy with what transpires, so there’s never a question of whether or not I was earning too much.”
 
Lois Lemcke, however, says the issue takes on a very different face based on your region. For her part, selling real estate in rural Ontario, double ending is not only a regular occurrence, but her clients actually prefer it.
 
“I found that people want to deal with me, because I know the house,” she says. “I know who bought it the first time and the second time. In the old days, you went straight to the listing agent.”
 

COMMENTS

  • by Scott Simmons 12/6/2014 1:18:06 PM

    Double ending and trying to represent both the buyers and sellers is a slippery slope. Yes one can do it and make the deal happen but did the buyer really get all the facts? Could the buyer have made a better deal with a buyers agent working for them? IMHO I think the buyers always need their own representation.

    If the deal goes sideways and it ends up in court I think one could have a hard time explaining to the judge they were working for both the buyers and the sellers.

    I work mostly as a buyers agent and see the sales that are double ended and never see the "deal" usually it's the other way and it's not a "deal" but that's just my own personal observation.

    In our market the same agents who seem to over price their listings seem to be the ones who double end constantly.

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