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How to Buy a Home Without a Realtor

May 09, 2023
Kitchen in Hickling at Midhurst Valley by Brookfield Residential in Midhurst Ontario

Buying a home without a real estate agent can have many benefits. Buyers may feel more in control, save money on fees, and be able to negotiate directly with the seller. On the other hand, since there is a lot to know and do when buying a home, it becomes a much greater task when completing it on your own.

Here are some ins and outs of buying a home without a Realtor or real estate agent:

Do you need a Realtor or real estate agent to buy a house?

No, but 86% of buyers use one, according to a National Association of Realtors report. Buyers primarily choose agents because of their expert knowledge of the local real estate market and experience with potential issues that may arise during purchase.

Of course, there are a few reasons people decide to buy on their own, including:

  • Cost savings: Real estate agents typically charge a commission, which is a percentage of the home’s sales price. By not using an agent, buyers may be able to negotiate a lower purchase price and save money on the commission.
  • Control over the process: Some buyers may prefer to handle the home buying process themselves rather than relying on an agent to do it for them. They may feel more in control of the negotiations and the overall process.

Steps For Buying a Home Without a Realtor

If you choose to take on the task of buying a home by yourself, here are nine steps to help you get from pre-approval to closing the deal:

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Before you start shopping for homes, get pre-approved for a mortgage from a lender to know how much house you can afford. One guideline from Investopedia is that your mortgage should equal 2 to 2.5 times your gross monthly income.

Research the Housing Market

Research the local housing market to understand the average home prices and what is available in your desired area. You’ll want to know about school districts, property taxes, and the value of houses in the area.

Search for Properties

You can search for properties online, drive around the neighborhoods you are interested in, or attend open houses. The NAR report says 96% of home buyers used the internet to search for homes.

Schedule Viewings

Contact the seller directly to schedule viewings of the properties you are interested in. Recently, more home builders have introduced virtual walk-through tools that make it easier to “visit” a home at any time convenient for you.

Hire a Real Estate Attorney

It is important to hire a real estate attorney to ensure that all of the legal paperwork is completed properly. Without a Realtor to help you, you’ll have to get expertise from a real estate attorney who is well-versed in purchases and contracts.

Conduct Inspections

Hire a home inspector to check for any potential issues with the property. You’ll want an inspector to examine everything from the roof to the foundation. Take a look at our home inspection guide for more information.

Negotiate the Terms

This may be the toughest thing to do on your own. You must work with the seller or possibly a real estate agent representing them to negotiate the price and other terms of the sale.

Wait for Completion

If you’re buying a new construction home without a Realtor, you will need to wait until the construction on your home is finished before you can close. This timeline can vary depending on how far along construction was when the contract was signed.

Close the Deal

Once you have reached an agreement with the seller, work with your attorney to finalize the sale and transfer ownership of the property.

If you’re purchasing a new construction home from Brookfield Residential, our sales agents will be there at every step of the way to help ease the process.

What a Real Estate Agent Can Do for You

If buying a home by yourself sounds like a lot to handle, a real estate agent can help make the process easier.

Among the advantages a real estate agent can give you are:

  • Access to listings: A real estate agent can provide you with access to a wider range of homes that meet your specific criteria, including properties that may not be publicly listed.
  • Expertise and knowledge: A good real estate agent has extensive knowledge of the local housing market, including recent sales and pricing trends, which can help you find the right home and negotiate the best deal.
  • Negotiation skills: A real estate agent can help you navigate the negotiation process with the seller, working to ensure that you get the best price and terms possible.
  • Paperwork and legal assistance: Buying a home involves a significant amount of paperwork, including contracts and legal documents. A real estate agent can help ensure that all paperwork is properly completed and filed, reducing the risk of legal issues or disputes down the line.
  • Professional networks: A real estate agent often has a network of professionals they work with, such as home inspectors, mortgage lenders, and real estate attorneys, who can help ensure a smooth and successful transaction.
  • Support and guidance: Buying a home can be stressful and emotional, and a good real estate agent can provide advice and support throughout the process.

Get Help with the Homebuying Process

Buying a home without a Realtor is a bold step, but one you can take as long as you know what to do. There are plenty of steps, and you can take control of the process and possibly save money.

If you decide to head down that road, our team will be with you every step of the way. When you’re ready, contact us to learn more about what our communities have to offer.

The Brookfield Residential blog offers a number of resources that can make the process easier, such as Top 5 Credit Myths for New Homebuyers and How to Decide Where to Live.