Can You Save Money Without Working With A Realtor®

Should you hire a Realtor® to help you with your home search? Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned homeowner who’s been around the home buying and selling block a few times, it’s always a good idea to work with an experienced Realtor® when you purchase a home. 

You should hire a Realtor® to work on your behalf for many reasons. Although you can find a lot of information online, it can be easy to adopt a false confidence that entices you to handle it yourself. You can research listings online and create a map to drive by homes that interest you. In fact, it is a great way to check out neighborhoods and pinpoint where you’d like to start your home search.

However, there are certain stages of the home-buying process when you want someone in your corner. Understanding the current market trends, negotiation skills, legal issues, required paperwork, contingencies, and meeting deadlines are a few reasons why having a Realtor® working for you is a great idea.

If you choose to buy a home without a Realtor®, you should do your research and spend adequate time researching before you enter the home-buying process. 

Let’s look at 10 important steps to take before starting your home search:

1. Obtain a Mortgage Pre-Approval

Salesman Hands On House Model , Small Toy House Small Mortgage Property insurance and concepts real estate at office

Obtaining a mortgage pre-approval before you start your home search is advantageous. You will be assured you are looking in a price range that will fit your financial situation. The seller will be reassured that you can afford their home, and they won’t waste marketing time accepting your offer only to learn you can’t afford it. Your pre-approval letter is like a gold card to speed up the negotiation and closing process.

2. Choose Your Ideal Neighborhood

Finding the neighborhood that will be the right fit for you takes some research. Find the areas you want within an acceptable commute to work, schools, doctors, and any amenities vital to you and your family. Get familiar with the neighborhood. You should understand local crime rates, school statistics, property developments, and anything affecting resale value.

Young woman standing with a white cup in her hands and watching on the modern houses. Building of house of dream. Advertising concept for architecture company. Good neighborhood.

3.Understand The Market Conditions

Once familiar with the neighborhoods you’d like to live in, research the community for available homes for sale, recent sales, and the average time it takes to sell.

Falling business income. Economic downturns, market disruptions, unforeseen events can disrupt supply chains, decrease demand. Hostile environment for business. Shops and retail

4. Learn About Contingencies

Realtor examines houses through a magnifying glass. Real estate market review. Quality of housing and availability of infrastructure. Verification of declared compliance. Price, location, legality

In a highly competitive market, contingencies can hurt you. However, you want to make sure you can cancel the contract without losing your earnest money if something goes wrong with the purchase process. Help from a Realtor® who has an understanding and feel for what sellers are willing to accept is priceless.

5. Hire a Home Inspector

many homeowners attempt to hire a single contractor to perform a wide variety of renovations

You need to know the condition of the property you’re buying. The home inspection shows us its current condition and reveals any health and safety issues that may need to be addressed by the seller or you. If you don’t have a good one, ask friends and family for recommendations or Google it. Better yet, ask your Realtor®.

6. Obtain Legal Counsel

The legal counsel is working and thinking in the lawyer's office.

Depending on the state you are in, you may need a real estate attorney to facilitate the Sale. In California, we don’t necessarily need real estate attorneys; your real estate agent can advise you on contracts and negotiations. If you decide to purchase without a Realto®, again, it’s not my recommendation; look to somebody to advise you on the purchase contract, which can cost you anywhere from $300 to upwards of $1,000.

7. Purchase a Title Insurance Policy

Home insurance policy with keys and dollar money mortgage, loan or home insurance documents.

A title insurance policy will ensure a clean title of any liens or encumbrances from previous owners. In California, a title insurance policy is required for every home purchase.

8. Prepare for Negotiations

New graduates fill out a job application form history details Personally to prepare to apply for a job in the field of graduation at the Human Resources and Administrative Department of the company.

There is more at stake than just the price when negotiating a home. Familiarize yourself with the best negotiation tactics and what is appropriate. Make sure it is clear who will pay closing costs and other expenses to prevent getting stuck paying for something you didn’t realize you had to pay.

9. Understand the Required Disclosures

Percentage with an asterisk. Hidden fees, high interest rates and stiff penalties for violating terms. Credits, loans and deposits. Price discounts. Unfair terms. Financial illiteracy.

It’s required by law in many states that sellers provide documentation disclosing any issues with the property you’re looking to purchase. If you don’t know what to ask for, ask your Realtor®; they know the laws in your state.

10. Know What to Ask the Seller

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Prepare a list of questions for the seller before negotiating an offer on the home. 

Feel free to ask about their reasons for selling, what is included in the sale, or whether there were any other issues with the property when they first bought it.

The bottom line is buying a home without a Realtor® is a huge task, especially if you’re inexperienced. If you want the best home deal, partnering with a suitable real estate agent or Realtor® may be wise. 

If you do decide you need an agent to help with your home search, vet all eligible candidates. All real estate agents are not the same. They all have different experience levels, expertise, and talents in the business. 

Ready to begin your home-buying journey?  I am prepared to help you find your ideal home if you are interested in the Palm Springs area. Contact me, Stephen Burchard, The Desert Bowtie Realtor®, taking the (k)nots out of real estate.