Get our carefully curated newsletter straight to your inbox.
Realtors are market insiders and can work wonders for the client. However, if you think hiring them is inevitable then you are mistaken because that is not the case. You can still find and buy a new home without a realtor’s help–it just requires more work and time on your part.
It’s usually the seller who has to budget for the realtor or agent’s commission on behalf of themselves and the buyer. However, sellers are notorious for adding in the commission in the home price and ultimately the buyer pays it.
You have decided not to hire a realtor, but the seller would likely hire one. When you finally decide to buy a certain property, there’s no harm in asking the homeowner if their broker can represent you as well. Most of the time sellers agree to it.
You may even offer to split the commission with the seller. If you can get the seller’s agent to represent you, you may also be a lot more comfortable with the work the agent puts in to strike a deal.
If you choose not to ask the seller’s agent about taking you on as a client and want to go at it alone, mentally prepare yourself: The process will likely consume your time and energy.
First things first, prepare your mortgage documents. Did you get pre-approval? It would involve less work if you know how much you can borrow from the lender. If not, reach out to banks to see how much home you can afford.
You will be required to submit proof of your income, credit score, and income tax returns. Once you secure a home loan mortgage, you’ll have a better idea of what your budget should be once you purchase the house.
Once you know how much house you can afford to buy, you should then narrow down your search to those houses that fit within that price range.
Search for houses online; there are plenty of websites and real estate apps that cater to buyers. Filter out properties that exceed your budget.
Now that you know how much you can afford, you’ll need to do a market analysis to confirm that the seller’s price for the home is reasonable. For that purpose, you can view or visit recently sold homes in the vicinity of the house you want to buy and research their sales prices. Seeing the final sales prices of surrounding houses will give you an idea of whether the seller’s asking price is fair.
You may visit the property personally but you need to hire professionals for the house inspection. It doesn’t make sense to focus on saving a few dollars when you are making such a big investment.
Finding out about potential major flaws after the deal would break your soul. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to get to know every detail of the house, flaws and all.
Hire an experienced inspector to walk the property. Believe me, it is worth every penny.
You will be required to hire a real estate attorney to represent you in closing the deal. Your attorney may take over from here and would handle all the legal paperwork necessary to transfer ownership of the property to you.
Buying a house without the help of a realtor requires more than mere knowledge of the market. You need to have strong negotiation skills and confidence in your ability to execute a legal deal.
The most common reasons why people choose to buy property without a realtor are:
Although it’s not required, there are real benefits to having a realtor. But if you are determined to buy a home without a realtor, do your due diligence to ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck.