PROCURING CAUSE EXPLAINED: There is an important concept for buyers to understand when working toward a home purchase with the help of a dedicated real estate agent. In real estate lingo, the concept is called "Procuring Cause." It can get complicated but the basic idea is that your chosen real estate agent, in order to be paid a commission for helping you through the purchase of your home, is supposed to be instrumental in introducing you to the property, as well as assisting you through the purchase process.
You can attend open houses without your agent but it's important you let it be known to the agent holding the open house that you are already working with an agent. Be advised that if you are working with an agent you want to represent you, you should not call another agent, for example the listing agent indicated on a For Sale sign or on the online listing, and ask them to arrange access for you to see the home's interior. Work through your agent and let him/her make the arrangement for you to see any home you are interested in. This avoids serious misunderstandings, conflicts between agents and the possibility that you will inadvertently be acquiring alternative representation on your purchase.