In the Real Estate world, dual agency means that your Realtor is working both for you and for the person on the other side of the transaction (both buyer and seller). While it is illegal for an attorney to do this in Illinois, it is legal for a Realtor to represent both sides on a real estate deal so long as it is disclosed.
Should I agree to dual agency?
Whether or not you should agree to it is really dependent upon your own personal comfort level. You will each have an attorney looking out for your own legal interests, which is not the job of your Realtor. However, some people are uncomfortable knowing that their agent is working both sides of the same transaction because many people like to tell things to their Realtor in confidence. While in Dual Agency scenarios, the agent owes specific duties to both the buyer and seller, such as not disclosing the confidential information of one party to another- it can create awkward situations and inadvertent mis-steps on the part of the Realtor. The result of dual agency is that the role of the agent may be limited. The agent can no longer help negotiate terms for the sale or the purchase of a home, finding the home seller on their own. In my opinion, this defeats the purpose of having a Realtor.
On the other hand, if a purchase price was agreed upon before your Realtor comes on the scene, it might be more tolerable. You need to have a high level of trust for your Realtor, which you should anyway. Then you may be more inclined to consent to dual agency.
If you just aren’t sure if you want to have a dual agent in your Illinois real estate transaction, call me and I can recommend a reputable real estate agent to help you in the Chicago area.