Get an Advocate. The most important advantage of real estate representation is having an advocate that puts your interests ahead of all others. A good agent can look at any given situation, give you advice and options, and then obtain the terms you need so you can move onto the next step. For example, requesting repairs when buying a home. What may seem like a reasonable request to you as buyer may not be so reasonable to the home owner. An agent can help you determine what to ask and what to accept as is. And when selling, an agent can advise as to what repairs are acceptable and what are not. Also during negotiations it’s easy to get hung up on the details, with your emotions getting in the way of making an objective, level-headed decision. A competent agent will advocate for the best course for you and avoid unnecessary conflicts. And remember that a dual agent can’t act as an advocate robbing you of this benefit, so always insist on exclusive representation.