I know next to nothing about real estate, so I want to know if this is normal. DF and I are looking at buying a house. I requested to view one from an agent and he asked if I would be willing to sign an agreement that I wouldn't work with another company. That seems outrageous to me, especially when all I did was request a viewing. "Hey, I know this is the first date, but let's get married tomorrow!" That's what it feels like to me.
Also, in most parts of the US, it is now standard to have one agent working for the seller, and a completely different agent working for the buyer.
If the buyers use the seller's agent, there is the temptation for the agent to use any information gained from the buyers to the seller's benefit. "Hey, I know they offered $150,000, but I heard them discussing this and they could easily go $10,000 higher." "I saw their approval info from the bank and they can pay much more than they are offering." "They really, really want to be in this school district and your house is the only one they've seen that they like. Hold out for more money."
And if the same agent/agency represents both seller and buyer, they get both commissions.
Not saying all agents would do this, but why open the door? Get your own buyer's agent.
And check around for any adult education/community college courses about house buying in your area. You can learn a lot from those.