5 dangers of buying a home without a real estate agent

Daisy Ratnasari

Thinking of buying a home without the help of a real estate agent?

Think again. Buying a home without the help of a real estate agent may seem appealing because it avoids commission fees, but going solo can be more trouble than it’s worth.

Many buyers think they no longer need an agent because they can search for homes online.

Young, first-time homebuyers who want to save money are at the greatest risk.

“The prospective buyer can go online and see potential houses,” said Ryan Carter with 8z. “But that’s where the technology advancement stops. Finding the house is minuscule when you look at the entire process. It’s just the beginning.”

From legal pitfalls to financial risks, here are five dangers you must know before buying a home without a realtor.

Lack of knowledge and expertise

Buying a home without a real estate agent can be dangerous due to the lack of knowledge and expertise.

“A good agent can guide the buyer and provide information about neighborhood trends,” Carter said. “Is it experiencing in- or out-migration patterns? Has the neighborhood peaked in value?”

Agents have extensive knowledge about the market, access to tools and resources, negotiation skills, and understanding of legal documents.

Buyers face challenges such as overpaying, missing deals, or legal complications without an agent.

Legal risks

Agents understand complex procedures, have access to information about properties, and have connections with property law lawyers.

They can also help understand contracts and reduce liability for mistakes during negotiations.

While it may save money, buyers should consider the benefits of having an agent for a smooth and legally secure buying experience.

Limited access

Agents have access to exclusive properties and off-market listings.

Not working with an agent when buying property can lead to difficulties in scheduling appointments for viewings.

Negotiation challenges

Purchasing a home is a significant financial decision. Therefore, it is crucial to approach it with caution and seek professional guidance.

Negotiating independently can be challenging without market data and knowledge of the real estate industry trends.

Real estate agents have access to this information and are skilled in negotiating for their client’s best interests.

“Your agent’s skillset can impact what you pay for that house,” Carter said. “They can also help with timing the closing or negotiate a post-closing occupancy. You want to be sure the buyer is getting the best value, and buyers can’t do that on their own.”

Financial risk

Real estate agents can help buyers avoid overpaying or purchasing overpriced homes.

Home buying comes with assorted dates and deadlines, and missing them can have a financial impact, Carter said.

“You could lose earnest money or miss implications from not fully understanding the HOA parameters,” Carter said. “Your agent also can make sure you have the right financing and insurance.”

The seller’s agent has the seller’s interests at heart.

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