One of the reasons I first got into Real Estate was after a very unimpressive and somewhat traumatic experience I had when trying to sell my first home. In the process, I realized two things….customer service and accountability were absolutely critical if one wanted to be successful and every client needs 100% representation. I won't go into the details of my nightmare but suffice it to say in the end no one was looking out for my best interests. A commission was made entirely at my expense and I've had a bad taste in my mouth ever since.
Since entering the business, I have devoted my career to dealing with only one side of a transaction. I don't feel the Dual Agent is doing anything unethical or improper (when it's legal to do so in your state) but I've never seen the benefit of spending so much time, money, and energy to secure both sides of a transaction. I consider myself a marketing specialist and a facilitator so my objective is to expose my listings to as many potentials buyers as possible – often times this is through their buyer's agent.
On some occassions I have secured the buyer and have given them the option of working with an agent they are comfortable with, having me refer them to another agent, or suggesting they represent themselves. If they want to proceed without representation, I offer them the buyer's agents 3% to be used as a discount in sales price or as a seller concession. My Broker and I are fine with the arrangement as long as the buyer signs a liability waiver and agrees to seek legal counsel when necessary. My sellers love the flexibility of options and the buyers appreciate the upfront approach.
Am I alone here? I know this is a sore subject with many agents and this is not meant to offend – only provoke some intelligent debate and possibly allow me to better see the "other side" of the fence. There is no right or wrong here and I'm not implying any one way is better than the other. This is simply what works best for me.