double-ending listing agent

Are Double-Ending Listing Agents Bad News for Sacramento Sellers?

double ending listing agents

Double ending listing agents tend to cost the seller money.

Double-ending listing agents have been around since I started in the business in the early 1970s. They are still in the business today. Whether they will survive the real estate shake-up in the future, like 10 to 15 years from now, is doubtful. The reason I think they’ll eventually vanish is because they are a bad idea to start with. Time will only make them worse. I also believe sellers are becoming more sophisticated. They are wising up.

Although, at least in Sacramento, double-ending listing agents happens fewer times than one might think. It’s just not all that common.

There are unscrupulous double-ending listing agents who do everything in their power, generally at their seller’s detriment, to ensure they will get both sides of the commission. They do it so innocently that most sellers never even know what’s going on.

When I look at a listing and see the following things, it’s fairly obvious to me the listing agent is trying to double-end the transaction. For example, there are almost no photographs. No photographs means buyers will call the listing agent to get more information, and then the listing agent can represent them. Or, the listing will not allow a buyer’s agent to call the seller for showings. The listing will state: call listing agent. Then the listing agent will not answer the phone when Coldwell Banker lights up. Or the agent will only return voicemail from buyers. Or, the agent makes showings very difficult, like only between 3 and 4 PM on a Thursday.

If you think this isn’t going on in Sacramento real estate, I’ve got some swamp land in Florida to sell you.

Naive sellers might think they are getting a good deal if their double-ending listing agents also represents the buyer. Even if I ask: if you were suing your husband for divorce and demanding alimony, would you use your husband’s lawyer? If your son was on trial for murder, would you hire the prosecuting lawyer as your own? Dual agency is not a good idea.

Some double-ending listing agents offer a discount, too, when they take both sides of the commission. Are sellers getting a break or are they getting taken to the cleaners? The smart sellers reject this notion of dual agency. They figure out that hiring a top-notch listing agent who only represents their interests is the way to go, and instead of making money, they lose money by hiring a discount agent intent on double ending.

When you see a big price drop or a home that sold for a lot less than the list price, often it’s the transaction in which the agent represented both the buyer and seller.

That’s why buyers call me all the time and beg me to work with them. They expect me to throw my sellers under the bus when my intentions are the opposite. I intend to maximize my seller’s profit, not reduce it for my own personal gain. To do otherwise is dishonest. To expect me to be dishonest is insulting.

There is a reason discount agents don’t get paid the same as others. You take top listing agents whose average sales ratio might be 103%, meaning they sell their listings for 3% more than list price, and all of that hogwash about double-ending saving money goes right out the window. Double-ending listing agents tend to cost money. But it’s every seller’s right to choose lousy service and bad representation if that’s what they want. It’s a free country.

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