Young couple viewing home with realtor

Buying a home without a real estate agent

While there’s no requirement to buy a home with a real estate agent, there are many benefits to hiring a professional to help navigate the homebuying process, especially for first-time homebuyers.

Can you buy a home without using a real estate professional?

Yes. Just like a seller can choose the “for sale by owner” route, you can buy a home without using a real estate professional. However, just because you can doesn’t mean that you should. Buying a new home is often the most significant financial purchase of your lifetime. Having a professional by your side can help set you up for success. That’s why it’s essential to understand the advantages of using a real estate professional and the pros and cons of tackling homebuying solo.

How can a real estate professional help?

There are good reasons why the majority of all buyers work with a trusted real estate professional. From locating the right home to negotiating the terms of the sale and assisting with paperwork along the way, a buyer’s agent protects your interests. Conversely, a listing agent or seller’s agent is legally bound to help the home seller. That’s why it’s in your best interest to have an agent to represent you, especially when it’s time to write a winning real estate offer.

Reasons to use a real estate professional for building a new home

Are you interested in buying a brand-new construction home? You may think you can do without a real estate professional because you won’t need access to new home listings, but real estate professionals offer value beyond scheduling walk-throughs and driving you to open houses.

When purchasing a home directly from a builder, a buyer’s real estate agent will facilitate communication, hold the builder to a timeline and help decode the purchase contract. An agent can also help with negotiating customizations and upgrades and oversee the home inspection.

Buying a home without a real estate professional: Pros and cons

Before deciding to buy a home without a real estate professional, be sure to weigh these pros and cons.

Pros of going solo

Saving money is one of the main reasons homebuyers consider buying a home without a real estate professional.

  • Keep costs down

    The seller’s agent splits a commission fee with the buyer’s agent at the close of escrow. This fee is typically 5-6% of the purchase price, but it varies. Sellers may factor this fee into the sale price of the home. When you buy without an agent’s assistance, you may be able to negotiate a lower purchase price or a rebate at closing.

  • Find a home on your schedule

    Online tools allow you to research home listings on your schedule. Online listings are a great starting point, but nothing beats touring a home in person with a real estate professional.

Cons of do-it-yourself homebuying

DIY homebuying without an expert to advise you comes with added responsibilities and risks.

  • Saving money is no guarantee

    For most real estate transactions, the seller’s agent is responsible for paying the buyer’s agent. If you buy a home on your own, the seller’s agent may choose to keep the entire commission. In the end, you may end up paying the same amount, so why not enlist the help of a pro?

  • Buying a home may take more time

    Agents will coordinate showings, manage paperwork and narrow down listings to those that fit your preferences. Real estate professionals know what to look for when viewing homes and can quickly identify red flags, so you don’t waste time putting an offer on the wrong home. Hiring a professional frees up your schedule so you can focus on getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan and preparing to move.

  • Negotiating can be a challenge

    It’s your agent’s job to negotiate the price and sale conditions and access what other homes have sold for in the area to make sure that you get the best deal. Without a real estate professional to provide that context, you may make an offer based on emotions and spend more than necessary.

  • Hiring reputable experts may be more difficult

    Real estate professionals have networks and will provide recommendations for reputable lenders, home inspectors and title companies.

Surround yourself with experts

As a homebuyer, it’s wise to surround yourself with experts. Hiring a real estate professional offers several benefits, including helping you find the ideal home and buy at the right price. Similarly, an expert loan officer  will help you find the best loan and mortgage terms for your situation.

The above information is for educational purposes only. Guild Mortgage offers home financing only. All information, loan programs and interest rates are subject to change without notice. All loans subject to underwriter approval. Terms and conditions apply. Always consult an accountant or tax advisor for full eligibility requirements on tax deduction.

By |Published On: July 28th, 2021|Categories: Mortgage 101|Tags: , , |

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About the Author: Guild Mortgage

Founded in 1960 when the modern U.S. mortgage industry was just forming, Guild Mortgage Company is a nationally recognized independent mortgage lender providing residential mortgage products and local in-house origination and servicing. Guild’s collaborative culture and commitment to diversity and inclusion enable it to deliver a personalized experience for each customer. With more than 4,000 employees and over 250 retail branches, Guild has relationships with credit unions, community banks, and other financial institutions and services loans in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Guild’s highly trained loan professionals are experienced in government-sponsored programs such as FHA, VA, USDA, down payment assistance programs and other specialized loan programs. Guild Mortgage Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guild Holdings Company, whose shares of Class A common stock trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GHLD.