As you can see by the multitude of answers listed below that there are varying but similar views. It's definitely allowable in some states, while it isn't in others.
Personally - I want my own lawyer, doctor, and yes real estate agent. I want to know that the person representing me doesn't have to tackle any "side" issues. An agent should be dedicated to you and you alone.
While there are some extremely competent, ethical, moral, and dedicated agents out there - that is really not the issue. The issue is the "split".
Do yourself and the other agent a favor - get someone who will have only your interests to deal with. It's clean and you don't have to second guess any decisions or wonder about loyalties severed.
When an agent represents both the sellers and the buyers, it is called a 'Dual Agency'. Actually, since a real estate contract, whether listing or purchasing is really signed with a Brokerage; if you sell and buy with agents from the same brokerage firm, "Dual Agency' also applies in that case.
In a lot of cases, we try to refrain from representing both sides. The prevailing question is where the loyalty of the agent will lie? When negotiating for contracts, repairs and other terms, as an agent who probably knows the bottom of both sides, will the agent try to negotiate the best terms fro the sellers or for the buyers? This one of the major reason why it is recommended not to use the same agent for both sides.
However, if the situation is fully disclosed and both sides know the implication of dual agency; also, both sides know and trust the agent; and if the term works for both sides (seller is happy if he can get xxx and the buyer is thrilled he can get xxx), then itâ€™s a win-win for both. This is especially true after the property has been on the market for a while and a buyer comes in make an acceptable offer thru the same agent, this will work well for both because the seller wants to sell and the agent knows the buyerâ€™s situation, hopefully to hold the deal together.
When it was the hot sellerâ€™s market, my company have a policy that if an agent is representing both, all the offers will be sealed and sent to the manager, instead of the listing agent, and the manager will present the offer to the sellers so all offers will be on level playing ground.
Bottom line is, if you have experience, capable, knowledgeable and trustworthy realtor, you should not worry.
Keller Williams Realty