It is important for both the Buyer and Seller to understand Buyer's rights for representation and how Buyers and Sellers are represented by Agents and their role in the purchase/sale transaction. In Maryland, whether there is a signed Brokerage agreement or not, the agent is responsible for delivering the disclosure "Understanding Whom Agents Represent", prior to showing property.
The formal Buyer Broker Agreement, specifies services to be provided and how the agent is to be compensated. In most cases, compensation is paid by a listing agent from Sellers proceeds of sale. If no formal written agreement is signed, the agent is considered a "presumed" Buyer' agent, but the agent has no legal right for compensation if the Buyer wants to work with another agent to buy a property, the agent already showed..
Many agents will not show properties without a written Agreement. Without such an agreement, the Agent has no legal resource for receiving payment if the Buyer decides to do an end run, to either buy a FSBO or work with another agent, after the original agent has done all the work.
If the Buyer signs the Agreement but feels the agent is not doing their job, the Buyer can terminate the Agreement, as there is a termination provision in the Agreement. The Buyer benefits from representation and saves time. If the Broker has educated the Buyer about the market and exposed them to available properties, it is reasonable for them to expect compensation, if they have done their job. However, be aware, that before you submit an offer, whomever you work with as an agent, you will need to enter into a formal agreement that authorizes the agent to work on your behalf.
As for me, if a Buyer resistants signing an Agreement, I offer to show the Buyer 4 properties. After that, if the Buyer wants to continue working with me, I require them to sign a Buyer Brokerage Agreement. I think this is enough time to build rapport and trust. It seems reasonable to me that if I am commiting my time, a Buyer should be willing to commit exclusive representation to the agent as well.