As a buyer, you are not required to use an agent to make a property purchase. Your need for one will depend partially upon who else is assisting you, how knowledgeable you are, how knowledgeable the seller is, and how complicated the property and the documentation surrounding the property is.
If comps are easy because the home is newer and very similar to others in the neighborhood, that would simplify pricing discussions. If the property is older, has underground storage tanks, a swimming pool, and a cloud on the title, you have just done taken on some complicated issues.
Finding a home is only part of the Realtorâ€™s job. A strong buyers agent will bring a different final transaction to the table as compared to a weak negotiator with minimal market knowledge or weak persuasive skills. So, part of the consideration is who the agent is and how effective they are. In your marketplace, there are surely some weak agents and surely some that will light a fire.
If you buy from a FSBO, you may successfully close on the property, and even without any headaches or curveballs. You wonâ€™t know, even after closing, if you would have done better with representation. If you purchase a home represented by a sellers agent, I recommend that you hire your own buyers agent.
If you are shopping with a Realtor for homes, you will gain much information about comps and market trends . That Realtor only gets paid when you close a sale and he/she represents you. You can retain that same Realtor to represent you w/ a FSBO, and ask the seller to pay the commission. Most sellers will do this.
An agent will guide you through comps, purchase decisions, negotiations, concessions, inspections, and post inspection negotiations. An agent will provide resources and contacts throughout the transaction. These may include, but are not limited to inspectors, insect treatments, USTs, pool inspectors, engineers, builidng code, zoning, permit info, insurance, mortgage, insurance, and title referrals, and be on watch and on call through closing ready to solve any problem that might arise.