There are different ways home buyers approach home buying:
Group #1. This group knows it all, they don’t trust agents and want to basically be left on their own.
Group #2. They start shopping around on line, go to an open house or two and basically ends up with an agent by stumbling upon someone.
Group #3. The last group takes control of the situation and hires their own buyers agent before they begin to look in earnest. They shop around, ask for referrals and use their agent from the beginning to make the process easier.
The problem with the first two approaches is the vast majority of homes are listed by real estate agents and there is going to be one involved whether you like it or not. When only the listing agent is involved all the commissions are going to them and the buyer is not going to be represented. This means you would end up working with the listing agent who is hired to sell the home for as much money as possible and protect the best interest of the seller. The other problem is these buyers are not truly in control of the situation. Think about it. You end up doing all the work, driving around, finding a home, researching information, meet the agent and work with someone who hasn’t helped you at all and is basically a stranger to you. I don’t see the logic in this approach.
The benefit of the last approach is very simple. When you hire your own agent early on you are simply in control. You have hired an agent to be on your side and protect your interest. The best part is there is no additional expense. When you buy a home with your own agent involved the same commissions are being paid except now your agent is being paid. Plus they will make your life easier, keep you focused and work for their commission.
Some buyers try to be clever and think they can save money by not using their own agent and then try to negotiate with the listing agent to lower their commission and give them a better deal on the home. In theory this makes some sense but not in practice. How would you ever know you negotiated the lowest price? When you have one agent involved you have no idea if you truly got the best price possible from the seller.