Andrew Ko is not alone in his confusion as to who represents the buyer. (May 10). In fact, in the vast majority of cases, the buyer is not represented by any of the agent(s) involved. The agent(s), through the listing arrangement of the seller, and/or through contract with the Multiple Listing Service, are all legally bound to protect the best interests of the seller.
The agent(s) cannot legally disclose to you any confidential information other than the facts materially affecting the value of the property. The agent(s) cannot, legally, tell you if the property is over-priced, that the seller may be willing to accept a lower price than the listed price, or that the seller may accept terms different than those in the listing agreement.
The agent(s) cannot negotiate to get you the best possible deal, nor are they very likely to show you any property that is unlisted (such as for-sale-by-owner and most foreclosure properties), even though it may suit your needs best.
If you, as a buyer, want to be treated with the utmost care, integrity, honesty and loyalty, then you should list yourself, exclusively, as a buyer with a capable broker committed to single-agency practice. This means that you will probably have to make a financial commitment "up front," just as sellers now do.