Do you really need a Realtor® to buy a house? The long and short of it is, yes, you do need a Realtor® to buy a house still in today’s market. Now before everyone goes all crazy and says “Wait, but you’re a Realtor® of course you’re going to say that!” let me make my case here with just 3 simple points.
I will admit that technology has drastically changed the way we buy houses today and for the foreseeable future if humanity survives the coming AI singularity. Terminator fans anyone? All joking aside, in general home buyers today are spending hours and hours online searching for that perfect home and often times come across it before their Realtor®. Believe it or not, finding the home is actually the easiest part of the whole process and not where your Realtor® is bringing the most value. It’s once you visit the home and start considering how to construct your offer that things begin getting complicated.
- Do you know what paperwork to file and where to get it? Okay, so that may be easy enough to figure out but are you prepared to dig through the language of all 16 pages of the sales contract, plus the 3 page home inspection contingency, as well as the 3 page financing contingency and understand all the grey areas and pitfalls in the contract to make sure you are as protected as possible? That’s just the base level of a contract. In competitive situations there can be many more clauses and contingencies to add to stay ahead of the competition. A Realtor® will be able to seamlessly walk you through the contract explaining it in plain English in a 1/4 of the time it would take for the general home buyer to read through it. Now if you’re laughing right now because you’re a lawyer and a mere 20 some pages of contract paperwork is child’s play, you’re not totally wrong but I guarantee you’re not going to like the language of the contract and going to want to start marking it up left and right. You’ll then be wondering why sellers are running away from your offer left and right.
- Let’s talk about financials. Probably the biggest reason buyers decide to go out on their own is they think since they are not using a Realtor® they will be able to get a better price on the home. While this may be true in some rare cases it’s largely a myth. When a seller signs a listing agreement to sell their house with a Realtor® they are already agreeing to pay the listing brokerage a certain amount which is split with the selling agent. If there is no selling agent (aka buyers agent) it doesn’t mean that compensation automatically goes back to the seller. In many cases the listing brokerage will just collect the entire commission so you’re really not getting the benefit you think you are.
- Think of this. If you found yourself in some serious legal trouble, would you represent yourself in court? Chances are no, so why would you decide to represent yourself in one of the largest financial transactions you’ll only go through a handful of times in your life? It just doesn’t make sense in most cases. A Realtor® has a fiduciary duty to you and they are going to act as your educator and your shield through this whole process protecting you from unseen or unknown dangers to the general home buyer.
There is a whole myriad of other reasons why you should use a Realtor® but these are some of the simplest and most compelling reasons. Remember this whole process is all about you. You should be working with someone who puts customer service and education above all else. I’ve lived my professional life by this mentality and have used it to build the foundation of my business. If you have any questions at all about the home buying process or market, please CONTACT ME and I’ll be happy to sit down with you and answer all your questions.