Buy Smart: Risks of Buying a Home Without an Agent

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Shopping for a new home is an experience we all enjoy. It’s fun to look around the housing market, see what’s available in your price range, and dream a bit. Imagining your life in a new home is exciting.

However, once we’ve been around the block a few times and bought a home or two in the past, it’s easy to think about buying a home without an agent. After all, we know what to look for in a home, don’t we?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is convoluted. While we may know the basics of what we want in a house, including any red flags, we don’t have the extensive knowledge, experience, or perks that come with hiring a real estate agent.

When you opt for buying a home without an agent, you’re also opting out of all of the benefits they come with. 

Keep reading to find out what you may be losing out on!

What You Lose When Buying a Home Without an Agent

Once again, while you may feel like you have everything under control, we urge you to take a look at the following points. We realize that by hiring an agent, you’re automatically committing to paying a realtor fee.

However, the realtor fee will be far less than the potential money you lose getting taken advantage of or worse. Imagine buying a home with so many underlying issues you don’t even want to live there anymore. Imagine signing a contract only to find thousands of dollars in repairs.

At the end of the day, buying a home without an agent can be one of the biggest mistakes you can make. However, it’s about more than just the financial side of things.

Check out these seven reasons you need an agent!

1. Connections

Real estate agents have a vast amount of connections. Their jobs put them in contact with everyone from school teachers and police officers to politicians. However, they also have a lot of connections with other realtors and agencies.

This not only gives them inside information about certain areas, but it also grants them access to special privileges. For example, if the seller’s realtor and your realtor know each other well, you’re more likely to get the full scoop on a house, rather than bits and pieces. It could put you in a prime position to negotiate, put an offer in, or walk away.

2. Skillful Negotiation

Speaking of negotiation, opting for buying a home without an agent takes away quite a bit of leverage from a buying standpoint. 

Real estate agents are skillful negotiators. This is due to their time in the field, extensive market knowledge, and knowing how buyers and sellers interact. Most people who try to negotiate on their own often end up low-balling the seller, turning them off. 

A realtor knows how to negotiate a price down without insulting the seller, keeping everything running smoothly. Furthermore, they know all the points that can be negotiated aside from pricing. This includes features, furniture, appliances, closing and realtor costs, etc.

3. Market Knowledge

As we mentioned before, buying a home without an agent puts you at a disadvantage for multiple reasons. One of the biggest things you lose out on is a vast array of market knowledge. 

An agent’s entire job is based on knowing the different neighborhoods, housing districts, etc. Most realtors will know immediately walking into a house if it’s worth the selling price. 

However, a home’s value is about much more than the home itself. Location, surrounding schools, parks, shopping areas, the housing market, and so much more go into accurately pricing a home. An agent specializes in this knowledge and ensures their clients get what’s fair.

4. Guidance

We mentioned before how an agent guides clients in the art of negotiation, ensuring that both sides remain happy. However, they guide clients in more than just negotiation.

An agent’s responsibility is to find homes their clients could be happy in, based on a client’s criteria. While they may occasionally stray here and there, it’s often for the client’s benefit. An agent will know if the buyer’s financial situation is realistic with what they’re looking for.

It’s not a bad idea to be open to their suggestions.

5. A Trained Eye

Real estate agents, like these trusted experts, often have a keen eye when inspecting houses. They’ve been in the business long enough and have been trained to catch what most of us would miss. Not using an agent could be a huge mistake you might not experience until you’re moved in.

However, this skill extends past physical inspections of the home. It also includes being able to read between the lines in various contracts. Buying a home without an agent puts you at a higher risk of not fully understanding what you’re signing.

6. Neighborhood Knowledge

The neighborhood you raise your kids in is important. As we mentioned before, real estate agents have the details on all the important aspects of buying a home, including the type of neighborhood it’s located in.

You may find a steal on a lovely home, but if it’s located in a bad neighborhood, it may not be the best move for your family. Buying a home without an agent could lead you into a nice house in a rough neighborhood. None of us want our kids growing up in an unsafe area.

7. Expertise with Laws, Regulations, and Policies

There’s a lot of fine print when it comes to buying a home. The contracts can be as long as books, and the material difficult to read. Buying a home without an agent leaves it completely on you to understand laws, regulations, and policies all on your own.

This includes knowledge of what sellers are legally obligated to do and disclose, depending on the type of sale and how it’s listed.

Why Take the Risk?

Buying a home without an agent is a big financial risk. Most mortgages are 30 years, that’s a long time to be stuck in a house you’re unhappy with.

Additionally, buying a new home should be an amazing experience, not one you come to regret. For the best advice and guidance, hire a real estate agent!

For more helpful articles on real estate, check out the rest of our blog!

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