real estate

7 questions home sellers should ask agents

Do you rep both sides of the transaction?
Do you rep both sides of the transaction? © Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock.com

It's perfectly normal for some agents to work on either the sell side or the buy side, but not both. But some agents do both, which means it's a good idea to ask what happens if your agent ends up on both sides of your deal, according to Jenelle Isaacson, owner of Living Room Realty in Portland, Ore.

"Although it isn't automatically a conflict of interest, a situation where the agent represents both the buyer and the seller in the same deal can get sticky, and many clients end up feeling like they don't know whose interest the agent is really looking out for," says Isaacson.

There's no one-size-fits-all answer to the question. According to Isaacson, her office encourages agents in that situation to refer the buyer to another agent. But other agents can, and do, handle both sides and don't feel the need to make such a referral.

"What's important is that the agent is able to walk you through their protocol for such a scenario before an actual offer," says Isaacson. "Otherwise, things can get stressful and heated."

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