Consumer groups frown on it, calling it, at best, "nonsensical," at worst, "legalized fraud," but to the real estate industry, the practice of "double-ending" real estate deals, in some states referred to as dual agency, is a more nuanced practice — one that is fairly common and often acceptable under certain circumstances, though perhaps at times difficult to navigate.

Inman News recently conducted an online survey of agents and brokers — "Real Estate: Behind the Curtain" — that asked real estate professionals about the frequency and acceptability of more than three dozen customs and practices, including the practice of agents engaging in dual agency and other forms of "double-ending," or representing both buyer and seller in the same transaction.

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