Buying A House Without An Agent
Buying a house without an agent can benefit you and the seller, here's what you need to know.
If you want to buy a house without an agent but you are not willing to put in the effort to learn the transaction process, you should stop reading this and find an agent.
We get it, the traditional way to buy a home is with a real estate agent. A home is a big purchase, and going without a real estate agent can feel daunting. Here are some key tips on how to buy without a real estate and save money while being entirely satisfied with your purchase.
Why Buy Without An Agent?
When you buy without an agent, the seller can avoid paying 2-3% commission. If the seller is represented by an agent, the seller's agent can agree to accept 1/2 of the original brokerage commission agreed to when it was anticipated that the commission would need to be split with a buyer's agent. In this situation, for example, you can offer $242,500 for a property listed at $250,000 and the seller would receive roughly the same net proceeds.
More direct communication.
When you deal directly with the seller's agent, or the seller, there is less of a game of telephone relaying information, negotiation details and documents. Fewer points of failure can save you time and headaches.
Guide for buying a house without an agent:
1. Choose a lender
This may take some shopping. You will want a lender who offers a competitive rate and has a responsive team. The lender will provide you with a pre-qualification letter you will need with your offer – though, keep in mind that providing a pre-qualification letter does not mean you have to use that lender if they are not offering competitive rates or appear unresponsive.
If you do intend to apply for a loan for the purchase of your home, in the period between offer acceptance and closing, do not do anything that will affect your credit, including: quitting or switching your job, opening a new line of credit, paying your bills late, or buying an expensive item (car, boat)
2. Choose a title company
The title company is the most important vendor in a real estate agent. The cost of a title company’s services can be negotiable. We use Terrain Title at OfferMarket because they offer the most competitive cost for their services we have seen.
Learn more about what title companies do and their role in the transaction.
3. Choose an inspector
An inspector is another important part of the transaction. Please note that the properties listed on OfferMarket are priced “as is”, so there will be no negotiations after the offer is accepted. Its vital that you pick a reputable inspector that can question and quiz about the condition of the home. This is your chance to use their professional skill set to uncover issues with the property you are about to purchase. Talking to them is your insurance against hidden issues that could surface after you move in. For example, if the home was flipped, the remodel might have been done quickly and haphazardly, a good inspector should notice the signs and give you the insight if the target property is still a good deal.
Not sure who to choose? Ask the experts on your local Facebook Group, Real Estate Investors Association (REIA), or BiggerPockets.
4. Know the neighborhood
The reality is that neither we nor real estate agents can tell you some information you may want to know, including quality of schools and proportion of people in different age groups, because of well-intended anti-discrimination legislation. This information is publicly available, and walking around a neighborhood at different times of day will give a good feel for if it works for you.
5. Understand comparable home prices
We provide comparable home prices for the homes we have listed in the case of OfferMarket, you can also find these on real estate websites. Often, real estate websites do not take into account all the different factors that affect home prices, for example, the website may not know that a renovation happened since the last purchase making it worth more, or that a structural defect was unearthed, reducing the home price.
6. Know what you are willing to pay
This is incredibly important. Many homebuyers over-pay for properties. This is an especially common mistake if you're a first-time homebuyer. Calculate what your goal price is. Analyze your purchase price target based on how it would perform as a rental property -- see our Rental Property Investing Toolbox. Would it rent for more than your mortgage principal, taxes, and insurance? How much more? Think beyond the down payment to closing costs and the price of any necessary renovations. Hold firm with this amount, purchasing a home, moving, and furnishing is expensive….you want to feel comfortable with what you paid.
7. Submit your offer
It's time to figure out what your deal points will be. Here are the most common components of an offer:
- Purchase Price: how much will you be paying for the property?
- Earnest Money Deposit (EMD): how much of a deposit do you want to provide to show the seller you are serious?
- Offer Expiration: when does your offer expire?
- Financing type: cash, conventional, FHA or seller financing
- Condition: AS IS or inspection window with right to terminate?
- Close by date: when can you commit to close by?
If you don't have a Purchase And Sale Agreement form for your state, you can provide the deal points to the seller's agent and have them draft the contract for you. You may want a lawyer to review to be sure your desired deal points are property included.
Focus on what's important to you and the seller and figure out a win-win. Remember, the seller's agent represents the seller's interests so do not rely on their advice.
9. Follow up with lender, title company until transaction is closed
Keep on your title company and lender, especially during times of heightened deal activity in the market. Make sure they're on track and they have everything needed from you to close.
Buying With OfferMarket Is Even Easier
On the OfferMarket real estate marketplace, there are no agents involved and we provide the standard documents and title company to close your transaction. Buyers save thousands of dollars and countless hours buying with OfferMarket.
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