Buying a house without a Realtor isn’t a situation where you can just set a few days aside. From researching the projected cost of utilities to local zoning restrictions—for example, is it legal to run your home-based business from the new dwelling—you’re going to invest countless hours in research before making an offer. As a buyer, and especially as a seller, you will invest a much greater amount of time, and incur a much greater amount of opportunity cost, than you originally expected. A real estate agent’s full-time job is to act as a liaison between buyers and sellers, meaning they have easy access to all other properties listed by other agents. Both the buyer’s and seller’s agents know what gets a deal together. For example, if you are looking to buy a house in California, a real estate agent will track down homes that meet your criteria, get in touch with sellers’ agents and make appointments for you to view the homes. If you are buying on your own, you will have to play this telephone tag yourself. This may be especially difficult if you’re shopping for homes that are for sale by owner.
Negotiating Is Tricky Business
Many people dislike the idea of doing a real estate deal through an agent and believe direct negotiation between buyers and sellers is more transparent and allows stronger focus on their own best interests. If you are working with an agent, you can express concerns about upgrading, redecorating, or remodeling the home without insulting the owner. Your real estate agent can convey your concerns to the sellers’ agent. Acting as a messenger, the agent may be in a better position to negotiate a discount. A real estate agent is your buffer during the transaction, helping to reduce any bad blood between a buyer and seller that can kill a deal. Keep in mind that a seller can reject a potential buyer’s offer for any reason. An agent can help by speaking for you in tough negotiations and keep things professional. This can put you in a better position to get the house you want.
Contracts Can Be Hard To Handle
After the excitement of attending open houses and browsing real estate sites lessens, you’ll have a professional available to answer questions about cleaning up your credit report and securing financing. An experienced real estate agent deals with the same contracts and conditions on a regular basis, and is familiar with which conditions should be used, when they can safely be removed, and how to use the contract to protect you. Best of all, you’ll arrive at closing to simply read and sign the legal documents prepared by the agent for you. When buying a home, the offer to purchase contract is there to secure your interests and ensure you can back out of the deal if certain conditions aren’t met. For example, if you plan to buy a home with a mortgage in California and you aren’t approved for the loan, you can lose your deposit on the home and could even be sued by the seller for failing to fulfill your end of the contract.
You Might Give Up Some Advantages
The seller’s agent will always have the seller’s best interest as a primary focus. If the house-buying process becomes frustrating, you might choose dual representation with the seller’s agent and give up the advantage of keeping your financial information to yourself during the delicate negotiation process. If you are working with a licensed real estate agent under an agency agreement, the agent is bound by license law to act in their clients’ best interest—yours. In addition, most Realtors rely on referrals and repeat business to build the kind of clientele base they’ll need to survive in the business. This means that doing what’s best for their clients should be as important to them as any individual sale.
The Home’s History Is a Mystery
One significant consideration when buying a home is not knowing the history of the property. Real estate disclosure statements, which vary, are the buyer’s opportunity to learn as much as they can about the property and the seller’s experience in it. Potential seller disclosures range from knowledge of leaky windows to DIY work without the benefit of a permit, to information about a major construction or development project nearby. Disclosure documents serve to inform buyers, but they can also protect the sellers from future legal action. The Seller should reveal anything that can negatively affect the value, usefulness or enjoyment of the property.
Pros of Going Solo
Being cost conscious is a great way to dive into home ownership in California. Ten to 15 percent of homeowners take the plunge and buy a house without the aid of a Realtor. If tackling the house-buying process without the guidance of a Realtor tops your agenda, you can.
Buyers Enjoy Purchase Price Flexibility
The number one reason buyers opt to explore housing options without a Realtor is to save money. And for some savvy consumers, this might be a great option. With technology and the numerous available property listings online databases there is no longer the same necessity for a buyer to engage a Realtor as there is for a seller.
There’s No Middleman to Deal With
If you want to work with the seller directly, cutting out the middleman is appealing. There’s no need to relay messages, wait for callbacks, or trust that your interests are being accurately shared with the seller. The buyer has the opportunity to communicate their needs and ideas directly to the seller.
You Have First-Hand Knowledge
Are you making an offer on your neighbor, family, or friend’s house? This first-hand knowledge of property for purchase is only known by you, so why get a Realtor involved? Sellers are sometimes very comfortable around a buyer when they are in one another’s presence. Transactions between family members and friends regarding property about which both parties have in-depth knowledge, the sale process can be much smoother. All buyers benefit from an agent who explains less obvious features and faults of a property will work with the buyer to find the home that is right for them at the right price. In the end, buyers and sellers want a comfortable and smooth real estate process. Both parties in the process want assurance the transaction is handled professionally, and that they will get the best deal possible, whether they are buying or selling. An honest, capable, and trustworthy agent will facilitate that.
Golden State Mortgage Can Help
Golden State Mortgage is a California-based mortgage company specializing in new home purchases and mortgage refinance. Whether a FHA, VA, or USDA Loan, we have you covered with loan options for almost every lending need. With in-house underwriting, we can make fast decisions—and, we strive to close all loans in 28 days or less. Low Rates. Low Fees. Fast Closings—Call Lone Star Financing today at 1-800-585-6886 or fill out the quick contact form to speak with a mortgage loan consultant to get a free good faith estimate.