Are you thinking about buying a house without the help of a realtor? The world of real estate can be vast and overwhelming, which can make it tough to navigate without a professional real estate agent. That being said, with a little extra effort, many people successfully buy and sell their homes on their own.
Whether you are looking to save on realtor fees, or just aren’t sure how much a realtor can help you, there are plenty of legitimate reasons to purchase a home without using the services of a realtor. But before you make your final decision, you should make sure that you fully understand the pros and cons of buying a home with and without a realtor.
Below are a few things you should consider if you are thinking about buying a house without a realtor:
1. Reading Fine Print
Do you cringe at the thought of fine print? When it comes to securing a mortgage and purchasing a home, the fine print and legal language are extremely important to review fully. When you work with a realtor, they can be an asset as they read this type of paperwork all the time and can easily simplify it for you. They may also point out hidden conditions or fees that you may have missed. If you choose not to use a realtor, it’s a good idea to have a real estate lawyer look over any important documentation and make sure you fully understand what you are agreeing to.
2. House Hunting
When you are ready to start looking for your home, the search will look much different depending on if you are working with a realtor or not. A realtor will take your wishlist and comb through databases or reach out to industry contacts to find a number of homes for you. They will provide you with everything you need to know about the home, neighbourhood, and other market info. If you choose to go at it alone, you will have to find the homes and perform vital background research on your own. This may prove challenging without access to realtor databases and resources, but it is still entirely possible to do it yourself.
3. Organization Skills
Are you the person that has a colour coded calendar up on the fridge, or are you the person that can’t remember where you put your car keys yesterday? Buying a home on your own takes strong organization skills, and some people just may not be cut out for the job. With all of the moving parts, paperwork, timelines, and people to follow up with, it can quickly become overwhelming if you do not have your things neatly organized and filed. Get yourself a large binder and some highlighters before you get started!
Most people don’t buy homes that often, which means that they aren’t very familiar with the wording in all of the related paperwork and documents. When it comes to filling out paperwork and writing an offer with conditions, it is all in the details. Be prepared to take some time to fill out paperwork and review each line carefully, and have a real estate lawyer help you read over anything you are unsure about.
5. Neighbourhood Knowledge
When you work with a realtor who has been in the business for a few years, they should have a decent amount of knowledge about the neighbourhoods in your city. They can provide information about schools, building codes, local amenities, and the neighbourhood feels – and if they don’t know something they will likely know where to find out. If you are looking to find out this info on your own, you may have to do an online deep dive. Keep in mind that it could prove challenging to find the info quickly from a reliable source, but there are plenty of ways to find the info that you need.
6. Negotiation Experience
When it is time to make your offer and negotiate a price, one detail can cost or save you thousands of dollars! Most realtors have the knowledge and experience of market conditions that they can use to help you submit a competitive offer at the best possible price. They may also be able to find any aspects of the property that could be used as leverage in a negotiation situation. Keep in mind that even if you are a skilled negotiator, it’s still essential to do your research of the area and determine if your offer is fair and competitive.
7. Industry Connections
One last thing that a realtor can offer is industry connections to services that you may need during the home buying process such as a mortgage broker, home insurance company, and real estate lawyer. Even without recommendations from a realtor, you can easily find the services you need online – just be sure to look at customer reviews and even ask friends and family for advice.
So, if you have considered the above list and think you are ready, what are the next steps? First, do your research on the neighbourhood you’d like to buy-in. Then, get yourself a mortgage broker and start the mortgage pre-approval process. Once you find a property, write up your offer and request the seller’s disclosures. Finally, hire a lawyer and home inspector to help you negotiate and close the deal.
Remember that it is typically the seller who is responsible for paying the buyer’s realtor, so you won’t necessarily lose money if you choose to go with a realtor. That being said, you may be able to offer a lower price if that commission does not need to be paid. If you decide not to work with a realtor and will be writing your own offer, make sure your seller is aware that they won’t have to pay a realtor’s commission (typically around 3% of the purchase price).
If you are ready to dive in and coordinate your house purchase alone, you’ll have enough on your plate without having to find the best mortgage rate too. Our team can help you secure a mortgage that best suits your needs so that you can focus on finding and securing your new home. Get in touch to get started!