I don’t think that an agent can work for both vendor and buyer.
Essentially, the vendor “hires” the agent to find a buyer. The vendor agrees to pay a commission to the agent if the buyer he introduces buys.
At no point does the buyer agree to pay the agent.
One of the jobs of the agent is to negotiate a sale with the vendor and buyer, but this must not be confused with working for both vendor and buyer.
Any agent who says he works for both has a conflict of interest.
If you “hire” an agent to search for a property for you as a buyer and you agree to pay them a fee, then the agent cannot ethically accpet a commission from the vendor at the same time.
Therefore any agent with a commission agreement with a vendor, works for the vendor.
I could not possibly work under those terms! They are not ethical at all.
When I take on a property for sale, I do not ask for a contract to be signed by the vendor, I do not like exclusive rights to a property, and feel a vendor has to maximise their chances of a sale by using as many agents has they see fit.
I do not ask for any money from the vendor to list their property even though it cost me to do so.
I take a copy of all relevent paperwork for the property and after this has checked out I ask the vendor if they still wish me to promote it. I tell them what I can sell it for and ask for my commission out of that. If they want more than I suggest, or request I put my commission on-top, I simply will not.
My UK office and associate offices will organise buyers trips for them if they wish. My preference is the buyer pays for the trip and can go into any other agent at anytime whilst here in Spain.
The buyer to me is equally important, since they have chosen me to show them property. The vendor is likely to leave the area, but the buyer becomes my neighbour. The buyer could also become a future vendor, or even brings aquaintences to buy from me.
They will often visit my office for months afterwards, asking for help on anything and everything. I don´t mind at all, sometimes they can give me advice.
The vendor as you see, is far less likely to be considered as a large part of the anual process of selling a property.
Without a buyer there would be no sale, the vendor could not pay my costs. In reality, the buyer is a more valued commodity these days and vendors properties are in abundance.