Double running is common nowadays

Jason Werth

Being a chartered surveyor and belonging to an institution that is revered around the world has always filled me with pride.

It therefore comes as second nature to maintain high levels of professionalism and integrity when conducting business.

I was recently asked about my views on double running. This is where an estate agent represents a buyer and a seller on the same investment transaction and collects fees from both parties.

Sadly, this inappropriate practice is becoming more common.

Although tough times call for tough measures we mustn’t compromise our principles and codes of conduct by resorting to unethical and unacceptable practices that clearly present conflicts of interest.

How can it be possible to cope with the dilemma of trying to achieve the highest price for one party and the lowest for the other?

Estate agents justify their actions by referring to Chinese walls – procedures by a company that acts for both parties in the same transaction to prevent confidential information from being shared internally between the individuals acting for the buyer and seller.

My advice is that if your client is selling one of the biggest assets they are likely to own and the party they instructed to act in their best interests to get the best price informs them that they may also act for a potential buyer, they need to run the other way fast.