So, you are in the market for a new home? Great! You've set aside some time to take a nice drive to look at homes. On your drive you find a home that appears to be the type you are looking for. You make a call to the agent listed on the sign. Big mistake. See, here's the deal. When an agent lists a home for a seller, he charges that seller a fee (commission). Normally, when another agent brings a buyer to the home, that fee will be evenly split between the listing agent and the buyer's agent. However, if the listing agent is working with both the buyer and the seller he will get to keep the entire fee. A good payday for him, but no representation for you.
Buying a home is probably the biggest financial transaction you will go through. You should have someone on your team to represent your best interests and make sure you are getting a great deal. This team member is what we call a "buyer's agent". The good news? They don't cost you a dime! As our example above shows, the buyer's agent will be paid by the listing agent.
Now, I can hear you saying, "well the buyer's agent isn't really looking out for me, he just wants me to find a home quickly so he can get paid." Sure, there are plenty of agents out there who feel this way. You should not work with them, and if you are, you should fire them. Wait...what? That's right, fire them. Do not work with an agent who doesn't have your best interest at heart. You should have full confidence in your agent, so that when he says to walk away from a house, you run and don't look back.
Make your home search a fun and successful one. Call around to various offices. Ask your friends and neighbors for referrals. Bottom line, find an agent you want to work with and that will be a great member on your home buying team!