Your Realtor® — Buyer Agency

When buying a home, it's important to understand who the real estate agent is working for and unless you're very familiar with real estate transactions, it's often best to have an agent who's working only for you -- representing your interests, not that of the seller.

Almost all real estate commissions are paid by the seller, with a share of that commission going to the buyer's agent. It costs you nothing to have your own representation.

The difference is that your realtor - the buyer's agent - is committed to getting the you best deal for the lowest price. The seller's agent is committed to getting the highest price with the fewest concessions for the seller, and cannot give you information about whether the seller might accept a lower price because they need to sell quickly, etc.

If you approach a realtor for services as a buyer's agent but find that you wish to purchase a home that is listed by that agent or firm, your agent must then sign a new agreement with you -- one that puts him or her in the role of facilitator, where they really don't advise or represent either party, but help to complete the transaction.

NEXT: Working with your Buyer's Agent