A buyers agent is a real estate agent that specializes in finding homes for you, the buyer. The agent generally has a better understanding of the area that you are looking to purchase. They probably will know more about the school system, where the closest grocery store is, and other things of that nature that will help you in finding a home.
Buyer's Agents only get paid if you end up purchasing a home they have showed you. If you are using a Realtor that is hard working and dedicated, be sure to stick with them through out the home buying process. Buyer's Agents work hard but often lose their customers by calling a telephone number on a "For Sale" yard sign rather than first contacting their agent.
A buyers agent will work for you in your negotiation of your new home price. Having a buyers agent will also benefit you with helping you understand the legal aspects of the purchase contract.
The buyers agent will know how to protect you in the event that there is something wrong with the home such as a mold issue, structural damage, a leaky roof or any other problem, they will let you know what is common in your area and work on your behalf to make sure that you are paying the proper costs such as title insurance or tax stamps as every area may differ on who pays what, and the buyers agent also has the ability to narrow your search results and save you time when finding your new home.
One of the best things about working with a buyers agent is that it costs you no more than working without one. The commission to the buyers agents is paid from the sellers proceeds.
Having representation during this major purchase will be important for two specific reasons; first, you will have a real estate partner who has your best interests at heart, and second,your agent will have negotiation skills if there are any aspects of the process that are not suitable. A good buyer's agent may also have prior relationships with selling agents that will help your purchase offer stand out above other offers in the cases of multiple bids.
Look for the abbreviation ABR next to a realtors name on any mmarketing material to identify if they are a Accredited Buyers Representatives.