It?s a question that many have pondered: Do I need a Realtor to buy a home? A recent article on went into detail on this subject. We?ll get into some of the reasons below, but to sum it up as easily as possible, the answer is YES!

While the article confirms that the internet makes it easier for all of us to do our property research, it is in no way a substitute for an experienced real estate professional. As the article details, ?A crack negotiator who knows the market can save you time, money and heartache by helping you make the right offer ? playing hardball when necessary ? and staying on top of the process.?

If you find a house that draws your interest, the article recommends selecting a Realtor to represent you, rather than trying to deal directly with the listing agent who is working for the seller and has their best interests in mind.

In some cases you may also come across what is called a ?dual agency,? meaning both the buyer and seller are represented by the same brokerage. While this practice is not illegal, it does raise the potential for a conflict of interest. If this is the case, agents must disclose the situation and have the approval of both the buyer and seller.

Finally, please note that the commission for the seller?s agent, typically 5 to 8 percent of the purchase price, comes out of the seller?s proceeds. Also understand that the home is priced to account for the agent?s commission. Depending on the situation, an agent may be willing to take a slightly smaller percentage to complete the sale in timely fashion.