Home Buying in Oak Park>Question Details

Ceohome2011, Home Buyer in Oak Park, IL

what are the pros and cons of an agent representing both seller and buyer. How do you negotiate in such situation as so the buyer, seller and agent?

Asked by Ceohome2011, Oak Park, IL Mon Nov 8, 2010

come out pleased?

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You have to first understand that representing the seller and buyer in Illinois is legal, unlike some other states. It's called "dual agency". The big issue is that it must be disclosed and accepted. For example: the seller may allow but the buyer doesn't. In that situation the buyer has the right to go seek another agent and be represented. The biggest down fall is that you really don't have any representation during the negotiation. The agent can't make any recomendations or offer any suggestions. The second he / she does then they're now showing a level of representation.

My suggestion would be to consult your attorney and get their advise and suggestions before you decide.

Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 9, 2010
There are a lot of differing opinions on this subject. Here is one. What you are talking about is dual agency. As a broker owner and a practicing Realtor, I do not subscribe to the idea of dual agency. It is legal in Illinois, but is not legal in some other states.

The pros are, as the seller, you can often negotiate a lower rate, as the broker will get both sides of the transaction/sale. Sometimes this allows them to accept a lower buyer offer, a potential plus for the buyer. Maybe not. Some would say that another pro for both sides is that you are dealing with the same person and that person knows everything about the sale and the parties.

My opinion is that the only pro is the potential cost savings, but the cons definately outweigh the pros. In a negotiation, there are certain information and strategies that are only known to the client and the agent. If the agent is working both sides - they know everything. That is not an advantage for anyone. It is like playing chess with yourself. How can you employ a strategy to win if you know your next move.

Also - as a Realtor, we can't reveal any information to another party, unless our client consents. In this case, any human being is going to have a difficult time separating information and equally representing both sides to the best of their ability without, even accidentally, violating that trust and confidentiality.

A listing agent who has a buyer contact them directly will want to represent both sides, but as a practice, I don't allow that. If I or one of my agents is presented with this situation, as the broker, I designate another agent to represent the buyer to ensure that both parties receive the best service and ultimate care to make certain their interests and only their interests are being represented.

As a buyer or a seller it is your legal right to refuse dual agency. In a listing agreement or a sales contract, the buyer and seller must agree to dual agency. You can ask the agent to have the broker designate another agent to represent either you or the other party.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 8, 2010
The pros are you are going to have a Realtor who will work very hard to close the deal...the con is you no longer have someone negotiating on your behalf and trying to get the best possible outcome for you. When an agent decides to do dual agency they can no longer be an advisor to either client. They simply become a mediator between two parties trying to negotiate a deal. It's kind of like a football coach coaching two opposing teams. Who's he rooting for? In my opinion it is better to have someone looking out for your best interest. If you are in need of a Realtor to represent you in a deal please feel free to call me anytime...for any reason, stay in touch Aislinn Ryan 847-707-1590 American Realty Network, Inc
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 8, 2010
Frankly, I don't see a whole lot of "pros" in most situations. I believe it is best to for both the buyer and the seller to have someone they can talk freely to and ask for advice. When the same person represents both buyer and seller it is hard to get fair answer from your agent to simple questions like "what do think of this counteroffer?"

Dual Agency can happen for many reasons, including an offer coming from someone that visits an open house and does not have an offer. Every real estate agent handles this differently. What I would do in this situation is explain to the prospective buyer that I am want their interests to be protected, as well as my clients. They I would refer them to another agent, probably someone in my office that respect. This way both parties of the transaction can have a professional assisting them with the transaction and looking out for their respective interests.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 8, 2010
When an agent represents both the seller and buyer, this is called dual agency and both parties must agree to it in writing. The agent has to act as an impartial mediator in the transaction and cannot explicitly advise either party as to offer or counter-offer amount. If you want to be sure you're getting the best representation available, it would be a good idea to make sure you have a dedicated agent who's working completely for you.

Laurie Christofano, Realtor, Buyer Specialist, SFR (Short Sales & Foreclosures Resource Specialist)
The Pych Team, Oak Park's #1 Pick for real estate
RE/MAX in the Village
Cell/Text: 630.248.1976
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 8, 2010
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