Re: ‘Here’s how I’d handle dual agency …‘ (Jan. 15)
I enjoyed Tim Westhoven’s response to the article, “Time to let go of old thinking.”
As a qualifying broker, I will not allow any of our brokers to act as a dual agent. Indeed, we do not do agency at all in our office since New Mexico allows for a transaction broker.
For Mr. Westhoven, I would ask: How can you tell a buyer and a seller that you are working as their agent — with all the fiduciary responsibilities that go with that — and then turn around and tell them that now you cannot be their agent, counsel them and look out for their best interests? Should any kind of conflict develop, the broker is in an indefensible position.
I suspect a court might look at his relationship differently than he does, as very well might a professional standards tribunal.
Dual agency can and does work for many brokers, but it is full of potential problems and is, in my opinion, inherently conflicted. Isn’t it much simpler to refer the buyers to one of his associates and let them have the undivided loyalty they deserve and very well may need? And what does his qualifying broker have to say on the subject?
Santa Fe, N.M.
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