I have come across this question often in my 20+ years of Real Estate experience. While the Listing agent is hired by the seller to represent them, they are the one that knows the house best and are able to answer most all your questions about the schools and community.
However, a Buyer's agent does work for the buyer and his best intererests. What does that mean?Todays real estate market has become so volatile, because our inventory is so low thus dramatically reducing the number of days a home is on the market. Therefore buyers, like yourself feel if they reach out to the listing agent they will be one step ahead of their competition.
Typically, if the agent working with you is experienced, full time and knows the community that you are seeking to live in well, it shouldn't matter. The key is you need to commit yourself to that person. You need a qualified hardworking individual that is on top of his/her inventory so they can get you in asap.
I am a qualified, Certified Buyer's agent. If I am the listing agent, then I operate as a designated Dual Agent. This year I have sold 50% of my own listings. And I have completed over 25 transactions in 2013 to date. I am available when you are ready to make a decision.
Best of Luck! Elaine Patterson, Lic Assoc Broker 516-343-9133