By law the listing agent is bound to work in the best interests of the seller. If it is a designated agency office, the listing agent writing an offer on one of their own listings becomes a dual agent, without confidentiality to either buyer or seller.
It is best to work with a buyer's agent, who by law is working in your best interest, and can negotiate on your behalf. Email me if you would like more details about this, or if you would like to set up a tour of homes.
Speaking for myself and for the company I represent , you should still be represented fairley even if you end up with a dual agent. It is possible that a transaction could move very smoothly having both agents in the same company. I have been involved with this same senario. Even though we (the agents) are workiing in the same building we don't talk about our clients other then to present information reguarding the sale and purchase of the property. Having agents in the same building can also cut down on the time it takes to get information or answers for our clients. "WE" all want the same thing, the listing agent wants to get the sellers property sold with the least amount of concernes, in the shortest amount of time ,for the most amount of money. The buyers agent wants to get the offer accepted with the least amount of concerns, in the shortest amount of time, for the best value for their client. Some times the best value isn't the least money, but instead is a meeting of the minds for both the buyer and the seller. Often times the circumstance dictates the value, reguardless of agency.
Lynn is absolutely correct, and provided you good guidance. I would encourage you to interview a few different agents, but I would not say it would only be good for you to interview those with the ABR designation. There are many fantastic agents that do not care to deal with getting a designation, and that does not make them inferior. I have my broker's license, but haven't cared to take the time to get the designations, as I know I am current on issues, and make it a point to attend other eductional opportunities. The vast majority of my business is repeat and referral, so that goes to my point.
Thank you for purchasing in Michigan, and my best to you!
This will all be spelled out in the Buyer's Agency Agreement (contract). As Lynn indicates, companies must choose whether they are designated agencies or not. I suggest interviewing a few, ask to review (or have your attorney review) their contracts and then deciding which one to work with. Please let the others know you do not want to work with them.
Keep in mind, Buyer's Agency can be for one home, one day, a week, whatever timeframe is agreed upon. There can also be extensions if desired.