A real estate agent that is paid by the homebuyer to represent their interests is known as a buyer's agent. Unless stated otherwise, most real estate agents are seller's agents. This means the agent is paid by, and working on behalf of, the seller of the home. The seller's agent has a fiduciary responsibility to the seller of the home, and they will negotiate for a best price on the seller's behalf.
Working with a buyer's agent requires an agreement between the potential buyer of a home and the real estate agent. Once that occurs, the buyer becomes the client of the real estate agent, and their fiduciary responsibility is now with the buyer of the home. This means the buyer's agent will work hard to negotiate the best deal for the buyer, not the seller of a home.
Entering into an exclusive buyer agreement typically ties the home buyer to just one agent. That means the exclusive agent might be owed a commission, even if another agent is used at a later date. It's important to understand the arrangement ahead of time.
Another option is to work with a seller's agent until all parties are comfortable signing an agreement. Never disclose confidential information to a seller's agent.