The answer’s simple.
Don’t use the seller’s agent as your agent!
Makes sense, right? Yet, people do it, all the time. Smart people.
Unfortunately, things can go wrong. Very wrong.
From Inman News, by way of the Boston Globe:
DEAR BOB: We got ripped off when buying our first home last November. Our first mistake was letting the listing agent act as a “dual agent” to represent both the seller and buyer. Our second mistake was trusting her, as she turned out to be a real crook. Imagine our surprise, after the closing, when we got the keys to our new home and discovered the sellers had removed all the light fixtures (leaving bare wires in the ceiling). They took even the built-in dishwasher, cook-top range and built-in oven.
The buyers in this case did several things wrong, in addition to consenting to dual agency. They didn’t have a good lawyer, I’d suggest, since a well-written purchase and sale contract would have outlined what was included and not included in the sale.
In addition, it appears the buyers didn’t go through the property the day before closing.
The final walk-through is crucial. It’s your last, best chance to make sure the property is in the same condition as it was the day you first saw it.
Dual agency is legal in Massachusetts. I strongly suggest you not take advantage of it.
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Updated: 1st Q 2018