Are you looking for a house and wonder if you should use a real estate agent? While there are definite benefits of using a real estate agent, there are also downsides. If you decide you can handle the process on your own – go for it. Before you do, though, you should know what’s entailed.
You May Save Money
The one reason many people act as their own real estate agent is the money that they will save. Working on your own, you don’t have an agent to pay. It’s not that you pay the real estate agent directly, though; that’s the seller’s job. But, the seller will make sure the price he gets for the house is high enough to cover the commission he must pay to the real estate agent.
The seller pays his agent, called the seller’s agent. It’s then up to the seller’s agent to split the commission with the buyer’s agent, as agreed. If you don’t have a buyer’s agent, though, there is no commission to split. This means the seller’s agent may be willing to settle for a smaller commission, which could ultimately mean a lower sales price for you.
You Know What You Want
If you know what type of home you want, what features you need, and how to find them, you may not need a real estate agent. If you can search for homes that meet your requirements, set up the appointment to see them, and can negotiate like a lawyer, then you may not have a need for a real estate agent.
This will only work if you are strong, though. You have to be able to not only submit an offer, but counteroffer should the seller not like your first offer. If you know you will fold at the first counteroffer, you need someone to represent you. If you know you can stay strong and you know what you need, you are free to give it a go yourself.
You Can Knock Out the Middleman
It can be frustrating to have to deal with a middleman, like a real estate agent. You are stuck waiting for them to be able to fit you in. What if time is of the essence? Maybe there are several others that want to bid on the home. If the real estate agent is tied up in other business, you may lose the opportunity to get the home you want. The seller may accept another bid long before you even get your bid into them.
When you represent yourself, you operate on your own timeline. You can submit a bid as soon as you decide that you found the right home. You don’t have to wait for anyone else to be available – you do the work as soon as you are ready. Those few minutes or few hours that you shave off the waiting period could mean the difference between you buying a home and dosing the bid.
The Internet Makes it Much Easier Today
The internet has opened up the realm of possibilities of being your own real estate agent today. You can search the MLS listings just like a licensed realtor can. You can also figure out what the fair price for the home is and even what contingencies you should ask for, if you do enough research.
Before the onset of the internet, it was much harder to represent yourself. You needed the expertise of the real estate agent because they had the ‘inside information.’ Today, everyone can see that information and the right people can go ahead and represent themselves. You just have to have motivation, desire, and the ability to act quickly.
If you want to represent yourself in a real estate transaction, you are more than welcome to do so. The one piece of advice we would provide, though, is to get a real estate attorney. This way you know that the contract is legitimate and fair to everyone involved. You will also be advised on certain decisions before you make them. It could make the difference between a successful home purchase and a disastrous one.