It's interesting to read what my real estate colleagues say.
Why not use an agent?
I was a client a long time ago and fell into the trap of dealing with agents who were looking for a "quick buck."
From my bad experiences, I've been able to look at everything from the client's point of view. As a client, I would think, if this agent does not know what she's doing, I'm better at this than the agent, I can be my own agent. If that is what you feel, then maybe you should talk to a few more agents until you find someone you are comfortable with. Unless, of course, you find all of us agents just absolutely repulsive and hard-headed.
Many of us good agents look out for the best interests of our clients, regardless of what the pay turns out to be. Right everybody?
Whatever route you decide to take -- to "use "or "not use" an agent, you should be truthful because we all work on commission and time is valuable.
Oh, that's a reason you should have an agent working for you. Time. You save lots of time -- calling the "listing agent", scheduling appraisers, inspectors, title company, insurance company, no? I do that for all my clients unless they specifically say, "No, I'll call." We know that our clients work, or some pretend to work, during the day and just don't have time to make calls, return email messages or wait on the phone for answers. That's why an agent is helpful.
Another reason: You'll drive yourself crazy with the emotional roller coaster that you find you'll go through dealing with all these other people on your own. It's like trying to litigate your own case in court -- it gets difficult to separate yourself when you become emotionally involved with the transaction. A good agent acts as your representative and a buffer for you if something embarassing happens. That's right, we take the blame too (but there's a limit to any type of blame).