Good information from Debe Maxwell on a buyer's agents role in real estate:
Buyer Representation – Is It Really Necessary?
Question: Do home buyers need the help of a Buyers Agent?
Answer: You bet ! When buyers work with a real estate professional who is 100% loyal and completely committed to them, chances are that the entire home-buying process will go smoothly and with a higher level of buyer satisfaction.
Question: What is a Buyers Agent?
Answer: A Buyers Agent works solely for you, the buyer, and has no legal or other responsibilities to the seller.* When working with a Buyers Agent, you have the advantage of personal representation, independent counseling, loyalty, confidentiality, and trust. On the other hand, while helping you present an offer and then negotiate and close a transaction, a general real estate agent has certain fiduciary responsibilities to the seller and agent of any property you choose.
*In a case where the property your agent is representing you to purchase is also that agent’s listing, dual agency applies. Talk to your agent for more information.
Question: Can a Buyers Agent show us the same properties?
Answer: Yes, a Buyers Agent can show you any home that is listed in the Realtor's® Multiple Listing Service (MLS), PLUS Real Estate Owned (REO) and For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties. Additionally, a Buyers Agent can show you builder models to select your own, brand-new properties and unlisted homes.
Question: Will a Buyers Agent disclose information to us?
Answer: Yes indeed. Because a Buyers Agent's fiduciary responsibility is to you, the buyer, he or she can be more forthcoming with any negative aspects about properties that you are investigating for purchase.
Question: Does a Buyers Agent make decisions for us?
Answer: No, absolutely not. As your personal ally, advocating your best interests, a Buyers Agent is obligated to provide you with maximum information about buying a home, each step of the way. That means disclosing specifics about location, property values, offering price, negotiations, counteroffers, contingencies, financing, and the entire closing process. Armed with such vital and detailed information, you’ll be thoroughly prepared to make decisions that are right for you and your family.