Can you buy a house without a Realtor?
When you are shopping for a house, there can be a feeling of independence; looking at places online, going to open houses, looking over your budget to see what you can afford. That is all great. You should put a lot of effort into finding what is right for you.
When you are serious about purchasing a home, you should definitely have an agent working for you. Understanding the process is important. When a person is selling their home and they list their house with a real estate agent, that agent is working for the benefit of the seller, NOT YOU! Their job is to sell the house for as much as possible, on terms most favorable to the seller. Any information that you give to that agent will be used to try to sell the house to you for as much as possible. There is nothing illegal, or even shady about that. That is their job. That is how the market works.
When you engage a real estate agent to represent you as a buyer’s agent, they are working on your behalf. The agent will have you sign a contract, and an agency agreement. The agency agreement tells you that they are working on your behalf, not the seller’s. The contract is likely to read, “exclusive right to represent”. You should review those terms carefully, and you can have your attorney review them if you have any questions. Once you have an agent working for you, they are representing your interest. It is VERY IMPORTANT for you to understand that if you do not have that agency agreement, even if you have reached out to the agent, their job is still to represent the seller. Until you have that signed agency agreement, they are an extension of the listing agent; working on behalf of the seller.
Once you have a local agent representing you, they can be very helpful. The best part? You can hire an agent with no cash out of your own pocket. It is extremely common for the buyer’s agent and the listing agent to split the fee paid by the seller. If you don’t end up buying a house, there may be no fee at all. Your agent will help you figure out which neighborhoods or school districts are good options. They will help you locate properties in your budget. They will help guide you through the negotiation and purchase process. They know what “red flags” to watch for. They can help you find a mortgage lender that will service you well. They can recommend an attorney to represent you. They can help you determine if you need to have a property inspection done. The list is endless. There really is a lot to what they do for you.
You may not even recognize how not using an agent can hurt you. Imagine for a second that you visit an open house listed at $150,000. In casual conversation, to demonstrate your qualifications, you tell the listing agent that you are very well qualified and the bank has already pre-qualified you for $200,000. Now it is time to present an offer, and you tell the agent you would like to offer $140,000. That agent will have to present the offer to the seller. That agent will also tell the seller that you have told them that you are qualified for much more than $140,000 and may be prepared to pay more. How do you think that negotiation will go? Remember, that agent’s job is to sell the house for as much as possible.
There are a lot of details to manage when buying a house. Unless you have significant experience in the process, utilize local professionals to help. Shop for a good real estate agent that knows the area first. Then shop for your house.
This article was originally published by at https://www.thekeytorentals.com/
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