What would you do??

linda117117July 21, 2014

I'm looking for some answers of what other agents would do in this situation. I've been in the business for almost 30'years and this has never happened before. I am working with an out of town buyer. (In have sold him one other property). He sees something online, emails me to get info, then asks me to show it to " his crew". Usually one at a time. If the first one likes it, then It goes to the second person to check out. Last time there was a third. This time, I showed it to the first crew member. She liked it, 2 weeks later I was to meet 2nd crew member there. I got to the house 20 minutes early because that's how the timing worked out from an earlier appt. When I arrived, there was a man standing at the front of the building, waiting. I thought it was the crew member. I approached and asked if he was joe? Long story short, he was not joe, but was trying to call the number on the sign to see the property and wasn't getting an answer. He asked me to show him the property. I showed him the property and he said he wants to make an offer. At that point, the crew member, joe, showed up to see the property. I told the first buyer I would call him later and we would write up the offer. Now, I took joe thru the house and today I get an email that my out of town client wants to make an offer. Since I am a buyers agent to both, I feel stuck! I don't want to put my two clients against each other. Agents, what would you do??!?

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I think all you can do is be very honest with both parties and let each of them know that there will be multiple offers with you representing both buyers. Our Buyer Agency Agreements actually spell out that all parties are aware that the buyer's agent could also represent another buyer for the same property.
Your buyer and his "crew" should realize that the way they are approaching purchasing property increases the chances of someone else coming along and snatching it out from them. With most deals, you can't make multiple visits over 3 weeks and expect not to be up against other buyers.
Chances are, one or both of the buyers are going to pry you for info about the other offer. Just tell each party to bring their highest and best and you will present both offers in their best light.
Do make sure that you perform the exact same due diligence and give the exact same advice to both parties.
There may well be some uncomfortable moments for you throughout the transaction, but if you stay honest and professional, both parties should respect you more for it in the end. If they don't, get rid of them.
Have fun, Linda.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 9:47PM
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Do you work under a broker, or are you 100% independent? If you work for a broker, talk to that person immediately. If not sooner.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 10:46PM
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what ncreguy said.

plus, I'd have each one sign a statement that I have more than one client wanting this property.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 9:27AM
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I agree with ncreg, be open and honest, highest and best it is.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 10:30AM
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I think to maintain a good relationship with your repeat buyer I would represent him and then have another agent in your office handle the other buyer. I Assume you'd still get a referral fee of that offer is accepted.

As the buyer and having the be honest about it I would not be comfortable with the arrangement of you representing both. I don't trust enough for that and it could sour my relation ship with you got forward if I didn't get the property.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 8:22PM
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This has the feel of a similar conflict of interest to representing both buyer and seller in a transaction. You can be neutral, but you can't really advocate for either one without hurting the other. As either of those parties, I'd want your full advocacy, not your neutrality.

If I were either buyer, I'd want to know that you're representing a competing buyer. And then I'd want the option to have someone else represent--and advocate for--me. If both parties are ok with shared "representation," then go ahead and be neutral. I'd start with guy #1 and ask him. If he's not ok with the dual representation, then tell guy #2 you'll refer him to someone else for his offer. If guy #1 is ok with it, then ask guy #2. If he's ok with it, then help them both write offers. If he's not, then refer him.

Could you work out a deal with another agent to assist the second buyer in the offer writing/negotiating, but then whoever "wins" gets pitched back to you for the follow-through? I don't know how commission-sharing/referral payments typically work, but it seems like if you could pay another agent 1% for negotiating a winning deal and then take it back for the rest, it might be a win-win-win-win.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 11:39PM
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Just to give an update. I let my first client know of how the second buyer came about. He appreciated the honesty and felt that he had a bottom line and it didnt matter to him what the other offer was. He was going to put his best offer forward and whatever happens happens. The 2nd buyer already knew I had a competing client because I was there to meet that client when I showed him the property. The 2nd client did wind up getting the property. He was a cash offer and the other buyer could not compete with that which he completely understood. We are now looking for something else for client #1 to invest in. Thanks to all who took the time to comment.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 6:58AM
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