So you’re about to look into buying a home by yourself. One of the first questions you are going to ask yourself is whether you are going to hire a real estate agent or not. Real estate agents make huge amounts of money from commission, but do you require there help?
Is it the law?
This question varies from state to state, but for the most part a real estate agents help is not a legal requirement. Realtors can give help on a lot of the legal stuff though like the documents and contracts.
Why hire a realtor?
There are many different reasons why it is a very good idea to hire a realtor. Buying a house is a long and complex process and just too much for some people to do on their own. There is lots of paperwork to deal with, and having someone by your side that is familiar with the process is a huge help. Also things like hiring inspectors, sorting out who pays for repairs and just keeping a close relationship with the sellers agent all come second nature to a real estate agent.
A good real estate agents knowledge and experience in buying houses is what is so invaluable, the whole process should run quick and easy. Another good reason to hire your own agent is to make sure that the sellers agent doesn’t try to take over the process.
It is so easy when buying a house and hiring a realtor to find yourself losing the control over the process. At the end of the day it is only you who knows exactly what you want from the whole process. You may find that sometimes you and your agent may have conflicting views on what exactly it is you want.
Gaining knowledge yourself is really important when it comes to buying a home. Educate yourself as much as you possibly can, even if you do hire a realtor. Get to know the market value of properties in the area that you are after, knowledge is power in the real estate world.
How realtors are paid?
Realtors do not have a salary, they work on commission. They receive their pay once everything is 100% complete. A lot of times the estate agent may end up doing large amounts of work for no pay, in cases where the buyer changes mind or come to any agreement. It is the seller that usually pays the commission to both agents (usually 5% of the sale price.) Sometimes you may be able to bargain with the agent regarding the commission fee. If you only require the agent to do a small amount of work, it may be an idea to offer an hourly fee rather than commission at the end. You may also be able to find discount or rebate brokers offering their limited services for a much smaller commission. See more on this site.
It isn’t the law to have a real estate agent represent you when buying a house. It definitely is advisable though. The process of buying a house is a long process filled with legal paperwork and contracts, having a knowledgeable agent by your side will make it much easier.