Do I Need a Realtor to Buy a House?

One of the most common questions from home buyers is this- “Do I need a realtor to buy a house?” The short answer is no- here’s why.

Realtors Make Things Easier- Not Possible

Realtors are extremely helpful in most cases- hence, why so many buyers and sellers choose to use them. Great realtors:

  • Know your local area like the back of their hands.
  • Can give great advice on what to look for when buying.
  • Refer you to local contractors such as roofers, pest control, mold remediation or handymen.
  • Help you narrow down the list of homes to physically visit when buying.
  • Perform administrative tasks including paperwork, calling prospective.
  • Use commercial real estate software you (probably) don’t have access to.

At the end of the day, buyers tend to use realtors because they help remove the burden of a lot of time-consuming tasks including research, drafting paperwork and working with sellers and their agents.

But a realtor’s service isn’t cheap. At about 6 percent of the home’s sale price, you are paying a price for the convenience that hiring a realtor brings.

So if you’re on a tight budget- or just don’t mind spending the time and energy to do all of these tasks yourself- you may want to consider going without a realtor. In that case, there are a few things you’ll need to make sure happen before you close on the home.

Look at Lots of Homes

A good realtor will make sure you don’t fall in love with the first house you see. You don’t need a realtor to buy a house, but part of their job is to protect you from yourself!

Be sure to look at a lot of homes- if possible, at least 100 online- before making your choice.  This will help you get a feel for what’s on the market, what you like in a home, and what makes for a good deal.

This is time consuming- especially since you won’t have a realtor helping you filter out homes- but it’s a critical first step.

Find a Good Home Inspector

Once your offer has been accepted by the seller, a home inspection is ALWAYS recommended- period. You need to know if there have been past issues with the house that haven’t been addressed, along with present issues that are unseen to the untrained eye.

A home inspector will cost between $300 and $600, but the cost is well worth it.

You can either ask friends/family who have recently purchased a home if they can recommend someone, or just go straight to the internet. Google, Yelp, and Angie’s List are all great sites to help you find a reputable inspector.

Get a Real Estate Lawyer

Even though you can buy a home without a realtor, you can’t do it without involving a lawyer. Their fees aren’t cheap, but they are necessary. Again, you can either ask around or just go the internet.

Be Present for the Appraisal

If you’re financing the purchase through a bank, an appraisal will be required. Even though you aren’t required to be there, it’s definitely a good idea. You want to be able to ask questions and verify everything goes well.

Close the Deal

All of the paperwork will be done by the attorney, but if you’re a first-time buyer it may be intimidating. At least having your realtor there may help assure you that everything is going as it should.

That’s pretty much it! So you don’t need a realtor to buy a house, although they do make some things easier. Whether you decide to use a realtor or not, good luck buying the house.

About the author

Justin Stowe


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