When you decide to purchase a property one of the last things you think about is signing a Contract with a Realtor to assist you in your property search, the fact is it should be your first thought. When making the decision to buy, you need someone with experience with Writing up a Contract, Determining Property Value, Negotiating the Contract, assisting you with the Home Inspection and many, many other things that will come up.
The idea of going it alone and purchasing a property with out the assistance of a Realtor that you have hired to represent you can be very costly to you in the long run. If you decide to "just use any Realtor" to show you property, you are not getting any Fiduciary Representation from them, in short they don't work for you or your interests. The Agent who is working with you as a Transactional Broker or Non-Agent has only one thing that they legally have to follow and that is, they must treat you "honestly and fairly". This means that they need to be honest with you and tell you up front that they cannot provide for you the services stated above, they are their to just open the door and let you view the property. The Agent is also only suppose to write up the Contract for you with the terms you want and no input by them, they cannot negotiate it or advise you. At the time of Home Inspection the Agent should not even be at the inspection, since their showing up would imply "Buyer Agency" after all they are not suppose to be representing anyone there or advising you.
Many Buyers have asked over the years the same question, " Why do I need to hire you?, if you won't advise me, negotiate the contract for me etc.. then I will just go and get another Agent who will". My response has typically been to tell them that if they decide to work with an Agent who provides all the services a Buyer Agent gives, without a Contract, then they are working with someone who either does not know Agency Law or The Code of Ethics or they due and have decided to not adhere to either one. I tell the Customer that working with an Agent who does not know Agency Law or the Code of Ethics is like hiring a lawyer or doctor who doesn't know the basics of their own profession. If the Agent is very competent and is fully aware of Agency Law and the Code and is choosing to ignore the Law and Code, then what does that say about them as a Realtor? What may the Agent decide to withhold from you while the deal is going on, do they have to advise you fully when writing up the Contract, do they owe you all their negotiating abilities, will they keep your personal information confidential during the deal? Ask yourself do you want to take the chance with what is probably going to be one of your largest financial decisions in your life!
When picking a Realtor, understand what you are getting from them, ask questions and don't be afraid to question what you are being told. Every good and qualified Agent that I know will be more than happy to take the time and answer all your questions, to your full satisfaction.
In my real estate career I bring over 10 years of experience to the table, I work to represent my Client giving 100% to them. My job is to give you my advise, experience and knowledge and to help you navigate the wonderful and frustrating world of real estate. My job does not end when you purchase your home, it just begins because I will be there even after the closing keeping in touch with you and reminding you that I am always just a phone call away.