More often these days I am running into real estate buyers who are committed to the idea of not using a buyer's agent, but rather trying to navigate the real estate process by themselves and dealing directly with a selling agent only.
The motivation for this sort of choice seems to be either that they think that they'll get a better deal on the property dealing directly with the listing agent, or that they will be better able to source and select properties that suit them without an agent steering them with their own biases and agenda.
In both instances I cannot imagine someone being more mistaken in their understanding of how real estate actually works. In both instances buyers are setting themselves up for failure and disappointment.
If you're going to climb Everest, you're going to need a Sherpa. You can certainly have a go of it without one, but the odds are your frozen corpse on the side of the mountain will become a warning for others to avoid the path of foolish pride.
If you're going to dive the great barrier reef you're going to need the services of a local dive master. Even Jaques Cousteau had local dive masters with him in his explorations as he was not so foolish to believe that he could possibly understand the terrain, dangers and opportunities that each new dive site presented, regardless of how good a diver he was.
If you're going to sue someone you're going to probably want to bring a lawyer with you. The old adage that a person who represents himself in court has a fool for a client is a cliche precisely because it is true.
See the pattern here?
If you're going to buy real estate, you're going to need someone on your side. You're going to need someone to guide you over the crevasses and to point out the dangerous currents, to keep you safe from the liabilities involved in a potential transaction that you likely aren't even aware exist.
Dealing directly with a listing agent as a buyer certainly does have its benefits, for the seller and the listing agent! It's quite similar to relying your partners divorce lawyer in court, great for them, not so good for you. Any deal that can be had with a listing agent can likely be bettered by having your own zealous representation in a buying transaction. More importantly it offers you the safety of having someone that does real estate for a living looking out for your interests. You may think you know what you're doing but I can assure you that a seasoned buyers agent will have at least ten times the experience you do and that experience can often be priceless. In buying real estate you are an amateur, and as the saying goes if you think using a professional is expensive, wait until you decide to use an amateur.
And that's the kicker really, because the cost of the buyers agent is almost always covered by the seller. The myth that if you deal directly with the listing agent the selling commission will go away is just that, a myth, it doesn't go away, the listing agent gets to keep it, and he thanks you.
Take some time to learn and understand what agency and dual agency actually means. Take the time to find an experienced, professional buyers agent who will be on your side throughout the process and upon whose expertise you can rely. To do otherwise is like putting on a meat suit and going hiking in bear country. It's just not a good idea.