Should a Realtor Double Side a Deal if it Costs Their Seller Money?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Waves Realty BK3246853

This is a situation that happened to me recently. 

I actually have respect for the Realtor who did this. I think everything we do comes down to how we present a potential deal to our clients (either buyers or sellers).

I have a client looking to buy a home for a family member. It would be one she wants to completely remodel. 

We found a home my client loved, and we put in an offer. (full cash, short inspection period, reasonably close to list price, quick close). 

The listing agent let me know that the seller accepted another offer with what she told me was "better terms"

My client was upset that she was given no chance to up the offer or sweeten the terms. The next question from my buyer was: Did the listing agent double side the deal? (unfortunately, I had to inform the buyer that, yes, the agent double sided the deal).

My client was willing to go up in price, probably even above listing price. She would even have waived her inspection fee. 

Again, I do respect this agent. It comes down to how the listing agent likely presented the offers to the seller. If the other offer was a bit stronger than ours, common practice would be to go back to both buyers and say "we are in a multiple offer situation, I need highest and by by noon tomorrow." The likely reason this did not happen is because the agent did not present this option to the seller. (If the agent had two offers from two different agents, how would this have been handled?)

When the agent sent me a text (no phone call, no email) to let me know my client did not get it, they did not tell me it was a double side. I could sense the agent felt guilty because they likely knew they left money on the table for the seller, while putting extra money in their own pocket.

In my opinion, this agent did not work in their clients best interest...but they will have more Christmas Spending Money. 


Posted by


Jeffrey DiMuria

Waves Realty
2018 Melbourne Ct, suite 206
Melbourne, FL 32901

Phone: 321.223.6253         


Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Jeff, I had this very same scenario happen to my buyer a couple of months ago too.   It is sad they don't let us know they have both sides, or give our buyers the chance to change the purchase price.

Sep 15, 2023 07:56 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Jeffrey - life is "interesting".  As a participant and as observer from afar (or not that far).  Of course, we can "see" where realty plays into this scenario.  Consequences (may) occur in the process.  And after?  Well, that's where interest can become intriguing.  

Sep 15, 2023 08:09 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Jeff... and this is one reason I refuse to be a personal dual agent. It's an inherent conflict of interest.

Sep 15, 2023 08:11 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Jeff,

I've seen this happen before and its unfortunate this listing agent decided making extra Christmas money was more important than her seller's interest and pocketbook. What goes around, comes around and that agent will have to live with her decision and to know what other agents think of her for making her decision. Of course the right thing to do was to come back to you to have the option to readjust your offer. If it still wasn't the best deal for the seller so be it.

Sep 15, 2023 08:48 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
The best agent in Southern Utah!

Listing agents do not have to give notice to buyer agents if their client chose another offer, Jeffrey. It is downright rude, in my opinion (and put into the memory banks). In the past, I have wondered whether other offers were even presented when an agent double-sides a transaction.

Sep 15, 2023 10:32 AM
Marte Cliff

Back when I was a broker I had occasion to wonder about that on more than one occasion. In one case, I learned a year or so later that my suspicion had been true. 

Sep 17, 2023 07:48 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

A seller might not want to counter one or many of the offers received, and that's their prerogative. They don't have to ask for highest and best.

That being said, I always wonder what is actually said when the "winner" of a multiple-offer is the listing agents buyer.

Sep 15, 2023 03:22 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Jeffrey- since I'm not an agent I'm offering my opinion from the standpoint of a seller or buyer. I would find the whole thing to be a conflict of interest. I would be left wondering if I helped to pay for the agent's Christmas gifts. I would be reluctant to refer them or work with them again. 

Sep 15, 2023 06:10 PM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

We have a duty to do what is best for our clients and I have always been opposed to dual agency since we can't represent both sides fairly.

Sep 16, 2023 05:22 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Sep 16, 2023 07:12 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Why do you say you respect this agent? He clearly did not work in his client's best interests, so what is there to respect? 

Sep 17, 2023 07:46 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty

The agent generally seems to do a good job for their clients. In this case it seems they chose to work for themselves over buyer/seller.

Sep 17, 2023 07:53 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Hi, Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty 

  I have been in Real Estate since 1985.  I cannot tell you how many times I have seen a scenario like this played out.  "Sorry, the Seller accepted another offer, they declined yours."  No details, no reason, no chance to counter or respond.


  One of the worst (which resulted in legal trouble, and disciplinary action from DPBR/FREC) was a Tallahassee listing agent who did not even present an offer to his Seller.  Because that LA had his own Buyer, and the acceptance of his own offer meant both sides of the commission.    So he "failed to mention" the offer from the other Agent.

   The Buyer who was declined was upset at no response, no chance to counter. He contacted the Seller directly.  The Seller said, "I never saw your offer!"  That story did not end well for the listing agent who thought he was getting the entire commission.


    Greed can be powerful, and seductive.  In the end, it can consume you.  DO THE RIGHT THING!

Sep 18, 2023 06:05 PM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty

Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate I could not agree more. Money can be a very evil motivator. 

Sep 19, 2023 06:01 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

If think the agent in your transaction, Jeffery, was counting the bonus money he was going to receive by representing the buyer and not thinking of the best interests of his client. Just that simple.

Sep 22, 2023 10:03 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty

Totally agree John Juarez it is sad to me that this agent could not see they cost their client quite a bit of $$$ to enrich themselves.

Sep 23, 2023 07:06 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Hi Jeffrey! I had a very similar thing happen and my clients asked if I could speak to the sellers directly. They asked (as I had HOPED they would!) if they could reach out to the sellers themselves. I said, I can't tell you what to do on your own time! It was a luxury listing and in a very nice neighborhood so, I wasn't afraid at all for them at all. So, they left me and drove to visit the sellers right away.

As it happened, the sellers had NEVER seen my clients' Offer and thankfully, I had given them a copy of their Offer to take with them. The buyers, thank goodness, hadn't signed the Contract just yet (it had been sent to them to sign electronically and only one had signed). So, they voided the Offer sent to them for the listing agent's buyer and signed my clients' Offer. They then fired their agent and threatened to report her to the NC Real Estate Commission if she attempted to interfere with their sale OR ask for any fee (commissions) to be paid. My clients' Offer was substantially higher and the sellers were LIVID when they found this out - and rightfully so.

In the end, I DID report the agent to the NCREC as she reached out to me after my clients visited hers, threatening to report ME to the NCREC because "You sent your clients to speak with sellers and that is illegal and YOU KNOW IT!" In fact, she screamed at me until I very politely said, "Do what you have to do. I'm hanging up now."

Yes, she was disciplined as she deserved to be and no, I was NOT!

Oct 09, 2023 10:38 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty

That is just crazy. I am honestly not looking to get anyone in trouble. In this instance, I think what the agent did is present both offers and maybe hers was a bit higher (or had a slightly better set of terms). As I told the agent, my buyer is willing to sweeten the offer, she told me too late. She did not call for a second round of offers because (I assume) the offer the agents buyer put in was slightly better. This obviously cost the seller many thousands of dollars. 


Oct 10, 2023 10:16 AM