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Buying a house can be one of the most difficult and complicated purchases you make in your lifetime. Not only is the amount of money you’re dealing with substantial, the many, many legal ins and outs of real estate transactions can be confusing for someone who doesn’t work directly in the field. This is why many people choose to use a buyer’s agent when they’re searching for a new home to purchase.

When you choose a buyer’s agent, you’re tapping a singular real estate agent who will act on your behalf, rather than simply using the agent who is on the sign of the house you want to buy. The agent on the sign is not able to represent you in the transaction because of their relationship with the seller. By choosing a buyer’s agent who is not related to the seller at all, you choose to add a layer of protection to your real estate purchase.

What Is a Buyer’s Agent?

A buyer’s agent is a real estate professional who works specifically for the buyer in a real estate transaction. Although many people think of a buyer’s agent as someone who helps them pick a house, they do a lot more than that.

“(Buyer’s agents) have fiduciary duties to the buyer which include reasonable care, undivided loyalty, confidentiality and full disclosure,” said Pamela Roman, broker of record at Station Cities in Montclair, New Jersey. “The big picture of the role of a buyer’s agent is representing the buyer’s interests, using diligence in searching for properties for the buyer, using their professional knowledge and skills to assist in negotiations on behalf of the buyer, and providing technical guidance through all aspects of the real estate transaction.”

Your buyer’s agent will be with you from the first step to the last, and that includes assisting with negotiations. For many people, this is one of the most crucial and visible roles a buyer’s agent plays.

“Most Americans are not comfortable with negotiations,” says Abbe Flynn, Broker Associate with Ketcham Realty Group in Tallahassee, Florida. “It is not something we do daily. However, if you do not buy homes regularly, you may not know what concessions are popular, common, or even available.”