I would only do this if your listing broker will also sign a disclosure form that says that they will be acting as a BUYER'S BROKER for you.
The State of New York has a nice form for this that I use all the time:
In New York State by default, all agents/brokers work (as sub-agents) for the seller. They are supposed to disclose this in writing if it's a house, at least orally if it's a co-op or condo. [As an aside, who cuts the check to the broker does not determine who the broker represents--not in New York. Strange but true!]
So, in the absence of this buyer's broker disclosure, you've got an agent who's working for you to sell your apartment, and then simultaneously working for the SELLER of any apartment you might want to buy.
As your listing agent, they almost certainly are privy to confidential information about you. It's hard to avoid that, in my opinion it's not even wise to avoid that. If they are working for the seller when you're looking to buy, they could use that information against you to benefit the seller--which is, by the way, their job when they are representing sellers.
So I would insist on a buyer's broker arrangement with whatever listing agent/broker you choose. If they won't do it, look at you blankly, or if they propose dual agency instead (you can read the warning about that on the state disclosure form referenced above), if I were you I would not work with them to purchase a property. I would find someone else and get a buyer's disclosure from them as well.
The other thing that can happen is an in-house listing--your listing broker also has the listing for your dream apartment, let's say.
In that case she or he can't be your buyer's broker, because they've already signed on as a seller's broker. The common solution is a designated agent is appointed within the brokerage to represent you. That's fine--but ideally, you should also get a buyer's broker disclosure from that person, in my opinion.
Not all agents/brokers work this way, a lot of people think the whole disclosure legal requirement is silly. I strongly disagree, obviously. These laws exist to protect consumers and to provide transparency in these high-stakes transactions. Transparency and proper disclosure (who is representing whom as an agent) ultimately benefit everyone.
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
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