As a Buyer in California, the Seller is generally paying the Buyer agent commission--that means you can afford to hire the very best help possible. Unless the home is an EXCLUSIVE (meaning not on MLS and being offered only through that listing agent), you are free to choose your own agent. Consider hiring an Accredited Buyer's Agent (ABR); you can find one thru http://www.rebac.net.
I know some dual agents offer a commission discount to seller/rebate to buyer when there's dual agency but again, if it doesn't feel right, don't do it. One excellent question to ask for references from both parties on some prior transactions with dual agency that the agent has done.
Regarding the agent and the seller speaking in native tongue in front of you without translation, I view this as very unprofessional on the part of the agent.
In finding an agent to represnt you; knowledge, experience, technical ability, marketing methods, ...., etc all are important factors to consider. However, I find that the most important quality you are looking for while dealing with one of the most important transactions in your lifetime is TRUST. If you can't Trust the person, then don't go with him/her, whether it's Dual agency or not.
Now that I get that out of the way, I want to say that although I agree with most people in most situation that you should NOt go with Dual agency, sometimes you can actually do that and get real benefit out of it. Remember this is from both sides. Sometimes the best deal for a seller or buyer might or might not be money, it might be everything that's involved in a sale or purchase, whether it's money, repairs, credits, timing of close, negotiation of terms; the complete combination makes the BEST sale.
There were a few cases when my clients (seller) told me upfront that they don't want me to be DUAL agency, but after they worked with me for a while, they said that they would have loved to have me be the agent representing both sides because they know they could trust me and they wanted me to make all the comission. I took that as a GREAT compliment, and loved that this did not come from only one client but several :-)
I have never actually done DUAL Agency before, but quite a few times during my deals, I had a feeling that the other agent might not be the best communicator and misrepresented the intention of the buyer or seller; that's when I actually felt that the whole thing could have been dealt much better with only one agent. Sometime, communication is the key to a successful transaction where both sides are winners! .
So, you can see I have a lot to say about this topic; it all depends; but if you want to hear all my theory about this, you shoudl call me and we can discuss it. But to make a long story short - Make you TRUST the Realtor you work with, that's the only reason you want to work with the person whether for buy or sell or DUAL agency! - A moment ago - Delete this answer
Real Estate agents work hard to create a clean working slate and are constantly striving to do the best possible job for their clients - there are those times (such as yours) that call for individual representation. You can even contact the listing agents broker and as that he/she "designate" another agent from the same office to represent you.
You will at least feel that someone is working in your best interest, and you won't have that nagging voice inside your head wondering if you are protected.
Good luck to you and I hope this has been of some assistance to you.
A broker can work for both the buyer and the seller on the same property provided the broker gets the consent of both parties and provides each with a written notice of the relationship. In this case, the broker is considered a "disclosed dual agent." This broker owes both the seller and buyer a duty to deal with them fairly and honestly. In this type of agency relationship, the broker does not represent either the seller or the buyer exclusively, and neither party can expect the broker's undivided loyalty, or for them to advocate for either party. Undisclosed dual agency by a broker is illegal.
Melissa Mancini, Realtor, CBR, GRI