7 min read Jan 15, 2024

How to Buy a House Without a Realtor in 2024

Editor
Edited By

Megha Mulchandani

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Editor
Edited By

Megha Mulchandani

Editor, Houzeo
About

Megha M. is an adept content editor well-versed in the intricacies of American market dynamics and economic trends. In her free time, she excels as a versatile theatre artist and public speaker.

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In Q3 2023, the median price of a house in the United States stood at $431,000. From this price, the buyer agent charges 3% as their fee, which is approximately $12,900.

It is evident that a seller pays the buyer’s agent fee, but the seller covers it in the final price of the deal. This means that indirectly, the buyer pays for the cost. If bought without a Realtor, the buyer can negotiate and bring down the asking price.

⚡3 Key points to buy a house without a Realtor

  • A buyer can get huge discounts when buying a house without a Realtor. Whereas the buyer with an agent doesn’t get the discount because of the involvement of the agent’s fees.
  • Buyers with real estate agents pay more than for FSBO properties. In 2021, buyers with Realtors paid 37.8% more than buyers without Realtors.
  • The mortgage approval process is the same, and you have to hire an attorney for the underwriting process, which can increase your cost.

Why Should I Buy a House Without a Realtor?

Buying a house without a real estate agent can give you a lot of freedom. Here are some of the reasons you can consider purchasing a house without a Realtor:

  • Savings: You can help the seller save the buyer’s agent fee and get the property for lower prices. Even in an FSBO deal, you can save a lot of money.
  • Direct Communication: As there will be no middleman, you can directly communicate with the seller and negotiate your deal.
  • Connections: You can avail of better options if you purchase a property through your connections or in a familiar neighborhood.

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How Can I Buy a House Without a Realtor?

Here are the steps to remember when you plan to buy a house without a real estate agent:

1. Get a Mortgage Pre-approval

A mortgage pre-approval can give you an estimate of the loan amount you can qualify for. It will help you find a home within your budget. You will get a pre-approval letter if you qualify for a certain loan.

If you have any issues with pre-approval, you can try to get pre-qualification. Mortgage pre-qualification provides a ballpark number for the loan amount you can get. The lender checks for pre-qualification on the data you provide, whereas in pre-approval, the lender verifies your bank statements and more.

2. Find a Property

After you get the pre-approval letter, you can start finding properties. You can look at different neighborhoods and choose the one that suits you.

You can look for neighborhood and property specifications on Houzeo. The platform provides all the specifications with the latest photographs of the house. Also, with the street view feature, you can explore the surrounding area.

3. Get Seller’s Disclosure

The seller’s disclosure is nothing but a legal document that specifies the property’s condition. The disclosure list varies from state to state. But some issues that are common to all the states are:

4. Hire a Lawyer

An attorney will help you get all the paperwork done. Some states have directed the buyers to hire them to complete the transaction. The average cost of the attorney could be around $150-$400 per hour.

5. Make an Offer

If you want to make an offer, compare the property’s value with other sites in that area. You can get a basic idea of the actual worth of the property. After all the cross-checking, you can make the offer if you come up with a new value or wish to continue with the same deal.

6. Hire a Home Inspector and Get an Appraisal

A home inspection is important to detect all the minor and major issues with the property. Some issues, like mold, can cause serious problems in the future. The average cost for a home inspector is between $425 and $600.

An appraisal can help you get the present value of the property. The appraiser will compare all the recent sales, and upon the inspection report, the value will be decided.

7. Negotiate With the Seller

Generally, homebuyers negotiate after the home inspection. If there are any findings from the inspection, you can ask the seller for:

  • Reimbursement against the findings
  • Repair
  • Discount

8. Finalize Home Financing and Closing

After finalizing the property and clearing all the legal processes and appraisals, your lender will send you a closing disclosure. You can review the disclosure and sign it. It mostly consists of a type of loan, the interest rate applied, and more.

While closing, some states require legal representation. The attorney will review all the documents and make the process smoother.

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Buy a House Without a Realtor: Pros and Cons

With multiple advantages, buying a house without a Realtor can have a few drawbacks. Here are the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Save money: Buyers can get cheaper deals on digital platforms. Generally, sellers reduce their asking prices on platforms because they don’t have to pay for a buyer’s real estate agent. The fee ranges around 3% of the listing price.
  • Cheaper FSBO property: According to NAR, FSBO property is sold for approximately $24,000 more if it is an agent-represented property. Whereas, if you look for FSBO properties, you get them for a cheaper price.
  • Control Over the Deal: As you have no real estate agents, you’ll directly contact the seller and save your valuable time. Agents generally attend to multiple clients at once, which can affect your homebuying deal.

Cons

  • New properties: Agents have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), and are aware of the properties that are on and off the market. However, platforms like Houzeo help get you all the information at your fingertips.
  • Time: Since you may not be aware of the documentation process, you will have to search for a house and hire a lawyer all by yourself. Which, in turn, can consume a lot of time. But all of these can be overcome if you choose digital platforms like Houzeo.

How Much Do You Save Buying a House Without a Realtor?

As a buyer, you don’t pay much to a real estate agent. Moreover, sellers pay for listing agents and buyer’s agents, but the seller covers all the costs of the deal. On digital platforms, if you opt to purchase a house, the seller might negotiate more as they don’t have to pay for a buyer agent.

On the other hand, if you choose For Sale By Owner (FSBO) houses, you might save a lot of money. According to NAR, FSBO properties were sold for $225,000 without an agent, compared to $330,000 with an agent in 2021.

Buyers can save a considerable amount without a Realtor, but you have to choose the right way to do that. Platforms like Houzeo have made the hectic part easy; with a few steps, you can choose to negotiate and buy the house.

Should You Buy a House Without a Realtor?

Buying a house without a Realtor is completely your decision. However, if you plan to purchase a home without an agent, you must equip yourself with knowledge and expertise. Additionally, you can save a handsome amount and fulfill your dream of home ownership.

The world is inclining more towards the digital method, and Houzeo can be your one-step solution in the real estate industry.

Find Your Dream Home 🏡

View 24,235,580 Homes For Sale in the US

Where do you want to live?

Please enter valid address

» Need More Clarity? Read these exclusive Houzeo reviews and learn why the platform is the best in America’s competitive housing market.

Frequently Asked Questions

How hard is it to buy a house without a realtor?

Whether or not you find it hard to buy without a realtor depends on how experienced you are in real estate transactions.

What documents do I need to buy a house without an agent?

You will require all the documents, including inspection, appraisal, and closing documents. However, we recommend you have a real estate attorney by your side to handle the legal paperwork for you.

Is buying a house without a realtor a good idea?

Yes, it can be a profitable idea since you will be able to save a lot of money. You may struggle in the beginning, but with a lot of freedom, you can get your dream home with Houzeo.

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