Any Ethical Questions with seller being our real estate agent?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Any Ethical Questions with seller being our real estate agent?

We are interested in buying a new house where the seller is the listing agent.
We are working with them directly to help sweeten our offer so they dont have
to pay for a buyers agent commission.

Our offer is contingent on us selling our current house.

Is there any legal or ethical wrongdoing if we try to sweeten our offer even
more by asking them to also be our sellers agent, so they could earn the
commission from selling our current house?

They would be motivated to sell our house quicker in order to help us close on
their own house.

Asked on January 18, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it would be a conflict of interest. As your agent, they have to look out for your interests--e.g. get you the best deal. But as the seller, their interest is to get the best deal for themselves. They cannot look out for you and themselves simultanously, so there is an ethical conflict that would prevent this.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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