Are you ready to buy a home in the LA area? If so, you probably already have a friend encouraging you to do it on your own, without the help of a realtor. Buying a house without a realtor is risky: and it might be a risk you just can’t afford.
You Might Overpay
Most people try buying a house without a realtor to save money by avoiding agent fees. But the first huge risk you’re taking is that you don’t really know the value of the property and the local market. Homeowners almost always overprice. This isn’t malicious; it’s just that they have a lot of emotional investment in their place!
And while some buyers try to use online sites like Zillow to get an idea of property values, these are also notoriously inaccurate. Without an agent on your side who knows the local market, has access to buying records and property tax information, and can double-check inspection reports, you’re putting yourself at risk of overpaying.
You Might Miss Something
Sellers are required by law to disclose certain things about their property, but the law doesn’t specify when they have to disclose. Some buyers will helpfully line up everything for you in advance, but others will wait until the last moment and hope you’re too committed to care.
A realtor knows exactly what the disclosure laws are and what should be on the forms. A realtor has the expertise to sense when a seller might be trying to hold back bad news until the last moment. Without that expertise, you risk getting a nasty shock when you least expect it.
Your Appraisal Might Not Be Reliable
If you’re not using a professional to get your appraisal, you’re really putting yourself at the mercy of the seller’s appraiser. You don’t know if they’re professional, either; and you don’t know if you’re being taken for a ride.
One of the worst things that can happen is to get your heart set on a property based on an unprofessional appraisal, only to find out the bank won’t loan what you need because they think the property isn’t that valuable.
You Might Miss a Legal Issue
Buying and selling real estate is a complicated legal procedure. There are many laws and regulations that apply to the entire process, and California has some of the most complicated laws on the books.
If you miss something in all the vast amounts of paperwork involved in a real estate transaction, you could miss a deadline and lose money–or even the sale–at the last moment. Potentially worse, you could get through the transaction only to find some expensive and serious legal liabilities a few months or years down the line.
You Might Get Out-Negotiated
If you’re doing a person sale with a homeowner, you have to rely on your own negotiating skills to get the best deal. However good you might be at negotiating, you have no way of knowing if the homeowner might be better. If they are, you stand to lose quite a bit.
Real estate agents negotiate for a living. Think about the skills you bring to your job every day. You’re an expert in those skills because you practice them 40+ hours a week. The same is true of a realtor, and having one on your side takes the risk out of property negotiations.
Buying a House Without a Realtor Never Pays
Whatever you might save in agent fees by buying without a realtor isn’t worth the risk of losing far more to a better negotiator, a missed legal issue, or a bad appraisal. Teresa Mack has years of experience helping buyers in Los Angeles find the homes they need at prices they can afford. Give Teresa Mack a call today and get the best professional help on your side.