The idea of an agent representing both buyer and seller in the same transaction gets a lot of play among realtors and consumers alike.
The do-gooder agents will tell you to get your own realtor, instead of relying on the listing agent to be your agent too. Most of their arguments are centered around the listing agent being more loyal to the seller, so obviously the buyers will get screwed.
But have you noticed how often you see a low sale (which stand out these days because they are so rare) being a result of the listing agent representing both parties? The buyer and agent conspire to write a low offer, and somehow the agent convinces the seller that it’s the best they can do.
It usually a long-time listing, where sellers are giving up hope – and they let down their defenses because of the lack of offers.
Before sellers take a lowball offer, especially written by the listing agent, they should insist on lowering the price to the midpoint to see if there are any other takers out there.
Usually if a listing has languished for more than a month or two, buyers give up on it, rather than making a lower offer. A decent price reduction could get it back on their radar, and give the house a chance to sell for fair-market value.