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Real Estate, Ethically Speaking

Real estate made an appearance in Randy Cohen's The Ethicist column in the Times Magazine yesterday. A reader asked,

Unknowingly, my partner and I set up appointments to see the same town house at the same time with different real-estate agents from different companies. We ended up not making an offer for this property, but if we had, which agent should we have used? Andrew Sanchez, New York
In lieu of printing Cohen's response, we asked a real estate broker friend of ours to respond. Her answer: "Ethically, the couple is not only obligated to buy the property for 20% above the asking price, but also to pay full commission to both brokers?and enjoy it." Huh, who knew?
· Affirming Inaction [The Ethicist, 2nd item]