Given the complexity of real estate transactions today and all of the potential pitfalls that await even the most experienced of buyers, working closely with a licensed real estate agent is a very wise decision. This agent should be highly knowledgeable about the areas you have interest in, they should have a demonstrated track record and sales history as well as a major emphasis on customer service. Because this professional will be your guide to exploring unique properties that interest you, while hopefully avoiding those that do not, you should also look for someone that you get along with and with whom you can communicate well.
One of the common mistakes that buyers sometimes make is to avoid working with a single agent by instead calling the listing agent directly for any home that they would like to view. This is a mistake for several reasons. First, despite what buyers may have heard, agents are not inclined to negotiate lower commission fees if they sell their own listing. So called ‘dual agency regulations’ place limitations on what they can and cannot do in such situations. Bottom line: the listing agent by law has a primary contractual responsibility to their client (the sellers). You will want someone equally committed to you in your corner as you go through the process of negotiating an offer, submitting a sales contract, getting inspections done, etc. This is one of the advantages of having your own agent working closely with you. A second reason is that the experience of looking at numerous homes and trying to find the one that you will make an offer on is really a learning process for you – and your agent.
Each time you view a home and think through what you did and did not like about it, the better your agent understands what you are looking for, and that translates into a more streamlined and successful search experience. If you work with a different agent each time to go out to view a home, you are depriving yourself of this very powerful advantage that a single agent can offer you.