This is a topic we get sad about - but it gets asked frequently, so we better answer it! The short answer, regrettably, is yes. You can buy a home without a Realtor. However, the real question to ask is "What should I consider if I decide to buy without a Realtor?" This is where you'll get your proper answer. It's possible to buy a home without a Realtor, but is that wise? Here's what you'll have to consider if you go solo:

A photo of a man in a business suit, sitting on a staircase with his shoulders slouched forward and a paper bag covering his head. A comical sad face is drawn in proportion to where his face would appear.

There's Quite a Bit of Paperwork Involved

Purchasing a home requires a lot of documentation. There's inspection reports, purchase offers, disclosures, bank statements, lender documentation, approvals, estimates, closing costs, taxes, insurance, mortgage docs, appraisals....and even more! Are you able to understand each document and what it means for you with perfect clarity? Are you able to understand the relevant issues presented to you in these documents? Can you write up a sound purchase contract with precisely worded contigencies that state whether you can withdraw from a purchase if certain problems turn up during a home inspection, or whether you can move the closing date back if you have problems selling your current home? Realtors work as your second brain - they help you manage and understand these documents, as well as drafting them with your interests in mind. 

The Process is Time-Consuming and Time-Sensitive

Searching for a home is easy enough, if you have the time. Many of us don't have extra time, or are pressed by other time-sensitive matters in life. Additionally, if it's a hot housing market, you need to act within days - even hours. A Realtor leads the home search, finding available homes to suit your needs, and discerning which homes are worth you touring. Scheduling home visits, conducting price negotiations and navigating paperwork can quickly add up to being another full time job if you're doing it alone. Since that's usually the case, why not give yourself the best advantage and hire a professional?

You'll Have Limited Access to Listings

Online search sites do provide you with a good view of what's available out there. However, compared to the comprehensive tools that Realtors have, you only have a snapshot. The panorama that Realtors have comes from their access to the MLS system. Recently expired listings, listings being set up, and other "off-market" listings are compiled here as a product of the system.

The Market Acts Differently Across Cities, Even Neighbourhoods

You might be looking for a home in a town you grew up in, or have lived in for many years...your knowledge of the place and its history is a valuable asset. However, Realtors who specialize in a particular area might have even more expertise than you, especially if you're looking at homes in communities and/or neighborhoods outside of your knowledge base. From school districts to nearby amenities to neighourhood history, Realtors are experts that are well-positioned to help you figure out if a home, city or neighborhood matches your wants, needs and budget.

Negotiations Are Tricky 

Without a Realtor, you’ll have to negotiate and decide how much to offer on a house all on your own. This may cause you to unknowingly overpay for a home, or lose out on one you want. When you work with a Realtor, they negotiate on your behalf with the seller and seller’s agent. If you don't have much experience with negotiation, you don't realize how tough it can be. Even a simple haggle over a garage sale item gives you an idea of the logic, demeanour and willpower one needs to have in order to negotiate. Amp that situation up to the level of a large transaction, where legalities, contingencies and paperwork are involved - it's a whole 'nother ball game. 

If you've got the chops to buy a home on your own, that's your business. Power to you! Many don't have that advantage though. That's why Realtors exist. Our job is to give you that buying advantage so that sellers don't take advantage. Plus, our services almost always never cost you a penny! Buyers really have nothing to lose by partnering with a Realtor, and have everything to gain from working with one. 

Posted by Admin Staff on


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