Before you go out shopping for your new home get yourself prequalified with a Local Lender and compare the fees that they charge. It is important to know where you stand financially, this will allow you to shop within your price range and you can target homes that fit within your qualification. Next make a list of wants and needs, the most important thing is to find a home that balances the two while providing you with value.
If you go out searching on your own, let the Licensed Agents that you run into know that you are prequalified so that they can show you the homes within in your budget. If you have a relationship with a Licensed Agent, then make them earn their money. They should never send you out on your own to look, they should provide you with minimum services. If you do go out on your own then disclose to the agent you run into that you do in fact have an agent, don't make the agents on duty do the job that your agent should be doing. Put yourself in their shoes and would your appreciate the fact that someone else shows up to write the contract who was not a factor in the decision to purchase... ? Make sure that you select a Licensed Agent who you feel can provide you with the best service from the initial search through closing out the escrow.