Did you know that real estate agents are not required when buying a home? Some people do not know that. They just assume that they have no other choice but to work with an agent. That said, the fact that buying a home without an agent is possible does not always make it the smartest way to go.
Buying a home is fraught with peril. Real estate transactions are governed by a strict set of rules designed to protect both buyers and sellers. Run afoul of those rules and you could bring a heap of trouble on yourself. Even staying within the boundaries doesn’t guarantee success, though. You can still get taken to the cleaners if you do not understand the real estate game.
The owners of CityHome Collective say that buying without the help of an agent isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Incidentally, CityHome Collective is a Salt Lake City real estate brokerage that also offers interior design services. Both its owners and agents advise caution among buyers looking to go it alone.
Limited Market Knowledge
One of the biggest downsides of buying without an agent is having limited market knowledge. Let’s face it, without direct access to the MLS database, your average buyer doesn’t truly know what’s out there. Online real estate listings have certainly improved things over the years, but they can be notoriously inaccurate because they tend to lag behind.
The lack of knowledge is not limited to just available listings. It also includes local market strength, total inventory, average sale prices, and so forth. It encapsulates all information that real estate agents have to know in order to provide the best possible service.
Offers and Counter Offers
Offers and counter offers are part of the real estate game. Very few houses are sold without some sort of back and forth between buyer and seller. So deciding to go it alone means being willing to negotiate. And of course, there is more to it than simply negotiating sales price.
Buyers need full disclosure before they make an offer. They get it by obtaining a legitimate seller’s disclosure form from the current property owner. This document discloses anything the potential buyer needs to know. It includes things such as:
- structural or mechanical issues with the house
- the presence of asbestos, lead paint, etc.
- the presence of mold and/or water damage
- damage caused by wood-boring pests
- any problems with surrounding soil and foliage.
It is in a seller’s best interest to disclose as little as possible. However, this is where good agents prove invaluable. A good seller’s agent will encourage the client not to hide anything. A good buyer’s agent knows how to recognize when full disclosure is not being provided.
Mounds of Paperwork
Buying a home comes with mountains of paperwork. The purchase offer is just the start. If you can write a solid purchase offer, you are a step ahead of most DIY buyers. But then there are other documents to worry about. Everything from home inspection reports to mortgage documents will require your undivided attention.
Real estate agents understand the paperwork. Under most circumstances, they can answer any questions a buyer might have. And when an agent cannot give an answer, they know of another professional who can.
It is very possible to buy a house without the assistance of a real estate agent. It is not necessarily the smartest thing to do unless you have extensive knowledge of how the game works. Going without an agent can easily bite you in the back side.