Many home buyers, especially first time buyers, think they can save a little money if they don't work with a real estate agent.  This could be a very expensive mistake.  On of the best reasons for a buyer to work with a Realtor is that it is FREE!  It does not add any cost to the purchase of the house and sellers generally expect that a buyer will be working with a Realtor, since the seller probably is.  A Realtor will guide the homebuyer through the many issues of the contract negotiation process.  The real estate agent will perform an evaluation of the house so the buyers gets the best possible value for their money.

Working with a Realtor is also very important when looking for new construction.  The builder's agent is working for the builder, not the buyer.  A buyers' agent will work diligently to protect the buyers' interests, and will help secure independent home inspections before closing to make sure the contractor has in fact completed the house and that there are not lots of little unfinished details or worse, shoddy craftsmanship.  The buyers' agent's job is to protect you.

Definitely work with a realtor if you are considering purchasing a home that is For Sale By Owner, or FSBO.  According to the National Association of Realtors, more than 95% of FSBO homes sold have a Realtor involved in the deal.  Often, FSBOs don't have the experience or knowledge to price their home properly or to get the home selling transaction to a successful conclusion.  By not knowing complex real estate laws, FSBOs simply may not follow the laws written to protect the consumer.  This can result in lawsuits that, if a Realtor had been involved, most likely would have been avoided.  Make sure you have someone to represent your best interests.  Your Realtor may be the only professional  with the experience to get you through the entire transaction.

Good Realtors have extensive experience working with lenders and can help buyers find the right mortgage professional with the right loan products for the buyers.  They know how to get the loan closed.  Realtors also are great resources for finding home inspection companies, home repair tradesmen like electricians, plumbers, lawn maintenance, carpenters and contractors, surveyors, and many, many other professionals. 

Of course, the whole relationship is built on trust.  You, the buyer, must believe that the Realtor is truly working for you.  If you, as the home buyer, do not feel comfortable that your real estate agent truly is working in your best interests, the solution is simple.  Find the right Realtor.  Since this is one of the largest and most complex financial transactions you will ever make, it is vitally important that you feel comfortable with and have trust in your Realtor. 

A good Realtor will help make the purchase of your new home a great experience!!  Enjoy it.