Can You Buy a House Without a Real Estate Agent?

Written by Ashley Sutphin Posted On Tuesday, 20 February 2024 00:00

If you’re wondering whether or not you can buy a house without a real estate agent, the short answer is that yes, you can. Whether or not that’s a good idea can be a different answer, though.

Why Would You Not Use a Real Estate Agent to Buy a Home?

The main reason you might be thinking about it is that when you don’t use an agent, you don’t want to pay realtor fees. However, buyers don’t usually pay a real estate agent’s commission. That’s something the seller does.

There’s not much of a benefit of buying a house without a real estate agent, but you might not be aware of how the commission structure works.

A commission for an agent is usually anywhere from 5 to 6% of the purchase price of a home. The listing and buying agent split it. Sellers, since they cover this, will usually build the price of this fee into the home price.

You might not prefer to work with an agent for another reason. Maybe you know how the process works, and you think it’ll be simpler for you not to work with someone. You could also be working with a real estate attorney who will help you handle the paperwork.

Another reason you might be questioning whether or not you need a real estate agent as a buyer is because the seller won’t pay the buyers’ agent commission.

What Are the Consequences of Not Working with a Real Estate Agent?

While there are few real benefits to not using a real estate agent as a buyer, there can be a lot of downsides to not using one.

These include:

• A Realtor can advocate on your behalf in a variety of situations.
• You might be able to find some homes you like online, but a Realtor is going to have a much better idea of not only what’s available but also what it’s worth. That’s a big role of a real estate agent—they can come up with comparable home sales in the area to help make sure you’re getting a good price. This is something that’s hard to do on your own, without knowledge and experience.
• Location is one of the biggest decision-making factors in a real estate transaction. In fact, you can do work on a home to improve it, but if the location isn’t right for you, there’s not a lot to be done. A Realtor will help you understand the neighborhood before you buy a home in a way that you might not be able to on your own.
• Realtors handle negotiations, paperwork, and other technicalities of a transaction.

The big takeaway here is that there aren’t a lot of situations where it makes sense, as a buyer, to avoid using a real estate agent. They’re a valuable resource, and usually, the seller pays their commission. On the other hand, there are a lot of potential problems that can occur if you try to buy a home on your own.

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