Considering buying a house without a realtor? On the surface, it seems like you could save some money by dealing directly with sellers and cutting out the “middleman.” If you’re considering this move, here are eight reasons you might want to think again.
Your Time Is Worth Something
If you’ve never bought a house before, or if your previous home-buying experience was done through a realtor, you may have no idea how time-consuming the whole process is. A realtor will pre-sort all the options and narrow them down to only the ones you want to see. This alone saves you hours and hours of time.
Even more importantly, you can’t just go knock on the door of a place you want to see. You have to make arrangements through the seller’s agent or the seller themselves. This involves more time spent tracking down the right person, getting a hold of them, and then coordinating schedules. When you have a realtor working with you, you simply tell them your schedule and availability and then show up.
Zillow Isn’t Everything
With the rise of the Internet, there’s more information available to the online buyer than ever before. But is that information all equally valuable? Do you even know where to start in sorting out the real listings from the fake ones or the old ones that should have been taken down weeks ago?
Real estate agents have far more sophisticated tools at their disposal than what is available to the general public online, and they also bring with them an intimate knowledge of the local market. They have taken exams and hours of courses to hold certifications. They work with this information every day, all day long. Working with a realtor means a smooth experience instead of hours wasted in frustration.
You Might Need Some Friends
If you’re in the home-buying process, you’ll quickly discover that nearly every home needs a little something. This is just the reality of moving into a place where someone else has lived. You might need something as simple as a deep clean of the carpets, or you might want to replace a whole kitchen, and while sometimes these are things you’ll want the seller to do, other times it a better deal to negotiate a cheaper selling price and take care of it yourself.
When you’re the one in charge of the cleaning or remodeling, you get to stay in charge of the whole process so the end result is just what you’re envisioning! Whatever you need to make your new home the perfect place for your family, you can be sure a good realtor will have carefully vetted recommendations for tried-and-true professionals who can get the job done for you quickly and reliably.
Neighborhoods Aren’t Always What They Seem
Realtors know the neighborhood. They know which ends of the block are safe, which spots are most convenient to the local park, and which properties have hidden downsides. From unexpectedly busy streets to homes that back up on schools with a loudspeaker system, you’ll find out everything you need to know about a property and the immediate neighborhood when you have a realtor helping you make your purchase.
Your realtor can also give you other important insights, like whether the neighborhood’s crime rate is trending up or down, how loud the airplanes are overhead (and how often they go by), and how people in the area feel about the local bars, restaurants, and parks.
Red Flags Aren’t Always Obvious
Buying a home is an emotional process. This is a place you’ll be calling your own, after all, and it’s very hard not to get emotionally attached. In fact, it’s not at all uncommon for buyers to fixate on a home almost as soon as they’ve seen it. If you’re buying a house without a realtor, you’re missing that key component to a safe buying process: an objective third party.
There are all kinds of red flags to look for in the buying process. These could be elements of the home itself, the immediate surrounding area, or even subtle cues to be picked up from the seller. Real estate agents do this every day, and they can spot these red flags from a mile away. If you know you might be unable to see the flaws of a home once you notice that outdoor fire pit you’ve always wanted, you don’t want to be buying a house without a realtor.
Negotiating Is an Art
As a buyer, you know your price range. You also know what any given property is worth to you, which might not be the same thing. What you might not know is the true value of the property in comparison with similar properties in the area and how to negotiate successfully in competition with other buyers. You also might not know what a seller is hiding and hoping to get away with in a sale!
There’s no single magic number on any property, and negotiating with a seller (who might have a very emotional attachment to the property) while still offering a deal that sets you apart from other buyers is a true art form. Your realtor knows exactly how to start negotiations, but a good realtor also knows how to finish them successfully. From the use of contingency clauses to knowing the right questions to ask, a realtor is an invaluable ally in your quest for the perfect home.
Loans Are All-Important
Getting a home loan is no joke, and for most people, their home is their single biggest investment. Home loans are confusing legal documents that can run hundreds of pages, and most ordinary people don’t have the time or the legal expertise to fully appreciate it all, especially if they’re in a hurry to secure a loan so they can make an offer on a property they really want.
Real estate agents have lenders they trust: lenders they know will treat their buyers right. Agents have also worked with loans many times and understand the jargon and where there might be a red flag you should pay close attention to. This alone can save you not only many hours and frustrating trying to find a lender and negotiate terms, but also money in the long run.
Algorithms Aren’t Real People
Every online real estate listing site has filters these days, and these can make it all seem so simple. Simply choose “pool” and “two or more bathrooms” in the filter, look in the right neighborhood, and you’ll find what you need, right?
An algorithm doesn’t work for you: you have to work for it. Your realtor is a different story. Your realtor will be online, sometimes all night, pouring over listings looking for the things that algorithms can’t filter for, like which properties are near quiet streets or have wider hallways to accommodate your growing teens. When you work with a realtor, you’re working with a real person who knows what real people need: and that makes all the difference.
Don’t Try Buying a House Without a Realtor!
Buying a house without a realtor can cost you a lot, and not just in money. When you’re ready to buy a house, save yourself time, money, and frustration and work with Los Angeles’ real estate specialist. Contact Teresa Mack today and start your journey to the perfect home in just the right neighborhood.