Tips & AdvicePros and Cons of Buying a Home Without a REALTOR®

Pros and Cons of Buying a Home Without a REALTOR®

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When many people want to buy a home, the first thing they do is reach out to a REALTOR®. Having a Realtor or buying agent working with you can often simplify the homebuying process, and a lot of work gets taken off your plate.

However, you may be wondering, “do I need a REALTOR® to buy a house?”. While the answer is no, you might find later on that working with a Realtor has some great advantages. In this guide, we’ll go over a few pros and cons you should be aware of if you are thinking about buying a home without a Realtor.

What is a REALTOR®?

Before we go any further, what are realtors, and how do they differ from other real estate agents? 

A REALTOR® is simply a real estate professional that is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The term is often used interchangeably with real estate agents, but that’s not always correct. A REALTOR® can be any real estate professional, such as an agent, broker, appraiser, property manager, etc.

To be a member of the NAR, Realtors need to meet several requirements. They need a valid real estate license, be involved in the real estate business, have a clean history with no unprofessional conduct or behavior, and haven’t filed for bankruptcy.

These individuals will also need to abide by the NAR Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics ensures that Realtors are transparent and always look out for their client’s best interests.

Pros of Buying a Home Without a REALTOR®

Now that you have a better understanding of what a REALTOR® is, let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of buying a home without a REALTOR®.

You Will Generally Save Money

The first and most obvious benefit of buying without the help of a REALTOR® is the fact that you will save money. Realtors and real estate agents don’t offer their services for free. They are compensated for their work when they help you land a home.

While the seller generally covers the real estate agent commission, this cost is often worked into the total sale price, so you do end up paying for the service your buyer’s agent provides you if you use one. Real estate agent commissions are generally 5%-6% of the home’s total purchase price and are usually shared between the listing agent and buyer’s agent. 

While the split is not always 50/50, the buyer’s agent generally can expect to receive 2.5%-3% of the total fee. In other words, you could save up to 3% on the purchase price if you choose not to hire a real estate agent. While 3% might not sound like a lot, it can equate to tens of thousands of dollars or more in some transactions.

You Get Rid of the Need for a Middleman

Another pro of buying a home without a REALTOR® is that you eliminate the need for a middleman between you and the seller. Many buyers prefer to work directly with sellers, which can make everything from communicating to making offers much more efficient.

Most agents are generally quick to respond and pass the information along to their clients, but of course, this isn’t always the case. Some might take a while, and you can never be sure if they make your opinions heard and ensure your needs are met. You also never need to relay messages or wait to hear back from an agent, as you are 100% in control of the communication.

No Need to Worry About Compatibility

Many client and agent relationships are pleasant, but sometimes there is a compatibility issue. Maybe it is the way they communicate or something else entirely. It’s not always easy to find someone you enjoy working with.

In a real estate transaction, good communication is crucial. You’d want to make sure that nothing is blocking the communication between you and your agent, and you should always feel comfortable voicing your concerns when necessary. Sometimes the best option is to simply handle things yourself and not worry about how you will get along with someone else.

Cons of Buying a Home Without a Realtor

While plenty of people prefer to buy homes without a REALTOR®, this approach certainly has some drawbacks.

There Will Almost Certainly be a Lack of Expertise

One of the biggest disadvantages of not working with a REALTOR® would be your lack of experience and expertise. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or a first-time homebuyer who has done a lot of research on your own, you will likely have much less experience and knowledge than a REALTOR®. Real estate professionals come across dozens of for-sale listings each day and are trained to help you with every part of the transaction, from viewing, submitting an offer, to closing.

Many Realtors are also savvy investors themselves. If that’s the case, you’ll likely benefit from their expertise more than you can imagine. They may be able to advise you on the renovation, the amount of rental income required to break even if you’re purchasing a rental property, or even ways to reduce your tax liability.

A Lot More Work Will Fall on Your Shoulders

Another drawback of buying a home without a real estate professional’s help is that you have a lot more responsibility in the home buying process than if you worked with an agent. You will be responsible for finding houses to view, setting up appointments, making offers, handling inspections, and finding a lawyer to work with if your state requires a real estate attorney to be present during a transaction.

This is a lot of work, and it can be hard to find enough time between your job and your social life to find and purchase a home on your own. Realtors do a lot of the grunt work for their clients, all to simplify the home buying process as much as possible.

If you get overwhelmed with piles and piles of papers, your best bet would be to work with a real estate agent. There are many different documents and forms to fill out when buying a home, and Realtors can be a significant help when navigating these.

You Will Not Have Access to the Same Information

Another thing you’d miss out on is the access to information that many agents and REALTORS® possess. They can get access to more listings than you, gather more property information, and have access to MLS portals that can be very helpful in your search for a home.

Some agents may have relationships with other listing agents and get information on properties before they even hit the market. They are often experts in your local area and can quickly get you data to help you decide on the best offer that is likely to be accepted based on their experience.

Final Thoughts

Buying without a REALTOR® definitely has its pros and cons. If this is your first-time shopping for a home, it might not be a bad idea to solicit help from a REALTOR®. Everything you learn from them in your homebuying journey could be helpful down the road. Of course, you can certainly complete a home purchase without a real estate agent, but you need to be ready to put the work in and take charge of the situation to make sure you can land your dream home.

Interested in hiring a REALTOR®? Find top agents in your area now using the RealtyHop top agent search.

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