Dual agency can happen if your agent sells you one of her own company's listings, even if it's listed by another agent in the company because all agents work for a broker, and the broker owns the listing, not the agent. It is unlikely that your agent receives any incentive for selling one of her own company's listings.
The underlying tone of your question sounds as though you are uncomfortable with your agent, that you have doubts about her. The best thing to do is to talk with your agent about these concerns. A good agent will know how to assure you that she is working in your best interests and put to rest those fears. A not-so-good agent will become defensive, and if that's the case, you may want to look for an agent with whom you'll feel more comfortable and trust.
Also, bear in mind that you do not have to agree to dual agency. If you sign a purchase contract where the broker represents both the seller and the buyer, however, you have agreed to it. So, if you do not want dual agency representation, tell your agent that you want single agency and get a different agent from another company to represent you on that transaction. Personally, I have no problems with two agents at the same brokerage representing the buyer and the seller. The agents may not even know each other. But they are, nonetheless, operating under those circumstances in dual agency.
Her colleagues have probably pitched these houses in office meetings that she attended and she may have gone on an office "caravan" touring her colleagues listings.
She may not even be aware that she is cheerleading for her co-workers listings. The better a sales person knows the available inventory, the better she is able to present the product.
No agent is perfect, but it sounds like yours is trying to do a good job.
Dual agency is regarding the BROKER, in that a buyer is buying a home where the BROKER also represents the seller. Dual representation is where the individual agent, who works for the broker is representing both the buyer and the seller. There is a document that you sign with any offer you present that is called the Disclosure regarding Agency relationship. The second page is the actual civil code that describes the responsibilities of the agent.
Personally, I will not represent both a buyer and a seller on the same transaction, but it can be done. I have no qualms repesenting a client in one of my broker's listings by another agent. Not that I get any financial gain, but I normally know the property better, know how to negotiate better for my client with that agent and generally can make the transaction go smoother when it's an agent I know, and they know me.
So it might be in your best interest that the agent is able to describe the property better, but if you have a question on their motivation, ask your agent!
And best of luck in finding your new home!
True Dual Agency occurs when your agent attempts to sell you one of her listings. In Pennsylvania, if this were to occur then the buyer and the seller would have to sign an addendum acknowledging that the agent is representing both the buyer and the seller.
The problem with Dual Agency is that since the agent is representing both the buyer and the seller the agent must ensure that they don't disclose any confidential information to the other party. For instance, if the agent knows the buyer will pay more for the house they can't tell the seller. As a result, the agent must be careful to ensure that neither party feels this has happened. In some cases, they have to remain so neutral that they can't offer the best advice to the buyer or the seller.
Companies like to list and sell the house so that they receive both sides of the commission. As a result, these listings are promoted in sales meetings. Also, your agent is probably friends with the other agents so she would like to help sell their listings.
As another agent recommended, I would probably mention it to her so that it is clear what you expect from her services.
If you get your own outside representation on a listing within your agents company, you'll have the benefit (if you choose buyer agency) of someone offering the true value/most aggressive offer on a property, as opposed to a neutral position in which they can't advocate for either side.
Get your own representation when dealing with in house listings whenever possible- your gut feeling is correct. She CAN'T look out for your best interest when in a dual agency situation.
If you find yourself involved in a dual agency relationship, make sure that you completely understand dual agency definition
Keep in mind if she sales you one of her listings her benefit is financial she would earn approx. 6% closing vs. 3% approx. for showing another listing agent home for you to purchase.
I think you should talk to your agent about your feelings. It could just be a big misunderstanding. I know that if I sell a house to my buyers that is being represented by my broker, but I am not the listing agent, I do not get any extra cash or benefits from the transaction. Of course my broker is happy, because they make money from both ends of the deal, but I do not get any thing extra out of it.
I have heard of some offices where the agent will get a bonus for selling a home that is represented by their own office, but this should be disclosed to the client to avoid any misgivings as you are feeling, and also for the purposes of full disclosure.