A professional real estate agent should always have your best interest in mind. However, there are many things that your real estate agent doesn't tell you. First, real estate agents are paid on a percentage commission basis by there brokerage. That percentage commission is based on the price of the home you purchase. Therefore, the more you spend the more your real estate agent makes. While that commission is rarely money out of the buyer’s pockets it does seem a bit counterintuitive. Your real estate agent is supposed have your best interest in mind which would mean finding you the most affordable home that fills your needs even though that will mean that he/she will make less money. It doesn't really add up, but a good real estate agent realizes the value in referrals. If he/she makes a little less commission on your home purchase, but leaves you with a great experience you are more likely to recommend him/her to friends and family thus resulting in more commission in the long run.
Second, we are not professionals in all aspects of home ownership. Always do your own research and due diligence. Buyers are going to have a lot of questions when purchasing a home, especially if it is their first home purchase. More often than not those questions will get asked to your real estate agent. Your agent will most likely give you an answer based on their past experiences. While that advice may be helpful to you, do not take it as law. Real estate agents are essentially professional form filler outers. They understand the legal documents involved in buying and selling homes and they have keys to show you homes. That is about all that they should be considered experts on. Always due your own research and due diligence into every question, and seek out opinions from professionals in the industry that pertains specifically to your questions. For instance all finance questions should be directed to a professional loan officer.
Lastly, it does not require much education to become a real estate agent. We go through a very abbreviated curriculum and are required to pass a test to become licensed, but considering the level we are playing at it should be much more comprehensive. However, real estate agents deal with so many situations that cannot be learned in a classroom environment. Experience is the ultimate key to finding a knowledgeable real estate agent that will have the right approach and the right answers to your questions. Sometimes a bright beginner will partner themselves with a very experienced brokerage, and that can serve the same purpose as a good broker will oversee all daily activity of the real estate agent. The truth is most buyers and sellers have probably achieved a higher level of formal education than their real estate agent. The difference is that real estate agents deal with buying and selling homes everyday, while the typical buyer or seller might do it three times in their lives. Trust in your agent’s industry specific experience, use your education for your own research and due diligence using free tools like www.utahuterealestate.com, and the end result should be a good one.
As a home buyer you should always work with a real estate agent that you trust will have your best interests in mind throughout the process. For more information contact a real estate professional.