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But it's not possible for an agent to act as a fiduciary for both buyer and seller, and if acting as a 'middleman' counterparty, then there are two adversarial relationships to negotiate.
Whereas a development partner can often consensually agree with the other partners - with whom he is working as a service provider - a share in the outcome of a collective project. This is not difficult to document, but is not always possible because people are human, and expectations diverge.
My experience is that a partnership enterprise model is capable of delivering an agreement possible in no other way, but it's not a magic bullet.
The simplest (if not necessarily the most elegant) way to make the neutral third party put their ass on the line is for them to give out a lot of money and only get it back if their judgement is sound.
The simplest way IMHO is to appoint a custodian of the project, of the fund flows, and of the purpose of the project. That does not make them a counterparty - merely a steward. Transparency to all stakeholders is essential, and indeed in everyone's interests.
How do you make the banks-as-service-providers go bust if they fail to perform due diligence?
By making some or all of their income - which is essentially the reward for the use of their 'human capital' - contingent upon the outcome.
"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed"
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