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Should You Buy a House Without a Real Estate Professional? [infographic]

June 07, 2022
Street scene of single family homes by Brookfield Residential

You can buy a house without a real estate professional’s help, but should you? The primary job of a real estate professional is to protect your best interests as a consumer when you’re buying (or selling) a home.

Most U.S. homebuyers opt to enlist a real estate agent and broker when buying their home, according to a 2021 National Association of Realtors® Buyers and Sellers Trends report.

There are a few things to consider if you’re thinking about forgoing an agent’s help.

Should you buy a home without a real estate professional infographic by Brookfield Residential

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Infographic Text

Should You Buy a House Without a Real Estate Professional?

You can buy a house without a real estate professional’s help, but should you? Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about going it alone.

88% U.S. Homebuyers used RE Agents & Brokers to Buy Homes in 2020*

  • 92% of buyers <39 years old
  • 10% of buyers >74 years old

93% Homebuyers searched for homes online at some point in their home search

Why Buyers Wanted an Agent's Help

  • 51% Finding a home
  • 13% Negotiating sale terms
  • 11% Price negotiation
  • 8% Paperwork

What They Got Help With

  • 62% Understanding the process
  • 61% Property faults and features
  • 49% Better sales contract term negotiations

Who Paid the Agent’s Commission?

75% RE agent’s commissions were paid by sellers, not homebuyers

*Statistics from 2021 NAR Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, National [1]Association of REALTORS®: March, 2021. (Pgs. 65, 69, 70, 71, 140). https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2021-home-buyers-and-sellers-generational-trends-03-16-2021.pdf

What to Expect if You Don’t Use an Agent

It Takes Considerable Research and Time

Agents can readily access information during your home search, such as:

  • School Districts
  • Property Taxes
  • Neighborhoods and homes in your price range
  • Multiple Listing Services
  • Properties soon to be listed for sale
  • Lenders, mortgage broker and title companies

Evaluating a Home’s Condition can be Challenging

It can be easy to overlook potential issues in a house you walk in and instantly want to buy. An agent can serve as your objective eye.

You’ll be Negotiating Price

You may be negotiating the price through the real estate agent representing a seller. Agents are trained to help you negotiate the best price for the home you want. Doing it yourself can get tricky if you don’t know how to do it.

Expect a Lot of Paperwork

Real estate transactions involve a lot of paperwork, including legally binding contracts. An agent can help you navigate your way through the buying process and sales contracts. Consider hiring a real estate attorney if you’re going it alone.

The Waters can get Emotionally Murky

Unexpected emotions or frustration can crop up during the home-buying process. A real estate professional can help offer a clear perspective on a situation.