Double-ending a ‘black eye’ for the industry

by Jamie Henry30 Oct 2014
The REP forum is ripe with debate on the ethics of double-ending, but one player says agents need to know the issue is blackening the industry’s reputation – no matter what side of the debate you fall on.

“At best, this practice is a slippery slope and has the ability to produce some very nasty press,” Alan, a commenter in the REP forum, wrote. “And goodness knows our industry does not need to encourage bad press.”

Alan’s stand garnered much support. Commenter Patricia laid out her similar beliefs quite frankly.

“As agents with a fiduciary duty to clients, I think double ending is rarely doable,” she wrote in the forum. “Presumably the seller is paying you to negotiate and if you have any skill in that regard, a buyer would expect the same. So if a seller hires a skilled agent, then that agent should be pushing the price up or, for the buyer, pushing it down. It is not possible to do both at the same time, so neither client is getting good service.”

However, there were also many opposing views.

“If you are an ethical, by-the-book [agent] there is no issue,” wrote Mary, a REP forum commenter. “There's no greed involved if you just do your job, please the seller and the buyer, do it right, by the book and you get paid.”

Lois Lemcke, meanwhile, commented that she has acted on both ends of the transaction for some 90 per cent of her deals.

“The buyer always called the listing agent as they believed they were the most knowledgeable about the property,” Lemcke wrote. “I have found that the sellers have a bottom line and so do the buyers and that is pretty well where it settles.”

Lemcke went on to argue the reason for the controversy surrounding double-ending stems from agents attempting to control the situation.

“We are neither the buyer [nor] the seller in a transaction,” she wrote. “I find representing both parties offers more knowledge and achieves the best results. I act as a ‘go-between,’ not their lawyer.”

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