The real estate transaction can be tricky and folks that don't go through the process often enough might seem confused when it comes to the responsibilities of the agent.
In most real estate transactions there are two agents involved; the buyers agent (also called the selling agent) and the listing agent. One works for the seller and one works for the buyer. If the same agent works for both buyer and seller its considered a "dual agency". This can be very confusing because both parties may feel they are not being properly represented especially if the same agent is also representing the other party. This is where it's important to understand who your agent is and what they do for you.
If you're buying a home it's best to obtain your own buyers agent. You need protection when purchasing real estate and your interests are the top priority for buyer's agents. The listing agent's primary goal is to sell that house for as much profit as possible. A buyer's agent looks after the buyer in a transaction to make sure that the buyer gets their terms and price as close as possible.
But this is also important for a seller to have an agent as well. The seller need someone looking out for their best interest as well, making sure all the contracts protect them and that the seller receives as much profit as possible. With both agents moderating the communication, both looking out for the interest of their client in a professional manner, both parties can come to agreements on terms and price. Its when one party is biased over another that contention and frustration can invade.
This is why most brokerages do not like or encourage dual agency. The agent is working for one party or the other more whether it's the seller that enlisted the agent first or the buyer that happened to find a house FSBO that the buyers agent is helping facilitate. If you really want your interests and needs protected it's best to enlist the help of your own agent.
Most agents prefer to work with buyers or sellers and although can facilitate both, lean towards one way or the other more. For more information on finding your perfect agent or answer any questions you may have, please call. I'm here to help buyers and sellers get the attention and result they need.