The difference between an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent and a traditional Real Estate Agent is that an EBA works only for people that are buying houses, while Real Estate Agents work for people that are selling houses and buying houses.
Why does it matter? My favorite analogy that I heard was: if you get sued, are you going to hire the same lawyer representing the person suing you? It’s a little bit harsh, but it gets the point across.
A real estate agent is representing the seller’s interests, not the buyer’s.
Kidding aside, a real estate agent that is representing the seller has a legal obligation to represent the seller’s best interests, not your best interests. That is why exclusive buyer agency was started: to protect buyers.
Here is a quote from the Oklahoma Supreme Court that pretty much sums it up:
“Sellers’ agents and dual agents do not and cannot by law give a buyer the same degree of loyalty as an agent who acts on behalf of a buyer. Sellers’ agents owe their allegiance to the seller. Dual agency invites a conflict of interest. A buyer who relies on the seller’s agent or on dual agency does not receive the same degree of legal protection as that afforded by an agent acting solely on behalf of the buyer”.