Fantasy: Using the seller's agent when buying a home will be advantageous, and you will get a "deal" on the price.
Fact: The seller's agent's main duty and loyalty is to the seller. A buyer will have no particular advantage using the same agent.
A lot of potential buyers think that if they go directly to the seller's agent, or "listing agent", they will somehow get a "leg up" on the competition. They might even get a "deal" on the price of the home. This couldn't be further from the truth. A listing agent's duty, first and foremost is to the seller. And their job, the one they were hired for BY THE SELLER, is to get the seller the highest and best price, as well as the best terms, FOR THE SELLER. If there are two or more offers on a home, the listing agent's job is to help the seller chose the best one, regardless of whether they are also representing a potential buyer.
Using the listing agent creates a "Dual Agency". A dual agent is one who represents both the seller and the buyer and who should, theoretically speaking, have a fiduciary duty to each party. Fiduciary duty covers six major areas, according to the National Association of Realtors: Loyalty, Confidentiality, Disclosure, Obedience, Reasonable care and diligence, and Accounting. A dual agent is obligated to provide the "utmost care, integrity, honesty and loyalty" to both the buyer and the seller, and that can certainly be a conflict of interest if a listing agent who already has a fiduciary duty to the seller should bring an offer to that seller on your behalf as the buyer. How can the agent attempt to simultaneously get you the best possible price and bring the seller top dollar as well? (Courtesy of TheBalanceMoney.com)
The bottom line is, if you want someone to represent YOUR BEST INTERESTS, it would behoove you to use someone who's primary fiduciary duty is to YOU. And in the case of putting your best foot forward, and making sure YOUR BEST INTERESTS are being represented when looking at and making offers on homes, the negatives of using the seller's agent far outweigh any potential pros. You should retain the services of a REALTOR who will act as a "buyer's agent" - YOUR AGENT.