How a REALTOR® is Paid
REALTOR®'s typically work on a commission basis and are only paid when in fact they sell a home.
In most cases, 99% of the norm is that the seller pays the commissions and they are split between the buyer's agent as well as the seller's agent. Unless you have negotiated something different with your agent, then it is safe to assume that this is the case.
The good news for a buyer is that it does not cost anything for your to work with a REALTOR® to find your new home because the fees are essentially paid for by the seller to find the buyer when a successful sale is made. But just because the seller is paying the real estate commission it does not mean that your agent will work for the seller. Your buyer's agent will have fiduciary duties to protect your best interests throughout the course of finding the home right through to the completion of the sale.
As a buyer, you will benefit from the experience and knowledge of a professional to guide you through the entire process from finding the new home to negotiating a favourable contract with the right conditions to protecting you in the purchase.
The advice given by a REALTOR® is essential with any purchase or sale. A successful real estate agent will sell hundreds possibly thousands of homes or condos during the life of their career while a typical person will sell just a few making it essential to have an agent represent you through the journey.