First, the agency relationship you have is determined by the relationship with the brokerage, not the individual agent.
Second, the real estate industry has worked to make agency relationships confusing so don't feel bad.
Most of the larger brokerages in the Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti area practice what is called "designated buyer agency". In this case the broker "designated" one "agent" and a "supervisory broker" to work for you. Everybody else in the brokerage can work against you either with other buyers or with sellers.
If someone else in the brokerage is the listing agent of a property you are interested in, then the brokerage and any supervisory brokers are dual agents.
If the "designated buyer agent" you are working with has the listing you are interested in, then that designated agent turns into a dual agent.
Dual agents legally can't help you with negotiation or valuation, and they legally can't help you in any way that can impact negatively on the seller. And the same should apply to their work for the seller against you. They shouldn't be giving a bank better treatment just because they will be doing more business with that bank.
That said, I can also tell you that many members of our Board of REALTORs are confused about agency and even if they understood it they may not effectively represent you. Many "designated buyer agents" in our market are just focused on getting you to buy a home as fast as possible.
The fact that so many members call themselves "buyer agents" when they are actually "designated buyer's agents" is an example of either unethical behavior or general confusion.
So I hope that helps you understand what the agent should be working for, however that may not be how they are actually behaving.
If you would like to know more, or if you would like to talk to a company who will represent you and never become a dual agent or a seller's agent, you can contact our company.
We are an Exclusive Buyer Agency. That is defined by NAEBA and NAR as "a company who only works for buyers. The company never takes listings and never works for sellers."
The Home Buyer's Agent of Ann Arbor, Inc.
1908 W. Stadium Blvd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103