Can the Buyer Have an Agent? Does the Buyer have to Pay?
A buyer can choose to hire a buyer's agent. Although a buyer could go around looking for homes on his/her own, it can be very helpful to be represented by a buyer's agent, especially for first time home buyers. Buyer's agents are experts in the markets in which they work; they know the market much better than someone who is just moving to the area.
Moving is also a busy time. A buyer's agent can do tasks such as calling listing agents to make viewing appointments, emailing or calling the buyer when they spot a property that meets the buyer's needs and going with the buyer to view different homes in a neighborhood. All realtors take an oath to treat all parties fairly during a real estate transaction.
However, many buyers are still nervous that if something does go wrong during the transaction, they will be left helpless while the seller has the listing agent available to educate them. Having a buyer's agent can make home buyers feel like they have a friend in their corner. Even in this scenario, the commission for the buyer's agent still usually falls into the column of what the seller is responsible for at the closing table.
The only time you may end up seeing the fee for the buyer's agent showing up in the buyer's column is if the buyer is purchasing a For Sale By Owner property. If someone finds him/herself interested in a For Sale By Owner home, it is always best to speak with a buyer's agent or real estate lawyer before agreeing to anything.