The simple answer is no, you are not required to have a realtor to buy a house. But think carefully before you choose to purchase a house by yourself. If you do not have experience with the home buying process, common home buyer mistakes can cost you a great deal financially. Like any DIY project, it also may end up taking more time and research than you originally anticipated. Consider the pros and cons of using a real estate agent to buy a house.
Pros To Using A Realtor To Buy A House
Negotiations take practice. It is not something you want to do on your own without experience. Even if you are experienced, your own personal feelings of excitement once you have found the home you want can provide a great bargaining chip for an experienced listing agent which could lead to you overpaying for a home that is not worth it. Realtors have extensive experience negotiating, are not emotionally invested in the home purchase, and because real estate agents are a fairly connected community, it is possible they have experience negotiating with the listing agent.
Information At Their Fingertips
While you are able to find homes that fit your criteria online, Buyer’s Agents have information at their fingertips from neighborhood trends to crime rates, school zones, average selling price in the area, etc. Realtors also have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) a congregation of homes and properties with information not often visible to the public. They will also have quicker access through their professional network, potentially hearing about homes before they are even listed.
Specialized Knowledge Base
Another major advantage of using a buyer’s agent is the specialized knowledge base. Buying a home is so much more than scrolling through Zillow. Contract clauses, zoning laws, negotiations, inspections, and a million other rules, codes, and laws, some of which change frequently, can all be overwhelming and cost you dearly in time and money should you miss or are unaware of them. Realtors make a living searching for potential red flags when buying a home in order to advise their clients even before the inspection on a home’s potential pitfalls. Why not hire someone that will be accountable for the million little details that are seemingly unimportant to you?
Realtors Know People
Realtors spend their careers building relationships. With clients, other realtors, and a list of trade professionals to work with. They have a network of inspectors, plumber, electricians, even lawyers they have worked with before and are willing to vouch for. This is really helpful and time-saving because you do not have to take the time to look for each of these professionals on your own.
Professional Ethics Standards
Unlike sales in some industries, Realtors are held to a professional ethical standard. Any ethical violation can be reported and disciplinary action will be taken by the Realtors local Real Estate Association. They are also legally required to make the best deal for their client, not themselves.
Save Time and Energy
Finally, the main reason to hire a realtor to buy your home is simply to save yourself time and energy. You are busy! It is really difficult to search for homes that fit your list of needs, scheduling viewings and inspections, handling contract negotiations, all while keeping up with your career, personal, and family life. Let someone who spends their career doing just that, work for you.
Dotting I’s and Crossing T’s
Finally, a real estate agent handles the paperwork. The contract will have clauses stipulating when you can pull out, escrow time frames, closing dates, etc. If you don’t have experience with home purchase contracts, it is not something you want to try on your own for the first time with a deal that will determine where you live for the next 15 to 30 years.
Cons To Using A Realtor To Buy A House
Realtors Cost Money
The most obvious drawback is that you are going to have to pay for your Realtor. How much depends on a number of factors like the home sale price and the experience of the realtor. Regardless, you will have to pay them for the work they have done, which can be unappealing if you have little equity in the home and are looking to make a profit.
Working With A Middle Man
Having a realtor is essentially having a middle man. It can begin to feel like telephone, you put in an offer, they submit it and bring back a counter, and back and forth, and so on. It can be very frustrating. You just want to cut out the realtors and go to the seller directly, instead of waiting sometimes days to get a response.
On Someone Else’s Time
Another downside to using a realtor is that you are at the whim of someone else’s timeline. Of course, if you need to purchase a home in a certain amount of time the realtor will work to get you in a home in that timeframe, but most of the time you are a client of someone who has multiple clients they are working for, and things may not proceed as quickly as you would like them to. That being said time tables can be discussed before you hire them and larger agencies will have more resources.
Even if you do save a little money, which is not a guarantee, it is nowhere near worth that amount of time and effort you will spend learning what you need to know before you buy a house. Thinking of buying a house in Western North Carolina? Blue Realty knows Western North Carolina. Let us help you find a dream house that you can call home.