Having a real estate agent is certainly helpful when buying a house, but it isn’t required by any means.
In fact, according to data from the National Association of Realtors, about 12% of homebuyers in 2019 went it alone.
Should you do the same? And what can you expect if you do? Here’s what you’ll want to think about:
What a real estate agent does
Real estate agents take on a whole slew of responsibilities for their buyers. They help you search listings, schedule showings, tour houses, draw up offers, coordinate things like inspections and repairs, and many even attend your closing appointment.
Agents also play a key role in the negotiating process and can often help you get a better deal on that dream home.
How do agents get paid?
When you’re buying a home, you don’t actually pay out-of-pocket for an agent’s services. Instead, they’re paid out of the listing agent’s commissions.
Agents who list homes take around 6 to 7% of the property’s sale price as a commission. They then split that fee with the agent who brings the winning buyer to the table.
Because of this arrangement, skipping a real estate agent (at least as a buyer) won’t always save you cash. Typically, it will only result in savings if you buy a house that wasn’t listed by a Realtor. In these arrangements — called For Sale by Owners (FSBOs) — the sellers can lower their home price since they aren’t paying hefty commissions.
How to buy a house solo
If you do opt to buy a house sans real estate agent, be prepared to put in the work.
You’ll need to:
- Set up listing alerts, so you’re in the know about new homes that hit the market
- Contact sellers and listing agents to schedule showings
- Put together offers on homes you’re interested in purchasing
- Negotiate with sellers and listing agents to settle on an agreement
- Find a home inspector and coordinate inspection appointments
- Negotiate repairs based on the inspection findings
- Coordinate with your lender and title company as needed
- Attend your closing appointment and sign your papers
If you end up buying a house solo, tap your loan officer for advice along the way. You may also want to bring in a real estate attorney to ensure you’re using the proper contracts and agreements for your transaction.
Are you ready to buy a house?
If you’re ready to buy a house, get in touch with Premier Nationwide Lending today. We’ll help you start the process off on the right foot.
Premier Nationwide Lending is an Equal Housing Opportunity lender. Sponsored by NTFN, Inc. 6201 West Plano Parkway, Suite 100, Plano, TX 75093 | NTFN NMLS 75333.