(Closed) Did you buy your house without a realtor/broker agent?

posted 5 years ago in Home
Post # 3
Member
4355 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

We bought a new build so we didn’t use a realtor (although you can and I hear sometimes they can get you deals/perks). It’s fairly straight foward though in this case and we just had a lawyer look over all the papers with us to make sure we were covered.

Hopefully some other bees can be more helpful!

Post # 4
Member
3461 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

We just put in an offer on a place about an hour ago without a broker!

We felt that there is a signicant amount of information available online now which was previously only open to realtors.  We also like being able to look at houses on our own without having to schedule with a realtor.  Darling Husband has bought 2 condos and I’ve lived in a great many places so we’re familiar with the process and pros/cons of houses.  I am also a lawyer, so negotiating and drafting the offer letter wasn’t perhaps as daunting as to a non-lawyer.  While we were willing to pay say $500 to a realtor to talk to them for a few hours to learn about the process and any insight on the neighborhood we did not glean from our research, that’s not really an option.  We are also skeptical of agents – we’ve had several friends who had so-so ones that did not really add much value to the process.  If we are wrong and they could have negotiated a bit better than us, we still have 2.5% of the price to go up before it would have been better to have the agent.

I know people say its “free” to the buyer, but it’s not because ultimately it comes out of the purchase price and thus can be negotiated.  In this particular case, we knew the seller’s agent did a lot of work for the builder and even if there was no buyer’s agent, he would only get 2.5%.  (We knew because he told us this.)  So, that’s 2.5% for the Buyer’s agent…or to be negotiated.  And at the houses we are looking at, that’s a lot of money!  This is a newly renovated condo, so might be apt to have fewer problems (and we’ll still have a really good inspector and a real estate lawyer.) 

For supports/advice, we relied heavily on friends who had done it before to talk us through the process and hold our hands a little, online research, and sample offers.  I also asked my brother for the offer letter he put in on his house a few months ago.  I drafted the letter with those samples and some online language.  We probably wouldn’t have had the courage to do it without those friends, but I am glad we did it.

The only hitch came that we were told yesterday an offer had come in on the place (after it had been sitting on the market for months with no offers), so I had to scramble late last night to pull together the offer letter.  We had hoped to do one more walk through with our parents (really mine because they’ve bought a sold a ton of houses, but we didn’t want my Mother-In-Law to feel left out), but that had to be scrapped.

If this doesn’t work out, we may go to a realtor then, if only to learn about houses before they are on the market that are snatched up. 

Post # 5
Member
3618 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

We didn’t use an agent/broker to buy our first (and current) home. We got super lucky that we found our house for sale by owner. So we were able to negotiate the price down significantly and beat out the 4 other offers since we were agentless so no commission needed to be paid. We had a family friend who is an agent look over the documents though before we signed it just to make sure everything was as it should be.

Post # 6
Member
6534 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

We bought our first (and current) home FSBO and it was a great experience for us. We live in a fairly small town, and while we didn’t personally know the owners, we knew who they were and we had several mutual friends. He was a pastor, and she a teacher, we felt pretty solid about everything and confident that they were being honest. They were great to work with, and everything went flawless. They immediately fixed the (very few) things that came up on the home inspection without us even having to ask – it ws just done!

We weren’t in a rush to move in, Darling Husband was out of town for work when we officially closed, so when their new house (they moved out of state) wasn’t ready yet we even let them stay an extra 2 weeks (for free) so they didn’t have to deal with a hotel. We actually became really friendly with them, and whenever they come back into town to visit for any reason they stay with us. Needless to say, we’re not your usual FSBO story. 😉

Really though, it was a pretty easy process for us. We saw the houe with a realtor friend of ours back when it was listed, but out of our budget. A couple of months went by and it went off the market, or so we thought, but found out they were still interested in selling. We contacted them directly and had another walk through. Darling Husband and the owner met for lunch to talk about the price, and that was that. We worked with an attorny who drew up everything and we proceeded the same as we would had we used a realtor. Had a home inspection, they fixed what was needed, and we closed. 🙂

Post # 7
Member
9205 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

We tried to do this, but we found it pretty much impossible to do since we were going for a couple houses on the MLS.  Basically all the seller’s agents were super confused and refused to work with us.  They all insisted that either we have an agent who gets 3% and they get 3%, or if we didn’t have an agent, they just get the whole 6%.  There was no room for negotiating that 3% out of the listing price.  Maybe it would work better elsewhere though.  (Smallish town in the Rockies, here.)

Post # 8
Member
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Since you don’t pay for the agent as a buyer, I see no advantage to going without one. You can still do legwork and find listings if you want with an agent. But at least you have someone with more experience than you to fall back on!

Post # 9
Member
2023 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

My FH bought a house in October without any agents/brokers involved.  Search the internet with tips and ask friends that have recently bought a house for advice! 

Post # 10
Member
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Also, most seller’s agents won’t work with buyers who don’t have agents out of principle. It’s like the real estate agent Bro Code. You either have an agent, and the commission is split 3-3 or, the seller’s agent takes the whole 6%.

Post # 11
Member
2023 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@lolot:  That wasnt very nice of that agent.  I wouldnt be happy about that if I were trying to sell my house with them!

EDIT:  I just saw the post above this one… I didnt realize that.  I would atleast expect to see some of that 3% back somewhere…

Post # 12
Member
9205 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

@crayfish:  It’s like the real estate agent Bro Code


Exactly!  They’re just trying to hold on to the status quo.  So annoying!  It’s the 21st century, we have google and MLS listings online, not everyone needs a real estate agent anymore.

Post # 13
Member
3461 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@crayfish:  Since you don’t pay for the agent as a buyer, I see no advantage to going without one.

This argument drives me a little batty, because you do ultimately pay for the agent in the final house price.  (Not to say there aren’t other reasons to go with an agent such as an experience person to hold your hand, ease of process, inability to get a particular seller to negotiate at all with unrepresentated buyer…)  You may fail at negotiating this off the price, but you do still pay for it indirectly.

I’m sure they have Bro Code, as you state, but agents are legally obligated to present all offers – no matter how bad – to the seller.  Of course, they can slant their take on it, but they have to at least show it to the seller.

Post # 14
Member
436 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

We bought our home without a broker and it worked out pretty well for us! My husband is an attorney and he took care of a lot of the paperwork, and while the seller did have an agent, we ended up saving about $8,000. If you know a LOT about real-estate sales, I’d say go for it. If my husband wasn’t as smart as he is, I would NOT have been comfortable not using an agent! It’s totally up to you and what you feel comfortable with, though! It can be a good way to save money, for sure.

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