May 19, 2011

Dual Agency vs Buyers Agents

How using the agent who is listing the house you want to buy can cause a conflict of interest.  Here are a few reasons why using a Portland Buyers Agent will help you get on equal ground with the seller.

When you work with a real estate agent to help you find a home, you either hire a  buyer’s agent, one who works for you not the seller or a dual agent. You have a dual agent if your real estate agent is both representing you as a buyer and the seller of the home you want to buy. This is usually is a conflict of interest even though it is legal here in Oregon.

When you use a buyers agent you eliminate the dual agency.  This also ensures you have someone who is working only for you and not the seller.  Click here to read a post about myths in using a buyers agent.

Now, imagine a realtor working with a seller for quite some time.   The listing agent has invested quite a bit of time and money to get the sellers to list their home with that agent.   Numerous meetings with the seller, emails and phone conversations, essentially forming an important relationship with the seller.  That listing agent has promised that seller the highest possible price, and in fact the agent owes his client a legal and fiduciary duty to the sellers during the entire course of the real estate sale.

Now imagine the same agent begins working with a buyer.  They want to use this same Realtor to purchase their Portland real estate.  The buyer likes that same house the agent is listing for the seller mentioned above.  Now that agent has a legal and fiduciary duty to get his new buyer the lowest possible price and represent them in the transaction.

Here is something to think about, who will the agent fight for the most?  Is this agent going to try and get the lowest price and best terms for the new buyers?  Or will he be looking out for the sellers best interest, who hired him in the first place?   Could there be any conflict of interest?

Here are a few points to why using a buyers agent to represent you in a home purchase will help you avoid that conflict of interest. Making contact and "hiring" a buyers agent from the start of your home search can benefit you when you close your deal.

1.  You have an agent who represents only your interests without a conflict with the seller.   If you hire an agent to represent you as your buyer’s agent, you eliminate those conflicts that can work against your best interests.

2.  You can find and hire a buyer’s agent who has the experience and professional abilities you need as you get ready to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. The best part is that you as a buyer do not pay for their services. The listing agent is the one who pays the buyers agent who bring in a buyer.  In dual agency, the buyer agent commission (also known as BAC) would be kept by the listing agent essentially doubling his commission.

3.  A buyer’s agent has a focused interest in protecting you, and that means using all of their resources, knowledge and experience to help you find the best home, negotiate the best price, handle all contingencies appropriately, protect you from legal liabilities and contract ambiguities, and in being your transaction coordinator until the close of the sale.

4.  Because your buyer’s agent does not have a legal or fiduciary duty to protect the seller, he can negotiate the price and terms entirely with your interest and preferences in mind.

5.    If your buyers agent is not trying to represent the seller, they will be in it for you and you alone.  Since they don't represent the seller, there is no dual agency and no conflict of interest from dual agency.

6.  A Portland real estate buyer’s agent has a desire to help you do your due diligence on the home you wish to purchase to help avoid problem areas that may not be completely pointed out to you by the  agent representing the sellers.

A  professional buyer’s agent will help you find the ideal home without biases, provide you information to help you make and informed decisions about location, help you negotiate the best possible price and terms, and guide you through the transaction in its entirety all the way to closing.



Rich Peralta is a real estate professional in the Portland Metro Area, including Lake Oswego, Tualatin and  West Linn Real Estate.

He can be reached at 503.961.2181 or by e-mail at

Contact him  for more information on Portland,  Lake Oswego or West Linn Real Estate!


Originally posted on West Linn Real Estate.

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