I think you got the main points of your question answered in the 2 previous answers, so no need to repeat. Please consider that if you are ready to buy, then you should just get going with a lender and agent that know what they are doing. I just happen to do both for my clients so that I can save them a lot of money, have it all done in one place and so a good job for them.
As I have suggested in past posts, and will continue to suggest, is that buyers Google every agent that responds to your question here on Trulia, learn as much as you can about who they are online, read their client testimonials, so you know what their clients are saying about them, and then give us each a call and just ask us why we think you should work with us instead of another agent. Then, pick the best fit for you and let them go to work for you with the skill and knowledge that they have. I hope to hear from you soon.