This is part II of a series. Part III will be published on Friday.
2. Your agent’s allegiance is to you and not the landlord.
If your broker’s only allegiance is to you and not to the landlord, you’ve chosen the right broker.
That’s because your broker should be looking out for you…and nobody else. Your broker might be the kind that represents tenants and landlords. If this is true, he could be spending more time schmoozing with the landlord than with you.
Real estate professionals call this situation “dual agency.” Sometimes, this means one individual negotiating for both parties.
Other times, it means one company representative works for the landlord. At the same time, another agent of the same company works for the tenant.
Picture a lawyer in a courtroom, representing both the defendant and the prosecution.
In this scenario, neither party will get fair representation.
Where there’s dual agency, one agent gets both commissions. Go with him and his divided loyalties, and you'll end up with a lousy deal.
Not every state allows the practice. In some states, brokers have to get written consent allowing them to serve as dual agents. This agreement should serve as a warning to you that your broker won't focus on you and you alone.
Find out if dual agency is legal in the state where you want to lease space. If it’s allowed, find a company that specializes in tenant representation. This eliminates any conflict of interest. And, it ensures your best interests are being served.
Otherwise, you might end up with a deal that’s less than satisfactory.