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Learning Center Experience
By Ana Machuca, PhD, CPA, CFE, CGMAFull-Time Faculty, Kaplan UniversityPublished March 2016
Did you know that when you use a realtor or lawyer
in a real estate transaction, there could be a possible conflict of interest?
This article will look at a few examples of possible conflicts of interest.
If the realtor was hired by the owner of a house and
you as the possible buyer have done a drive by and called the realtor to show
you the house, that realtor may be in a possible conflict of interest by
representing both the buyer and the seller. While it is perfectly legal for a
realtor to represent both parties, called a dual agent, I find it difficult to
actually fairly represent both parties. Since the realtor was hired by the
seller they have an established rapport and have had lengthy discussions as to
what the sellers are expecting.
this situation may seem normal to most people, we must remember that the seller
representation will be the primary goal of the realtor selling the property. If
you are ever in this situation, my recommendation is that you obtain a written
disclosure from the realtor or simply obtain your own realtor that will fight
for the best price for you since they have no loyalty to the seller.
Another conflict of interest for a realtor is if
they are self-representing, meaning they are selling their own house. In this
case, they will most certainly look out for themselves first. My recommendation
is that you obtain your own realtor that will fight for the best price for you.
The last conflict of interest in real estate refers
to the use of lawyers for the real estate transaction. Many times lawyers are hired to handle the
closing documents. There could be many combinations to include: the lender,
buyer, and seller. Again while it is legal for a lawyer to be hired by all three
parties, it is not recommended. Some real estate brokers and clients prefer to
use these practices because it saves them money and is supposed to speed up the
process. My recommendation in this situation is to hire your own lawyer so that
you know they are working to protect your rights and not everyone else.
In any real estate
transaction, always keep in mind that anyone you hired directly and not through
a third party is going to be the best option for you.
Ana Machuca is a full-time faculty member at Kaplan University. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent the view of Kaplan University.
By Cynthia Waddell, PhD, CPA, CFE
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By Stanley W. Self, CFE
By Rachel Byers, Full-Time Faculty, School of Business
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Access definitions and FAQs related to real estate.
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Kaplan Real Estate Education's Toby Schifsky looks at the factors to consider when pursuing a real estate career.
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Access preparation and practice advise from Kaplan Financial Education experts Mary Orn and Julie Ramsey.
Maylee talks about her experiences with Kaplan Financial Education and preparing for her exams.
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