You may not know that all licensed Realtors who represents you as a buyer or a seller owes you a fiduciary duty which signifies that he/she must work for your best interest with the utmost good faith.
What this means to you is that your Realtor has an obligation to make full disclosure of all the facts that he/she is aware of which may affect the value of the property you are buying or selling. Furthermore, your Realtor should work in your interest to obtain the best price they can for you regardless if you're a buyer or a seller. In case of a dispute your Realtor must prove that he/she has done all that they could do to put your interests ahead of theirs.
Without getting too legalese here, the principal of fiduciary duty is a very important not just in dealing with Realtors but also in dealing with financial planners, insurance sales people, accountants etc. In real estate though we differ because sometimes we run into a situation where we are dealing with both the buyer ans seller on the same property, this we call dual agency. This can put a Realtor in a tough spot unless they are very clear to explain how they are to conduct themselves in such cases.
I often find that when it comes to explaining my fiduciary duty to my clients and the nature of agency that a vast majority of people quickly lose interest and would rather just get on with the business of buying or selling a house. The common law concept of agency is important in real estate no matter how trivial it may seem. I encourage people to take time to question your Realtor to explain the concepts of fiduciary duty and agency. This serve to make you a more informed and intelligent consumer. Remember caveat emptor ~ let the buyer beware!
Buying or selling a home involves a lot of money so understanding your legal relationship with your Realtor, and most importantly a Realtor's legal obligation to you, is crucial in this important business transaction. Take the time to understand your role over and above that of just being a buyer or a seller. Realtors make many disclosures to you for a reason – they are legally obligated to do so, it's not because they simply want to. These disclosures are there to educate and protect you so don't take them for granted.