There are a lot of good agents on Trulia. Check them out. I'd recommend Adam Duckwall of Edina Realty at 651-353-4650 or email@example.com
Minnesota law does allow for duel agency as long as that situation is disclosed to both parties and both parties agree in writing to this arrangement. If either party opts out, then this situation will not work.
What you lose in a duel agency situation is that the agent cannot advise either buyer or seller as to strategy regarding negotiating terms and price. Neither buyer nor seller could communicate strategy to the agent as the agent may be compelled to report this information to the other party. The agent becomes a conduit between the buyer and seller.
Most agents are wise not to represent both sides of a transaction excepting in circumstances where price and terms have been negotiated by parties before hand (transactions involving family members, etc). In this case they are acting more as a facilitator rather than advocate.
Other than that how can he really be benefiting you?
Imagine if you were the seller of the house and he was your agent for that, as a seller the only way you would agree to this was if the agent guaranteed you that he would still get the best price possible right? Which automatically puts you at a disadvantage, how do you negotiate with yourself?
Senior Loan Officer
Spectra Financial Home Mortgage
Mendota Heights, MN 55120
Clearly, the seller's agent you are talking to developed a trust relationship with his/her seller when hired to sell the home. This agent was given secret information regarding the seller's bottom line price and ideal closing date.
That agent is financially and legally attached to the seller, to keep the information private and to perform for the seller. You, as buyer, become the tool which the agent uses to make the seller happy.
You are at a clear disadvantage when you enter into this transaction unrepresented by your own independent real estate counsel. I strongly recommend that you decline this inadequate means of representation and instead get your own "Buyer's Agent".
In some cases, the agent knows the property extraordinarily better than another agent, and may indeed be able to honestly assist both parties. Unfortunately, where money is concerned, it's hard to trust anybody. At least a buyer's agent can ask informed questions. It's also dubious to carve commissions, especially in a multi-offer situation. In Kansas, it's not ethical to negotiate commission with a buyer , but the SELLER can negotiate their commission with their agent. To sum up, you have to have some knowledge of real estate and a great sense of the integrity of the people involved to determine whether or not all can be trusted. Frankly, I've been impressed with people's integrity more often than their dishonesty, but that doesn't mean I encourage my kids to trust everybody! Do take care.
A listing agent first loyalty and fiduicary responsibility is to the seller. And its a very fine ethical and legal line they walk when they also become your agent. But once again, their first loyalty and fiduciary responsibility is to the seller. Also, their commission will be determined by how much they sale the home for. That said, very few realtors can walk such a fine line and maintain their professional integrity and accountability. Only you know whether or not you may have one of those rare exceptions offering to represent you. But if you have even the slightest doubt, get your own agent.