Hi Again Jenerra,
I am happy to continue to answer your questions. I sort of answered part of this on the last question but want to speak to a couple other aspects of the question you've asked. You should know that any agent who represents you as a Buyer's Agent must be in a fiduciary relationship with you which is memorialized by signatures. That agent is supposed to provide you with a written disclosure known as a Agency Disclosure, describing the different relationships between a buyer, seller and listing agent and buyer's agent.
If you would like to see what a copy of this looks like please ask me and I'll email one directly to you. Contact me through my web site for that.
It is possible two agents from the same company could be the buyer's agent and another a seller's listing agent. However, in that case the relationship changes to a limited agency which is overseen by the principal broker.
It appears you are not feeling comfortable with the agent you've spoken to, or you don't intend to use them to represent you, in that case you should be forth right and let her/him know you have not yet chosen an agent to represent you. If the home is listed you will be at the disadvantage by trying to go into a transaction as an unrepresented buyer. Your interests will not be protected, nor considered, and in fact, the listing agent will ultimately have to oversee the transaction but won't have to keep your best interests as the priority. Therefore, you will never be represented to the fullest if you go it on your own.
You've been a bit confusing between two of your email questions, you seem to have indicated two different things...in one Trulia question you indicated you weren't planning on going into a transaction without representation and in this one you are indicating you are considering putting an offer in on your own without representation. Which ever way you choose you shouldn't be concerned whether fees are paid since they are not paid by you as a buyer in most cases.
The buyer's agent who is trying to get you to use her services will only get paid if you initiate a written offer and have her represent you. Simply talking to her doesn't create an agency relationship but can lead her to believe you are intending to use her services. I'm at risk of having you not call me for services; however, it would be wise for you to understand how hard Realtors work for their clients. They offer services, willingly help, often without any commitment at first from buyer, they do a lot of research, run around for the buyer, process a mass of documents, oversee transaction requirements and HOURS more. They often work initially without commitment from buyer, with the hope that the buyer will allow them to represent them, hoping the buyer won't go from agent to agent expecting all to serve them.
Buyer's should always have representation to protect their interests. They should begin their home search by finding an agent to represent them. One agent will provide all the necessary services and representation. Collecting data about the agent to find the right one is the first step, rather than going it alone and calling different agents for each property they want to view.
Listing agents have a fiduciary relationship (commitment) to the Seller exclusively. They should not be the one to write the buyer's offer because the buyer doesn't receive exclusive representation that way, therefore the buyer's interests are not priority.
Once the buyer has chosen an agent and commits to working with them solely, that buyer then should feel free to call upon that agent any time for answers and help without hesitation. Making many agents work for you with no commitment to them is simply taking advantage of those professionals. For this reason a smart buyer's agent will request a Buyer Broker Agreement be signed and a buyer should understand the importance of the commitment represented by that agreement. The agent should educate the buyer. That agreement establishes a mutual commitment to work with each other. The agent commits to working hard for the buyer and has the buyer's commitment that work won't be in vain. No agent wants to give hours of time and effort to help a buyer who won't commitment. (That would be like you working endlessly for an employer and then not getting your paycheck at the end of the pay period. )
This is meant to be an educational web site for buyers and sellers and professionals. I hope this information gives you a perspective that will help you in your home search. Of course I would love to help you find that perfect dream home. My services are guaranteed!
June Lizotte, Quality Service Platinum Award Recipient
Realtor, Providing REAL Service
Prudential NW Properties
6400 SE Lake Rd., Suite 200
Portland, OR 97222
To see Quality Service Rating http://www.qualityservice.org