Let's get right to it. One of the most foolish things you can do when purchasing a home is to use the listing agent as your agent. That name on the sign, they are not your friend and here's why. A good buyers agent (your agent if you're looking to buy a home) will advise you should you decide there is a home you would like to put an offer on. If a home is overpriced for the market, a good agent will show you the numbers that the house just isn't worth what they're asking. Now if your agent also represents the seller, they can't really do much more than write an offer because they are obligated to the seller. They may know the house should be priced $15,000 less but in doing their duty to the seller you the buyer are neglected and in a bad position. 

The solution, find yourself a great agent that is not the one selling the home. Now you have someone working for you and not against you. If you found the right agent, they will run the comps and not be afraid to come in with a lower offer if the circumstances demand it. They will inform you about the market and show you everything that meets what you're looking for. They will be your partner in finding that dream home and not just trying to sell you their listing.