The Man & The Satyr, Dual Agency, and How You Avoid a Bad Situation

man and satyr

Aesop’s Fable, The Man & The Satyr

A Man had lost his way in a wood one bitter winter’s night. As he was roaming about, a Satyr came up to him, and finding that he had lost his way, promised to give him a lodging for the night, and guide him out of the forest in the morning. As he went along to the Satyr’s cell, the Man raised both his hands to his mouth and kept on blowing at them. “What do you do that for?” said the Satyr.

“My hands are numb with the cold,” said the Man, “and my breath warms them.”

After this they arrived at the Satyr’s home, and soon the Satyr put a smoking dish of porridge before him. But when the Man raised his spoon to his mouth he began blowing upon it. “And what do you do that for?” said the Satyr.

“The porridge is too hot, and my breath will cool it.”

“Out you go,” said the Satyr. “I will have nought to do with a man who can blow hot and cold with the same breath.”

So, I was reading this famed fable from Aesop to my kids earlier this week before bed, and I was explaining the moral of the story to them, which is that those who talk out of both sides of their mouth can’t be trusted. After a brief discussion with them about what this means, it hit me like a ton of bricks. This is the tale of dual agency in real estate! I think about this stuff way too much y’all, I know. If you’re not familiar with dual agency, it’s essentially when an agent represents both the buyer AND the seller in a transaction.

Matthew 6:24 says, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.” Before we jump to conclusions, I’m not here to compare serving your clients is like serving God, but the point is well taken that you can’t have two masters. In a real estate transaction, you have clear responsibilities and duties, not to mention moral and ethical obligations, to your client, but what happens when you are charged with those same responsibilities and duties on both sides? Yikes! You can be in for a really awkward situation as an agent, but the real people who lose are the clients. The agent gets both sides of the deal so financially they are happy, but neither side gets their fair shake in the transaction. The agent is pulled from one side to the other and never really able to give great advice or prove their worth, and they are getting paid DOUBLE for it. Doesn’t sound like a real win-win, right?

One of the significant advantages of having a buyer specialist team within The Peters Company team is that I don’t have to do dual agency in a transaction. In fact, I won’t do it. The buyer team represents the buyer, and I represent the seller. I love that I am able to avoid those uncomfortable situations, and I love that our clients get what they deserve in strong representation. Yes, I could make more money representing both sides, and I’ve seen it work fine in the past. In fact, most agents try to do it. However, I sleep well knowing I did everything in my power to get the best deal for my client and that I gave them the best advice and representation possible.

If you see a home you want, don’t be fooled into thinking that you can save money without representation by just working through the listing agent. You’re just making that listing agent rich and losing out on representation in one of the largest financial decisions of your life. We don’t talk out of both sides of our mouth. The Peters Company represents industry leading customer service with the highest moral and ethical standards. Let us show you what that looks like. Call us today!

Written by Andy Peters, Listing Specialist

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