Well, OK, actually they can. But because they are licensed professionals, there are more repercussions if they do than for a private buyer or seller.
If you are working with a licensed real-estate agent under an agency agreement, such as a conventional,
full-service commission agreement in which the agent agrees to represent you, your agent will be bound by law to a fiduciary relationship.
In other words, the agent is bound by law to act in his clients’ best interest, not his own.
In addition, most real-estate agents rely on referrals and repeat business to build the kind of client base they’ll need to survive in the business.
This means that doing what’s best for their clients should be as important to them as any individual sale.
Finally, if you do find that your agent has gotten away with lying to you, you will have more avenues for recourse, such as through your agent’s broker
or professional association or possibly even in court if you can prove that your agent has failed to uphold his fiduciary duties.
When a buyer and seller work together directly, they can — and should — seek legal counsel, but because each is expected to act in his or her best interest,
there isn’t much you can do if you find out later that you’ve been duped about multiple offers or the home’s condition.
And having a lawyer on retainer any time you want to talk about potentially buying or selling a house could cost far more than an agent’s
commissions by the time the transaction is complete.