If you walk into an open house or call on an ad, most of the time you are talking to the agent who listed the house. Their responsibility by law is to get as much money as they can for their client, the seller. Even if you call a friend that works for one of the many reputable real estate brokerages, your friend has to keep the seller's best interests in mind whether they want to or not regardless of how long they have know you because the law says they must.
You wouldn't think of going to court without an attorney to represent you (or, worse yet, go to court using the opposing person's attorney). You deserve the same care and representation in your real estate transactions.
Smart home buyers always use an Exclusive Buyer's agent because they want and deserve at least the same representation that the seller has. It is important that you receive undivided loyalty, full disclosure and confidentiality...something you can't get if the agent also represents the seller. Your agent should make sure you are protected in your offer and lead to an agreement that serves your best interests and rights.
If you tell a seller's agent that you could afford to spend more than you would like to offer, the first person they go running to tell is the seller...that is their responsibility.This information, along with other confidential knowledge such as bank balance, stocks, how badly you need to move or how very much you love the house, can be used to get you to increase your offer or affect negotiations. Every bit of information you mentioned even in passing can be used to your detriment. . We have access to all listings in the Multiple Listing Service as well as the ability to contact For Sale By Owners. We will guide you through the homebuying process, coordinate inspections and showings, negotiate with the seller (or seller's agent), work closely with the lender and the closing company and make you, the buyer, our priority. The Exclusive Buyer's Agent is paid at the tail-end of the transaction and since commissions are usually built into the selling cost of a home and comes from the proceeds of the transaction, there is no need for you to incur additional costs for our services.