If you were ever involved in a real estate transaction, you probably had to work with a real estate agent in one way or another. It is possible to work on your own and not involve any real estate agents, but that would make it so much difficult to close on a real estate transaction, especially if it’s your first time. As a home seller, you probably had to work with an agent at least once when you purchased the property. But, if you are a first time home buyer, you probably don’t even know what a buyers agent is.
In simple terms, a buyers agent is a real estate agent that represents a potential home buyer. These agents are licensed and specialized in evaluating, searching, negotiating the purchase of property on behalf of the buyer they are representing. Of course, as a homebuyer, you can act on your own and leave an offer on a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) house, but that would imply more risks.
A buyers agent uses Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to present a variety of good home options to the potential buyer, in the area they are interested in purchasing property. A buyers agent gets in touch with the listing agent in order to schedule showings so the buyer can see the property. A buyers agent also creates offers that are then presented to the listing agent. If the offer is accepted, the buyers agent will guide his client through the closing process in order to ensure a smooth transaction. In a home transaction there are responsibilities split between the buyers agent vs the sellers agent and here is where the differences between the two come into play.
As you can see, a buyer's agent saves you a lot of time/trouble because their expertise and local knowledge of the real estate market are going to be very useful when surfing through many housing options in order to pick what suits you best. You can easily find a real estate agent that is able to help you get an accurate market value of the homes you are interested in. No one wants to overpay for what they get, and by having a real estate professional with extensive market knowledge it is unlikely that will happen.
On the agent's side, it might be questionable whether it is better to be a listing agent or a buyers agent, however from the clients perspective it is always a good idea to have an agent. To put it simply, a buyer’s agent is someone on your side, who wants to help you fulfill your dream of homeownership.