Do home buyers need their own agent?

Beware of dual-agency dilemma

During this peak season when more houses and condos sell than during any other time of this year, prospective home buyers (especially first-timers) often wonder how to go about purchasing their first homes. As I have often suggested, the first step is to get pre-approved in writing by a mortgage lender so buyers will know the maximum mortgage for which they can qualify. With a mortgage lender's pre-approval letter or certificate (not just a worthless pre-qualification letter where the buyer's loan application hasn't been verified), the second step is to start looking at local houses and homes available for sale. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. Most buyers begin their quest on the Internet, usually at, where more than 70 percent of today's home buyers start their search. At this point, the home search can become murky. Many prospective home buyers contact the home's listing agent, either by e-mail or by phone. Although the listing agent is likely to be extremely help...