The other day we were wondering, how often does the listing agent for a home also represent the buyer? This situation is called Dual Agency, and is something we’ve explored in the past. However, we never looked to see how often it happens in our area.
To attack the question we looked at all the single family home sales that have closed so far this year in Hartford County. The data came from the CTMLS, which is deemed reliable but not guaranteed, and was gathered on the afternoon of the 20th.
The same agent represented both the buyer and the seller in about 1 out of every 11 deals. There were 4,678 total sales, and 9.1% of the time the buyer and seller used the same agent.
We really had no idea what to expect as an answer, but 9% seems reasonable based on our experience. Agents have an opportunity to sell their listings to unrepresented buyers (who become their clients) through the advertising of their listings and through open houses. We would also expect agents with a very strong listing presence in a particular neighborhood or town to be more likely to sell their own listings since they would also attract a pool of buyers interested in their territory.
This quick analysis leads to a number of additional questions that would be interesting to research. For example, is the percentage of dual agency deals seasonal? Has it changed over time? Are some agents more likely to sell their own listings than others? If so, are there any hints as to why? If there are agents who do a disproportionate number of dual agency deals, should sellers seek them out or shy away? What are our percentages and how do they compare?
Hmmmmmm. Maybe some answers to these additional questions will even make it into a future post.