There is lots of confusion about agents, who they represent and how they get paid.
First of all not all real estate agents are REALTORS. A real estate agent is licensed by the state where they practice. A REALTOR is a licensed agent and is a member of the National Assn. of REALTORS and subscribe to a CODE of ETHICS, so not all agents are REALTORS.
Sellers of property while hiring an agent, sign a "listing agreement" authorizing the agent to represent them in the marketing, showing, negotiations and paperwork of the sale. So the listing agent's duty is to the Seller. Buyer's may hire their own agent by entering into a "Buyer's Brokerage agreement" with an agent.
Typically, the seller pays the compensation and that fee is divided between the "Listing Office" and "Selling Office" and in turn with the "agents" who worked with the Sellers and Buyers.
Most agents are a part of a Multiple Listing Service within a geographic area and work within that area of expertise and agree to "share" the brokerage fee between the offices and agents. Hope this briefly answers your question, Agents may be able to show you any home for sale in your market area but before engaging with an agent, ask them to explain the "agency" process and any other questions you may have. ,
CRS-Certified Residential Specialist
ABR- Accredited Buyers Representive
Prudential California Realty
Prudential Nevada Realty
North Lake Tahoe, Truckee