Your instinct, keen observation, logic ,rationale and education will help you realize if the realtor is working for your best interest. An almost similar question came up in the past and I will answer it in exactly the same manner:
Being a broker of a small company whose reputation is based on client's testimonials and whose mission and goal is 100% commitment to home buyers, I will have to express with firm and strong statement that it is possible to find an agent who will put his/her clients interest in mind 100% throughout the entire process.
If your concern is about the commission on the difference between the price the buyer is willing to pay and the price the seller is willing to accept-- the amount is not significant to make the buyer's agent jeopardize or compromise the client's interest. For instance, by increasing $15000 to the offer- this difference will yield only an additional $375 in buyer's agent's commission--based in 2.5% co-broke. If the difference is in hundred thousand dollars, then your concern might be plausible. But for highly ethical agents, the $$$ sign the commission waves, although it is our source of bread and butter, takes a back seat because the innermost reward for doing the job in the best possible manner is sweeter than the dollars earned. The return is ten-fold.
Furthermore, to guide you in choosing the buyerâ€™s agent, here are the following questions to ask:
Experience and Credentials - How long have you been a buyerâ€™s agent? How long have you been an ABR? What other real estate designations or credentials do you hold
References - Can you share the names and contact details for three past buyer-clients who can provide references?
Knowledge â€“ What are your areas of specialized knowledge? Which types of housing or neighborhoods do you know best?
Representation â€“ What representation choices do I have as a buyer? What is meant by fiduciary
Services provided - Please explain how you will assist me at each stage of the transaction. Do you have a written buyer representation agreement that details our obligations to each
Compensation â€“ How will you be compensated? If I hire you as my buyerâ€™s agent, will I be subjected to any additional costs in my transaction?
Finding properties â€“ Do you have full access to the multiple listing service (MLS )? Will you try to find suitable properties beyond the MLS?
Personal support â€“ Will you personally handle all aspects of my transaction, or will I be working with assistants? Who will explain and complete the various forms, agreements, and steps
. required to reach closing?
Qualities to Consider: Honesty, Trustworthiness, Knowledge of the Local Housing Market Conditions Trends, Good Communication Skills, Assertiveness, Empathy and Confidence.
Please view this video I made for my first-time buyers. I hope you learn something from it.