Co-Listing With Two Brokers: The Clever Move That’s Actually a Red Flag

This is a rare occurrence, but that is actually why it stands out.

In many divorces sales, each principal feels more comfortable having their own designated agent co-brokering the sale for them. One spouse has their trusted preference, and the other opts to bring in their own agent. It can be for peace of mind, confidentiality, or any number of reasons. On our team, we have had many closings where two agents were involved and they worked separately for each respective client.

The wrinkle here is when the agents are from two separate brokerage firms. In those instances, savvy buyer agents will often suspect that a divorce in involved. It almost telegraphs that fact. This is not the message you want to send, because, as I have said many times before, protecting the confidentiality of the seller clients is among our biggest responsibilities. It is indeed smart to have two agents in transactions where the parties prefer their own representation, but it’s actually a red flag when those agents work for two different brokerages.

I have co-listed with other brokerages in a matrimonial listing before. On the most recent case the other broker was a consummate professional and a true pleasure to work with. And the only offer we received was nearly $50,000 under the list price and more than 20,000 less than a prior offer they received when the house had been listed previously with another (singular) brokerage. We settled on a higher negotiated price than the opening bid, but the sellers did get a five figure haircut off of what I think was a fairly competitive list price.

As always, we want to protect our clients and advocate for their best interests. Many ideas that sound good have to be evaluated against the law of unintended consequences, and while a separate agent for each seller is smart, having them from different companies can neutralize the cleverness of the arrangement.

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