As already answered here, you don't have to have a realtor to purchase a home, this is something that you can do on your own, by looking at realtor.com and other sites that contain information on homes that are for sale. There is sometimes a hesitancy on the part of buyer to commit to working with a realtor, but if I may point out some of the advantages. You can find a realtor by speaking with friends, family, co-workers who have already gone through this process. Finding a realtor that can truly listen and be responsive to your search requirements is vital. You want a realtor that first off answers the phone, knows the local market and can guide you along the way. In working with a realtor, you will also have someone actively looking for you for any new homes that come on the market for sale. Sites such as this are a great start, but there is nothing better than having an agent that can set up a search for available homes in the areas you are looking in, in the price range you want, and can alert you the same day that it appears on the market. There are currently many buyers on the market here in Miami, and when a new listing hits the market, there are many offers presented, and it is key that you know just as quickly as others of the new listing. By looking here on Trulia or other sites, you may not see the home appear till a few days after it has actually gone on the market. A realtor can also guide you in making the proper offer for a home, so that you are not offering too low a price, or heaven forbid too much. As stated already, the commsion for the agents are paid for byt the seller of the property. Godod luck in your home search.