Anytime your real estate agent’s commission is based on the selling price of the house, you cannot guarantee that the agent has your best interest at heart. The only way to guarantee that is to pay a large fee to the buyer’s agent, and they don’t get any percentage of the selling price.
That fee, however, removes the benefit of bypassing the commissioned real estate agent in the first place. Never tell anyone but yourself how high you are willing to go. By law, the seller’s real estate agent has a fiduciary responsibility to the seller, and they will tell the seller everything you say, so pretend you are in a police interrogation.
The agent will ask you how high you are willing to go on the house. Don’t fall for this trick. Just give them the price you want to pay for the house, and if they ask how high you are willing to go, tell them that’s it.