What Should the Runners-Up Agents Say to the Listing Agent?

Assuming that the listing agent (representing the Seller) conducted multiple offers openly, fairly, was communicative throughout, etc. — vs. selling the home to their own Buyer* at midnight for $20k less than the highest offer — what is appropriate for the runners-up agents to say to the listing agent afterwards?

A. “Professional Standards will be hearing from me!”
B.  “You’re a  #$!%!#$ — and so is the Owner!”
C. “Good luck next time, when I’m the listing agent in multiples, and you’re representing the Buyer.”
D.  “Good job, congrats!”

Answer:  D.

That’s the correct answer not only because it’s true, but because if there’s a hiccup in the first deal, it leaves the door open for the listing agent to go back to them.

And just because it’s the right thing to say, doesn’t mean it isn’t very, very hard to spit out, when both the Buyer’s agent and their client are processing their disappointment (yup, I’ve been there).

*Called “single agent dual agency,” I regard that as a classic conflict of interest, and contractually agree when I accept a listing that I will not also represent the Buyer.

Curiously, Minnesota is one of a minority of states that allows such dual agency, provided that that’s disclosed and both parties consent (the incentive for the Seller is usually a lower commission — although in my experience, that’s usually more than offset by a lower selling price).

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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