There are different rules in different states...an attorney would be your best reference in this situation. An Attorney who specializes in Real Estate in your area can give you definite answers.... more
There are two things that can happen if a broker represents both the buyer and the seller. Broker becomes facilitator for both, basicaly broker will handle all the paperwork and make sure that everythign is going as it should be, but will not be able to advise ither the seller or the buyer as to what to offer, or what to ask for as far as contingencies go (ie, you want seller to pain the siding etc) Basically you lose the "negotiator" part of the services an agent offers, and so does the seller.
Option two is the agent will remain as sellers agent and will become facilitator to you. Meaning He/she is still working as a full service agent for the seller, but is only facilitator to you, meaning you lose the "negotiator" part of the service, but the seller still get their.
It's also possible that the agent will be willing to work with another agent in their office for negotiation part, ie, your agent would represent the seller, and some other agent would represent you in the negotiations, but your agent would handle all the paper work etc.
Benefits? Depends on a situation, if you are offering near or full asking price, and have no contingencies (other than the usual mortagage and inspection) then by working with the same agent, you may get an easier/faster transaction, since your agent wwouldhandle everything and won't need to wait for listing agent to get back to them etc.
But that's about it. Seller might have it in their contract that if the listing agent gets both sides of a commission than the total comission is lower (ie. 6% normal, 5% if agent gets both sides) but that has no impact on you since you still pay 100% of whatever offer you make.
I would suggest you talk to you agent, see what they would do if you were to buy their listing. Although, if you plan to lowball or negotiate a lot, I'd suggest working with a different agent, and your current agent could get a referral.... more