In Washington a Licensed broker prepares a standardized contract as part of our regular practice. Attorneys have prepared these forms and they are updated by our MLS as warranted. Closing services are provided by Escrow companies with each side, the buyer and seller each paying half of the total fee. The fees are fairly competitive, but as a broker I have found companies I feel confident to good work and refer my buyers and sellers to.
As a new buyer in the area, the main research I suggest is in finding the best possible broker to represent you. A couple years ago we went from Agents to Brokers. We have higher expectations placed on us for continued education and experience than in the past.
Despite the name change however there are always a range of skill sets in our profession. Finding a great broker that represents your interests first is knowledgeable about the area, the current market and negotiating strategies is critical to your home buying success and satisfaction.
One way to do this is to read our answers here, our blog posts and interview some of us. You'll find many helpful options; select the one that resonates with you and has the experience and skills you are looking for.