Buying a Home Without a Realtor: Common Mistakes to Avoid

You may be asking yourself why a website that focuses on selling 3M LeadCheck swabs has written a post on buying a house without a realtor. However, the reality is that there is a very specific reason why we are doing it. 

For one, we want to ensure that you are getting the best possible house that you can get for the budget that you have available. We want you to be aware of the potential for lead poisoning. We’ll teach you how to ensure you won’t be exposing someone you love to this potentially harmful material. 

We also realize that a real estate agent often will have a relationship with some local professional who owns an XRF lead tester. They can come out and make sure that the house doesn’t contain all sorts of things that it shouldn’t be containing.

new home

You may be able to hire one of these guys yourself. Did you know that a contingency is often put into an offer when someone makes an offer on a house that doesn’t contain lead paint? 

Maybe you didn’t realize that this is one of the oldest tricks in the book to walk down an offer that you put on a house. You must keep reading here. We’ll better prepare you for what is coming up ahead and how you make sure that you end up with the house that you want at the price that you want it at as well. 

It is particularly effective when you want a house you know is either in a competitive market or where someone has priced their home way too generously.

Suppose you aren’t careful as you’re buying your home. You could potentially open yourself up to many different issues, including getting stomach aches as you drink water.

How annoying would it be to end up buying a house to find out that you would need to do some major plumbing repairs? Perhaps you’d need to make sure that your new house has plumbing in it that won’t mean that the entire family ends up falling sick. This could be because you are exposed to dangerously high lead levels through your home’s tap water? 

Suppose there’s been a lot of remodeling done lately. You will also want to be sure that plaster walls were removed correctly and that the hairline cracks haven’t just been poorly covered up. Make sure old paint on the concrete slab isn’t an issue, even if it is peeling.

We have included links across that previous section as those are topics that we have written extensive articles on that you may also be interested in. It’s anything from an angle of properly addressing potential lead hazard issues to other potential problems. 

There’s no denying that real estate agents serve a very important purpose if you are a person who is not familiar with the whole situation of buying a home. It may even be that you don’t choose to go without a realtor by the time you are done reading this article. It is also completely okay, as you may have realized that they offer a range of benefits.

Dealing with pros

There are still many people who will choose to go with a real estate agent even if it does cost some money. There’s no denying that using one provides additional safety in the deal. 

house key

There are certain things you can do yourself. You shouldn’t necessarily be doing things yourself if you don’t believe that you can handle all the various aspects. We understand that you may think that it is a lot of money that you are potentially paying for a real estate agent. Still, it is also a lot of money that you will legally be forced to pay when you sign that contract for the house. 

Just because you are technically capable of doing something yourself doesn’t always mean it’s the best choice. Home sales are complicated processes with lots of moving parts. 

The job of a real estate agent is undoubtedly to have knowledge and experience that will help you ensure that the entire process goes smoothly. Given the volume of houses, they help both buy and sell. They know many people who can help you. You will have to find those yourself when you’re in a situation of choosing to go about the process without the help of a real estate agent. 

To ensure that you’re not making a mistake in the process, we’ll go over the times when it may be the right choice for you to go about the process without a real estate agent. 

They have an advantage because they can help you figure out if something is priced adequately. Maybe they believe it is a good deal that you are making. People may be skeptical about this question as they generally perceive these agents as someone simply wanting to close the deal. They want to ensure that they are getting the commission they are owed. 

When you are buying a house, you will be interacting with many professionals. This includes inspectors and title companies. This may be where it is especially good when you’re working with a pro who already has good contacts in the space.

door lock

Suppose you are the buyer in a real estate deal. In that case, you should also figure out whether it is worth not using a real estate agent or not. The commission paid to the agents usually comes out of the seller’s end. 

We have also covered various other topics on this blog. It includes how to report your landlord and how to find the best paint stripper for concrete and other materials

When should you choose to do it yourself? 

These are the situations where you may want to proceed without hiring a real estate agent: 

  • Maybe you already have vast experience in the real estate world. You are a real estate agent or you were one before. An alternative is if you know someone who is in the profession. More importantly, someone who is willing to help you out as well.
  • Are you buying from a close relative, someone whom you trust would keep your best interests at heart and not try and take advantage of you? Then you can go ahead without a real estate agent.
  • If you are a landlord and this is about the millionth deal that you are making, you already know what goes into the process. You know which things you should be looking out for as well. The more homes you have successfully bought in the past, the more you could consider whether doing it yourself is the right choice. 
  • When neither parties are willing to pay the real estate agent a commission, it is a good time to start considering it. It does leave you open to the process going wrong. There are people out there that will do an FSBO sale. They may be trying to hide a known problem, so you must make the necessary inspections to uncover anything that could be an issue.
couple that bought a house

We want you to know that sometimes things are too good to be true. Suppose the seller advocates for the two parties, not using real estate agents. In that case, you must be skeptical about the idea and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself. 

How to buy a house without a realtor

Maybe you came to the site already knowing that you weren’t going to be using a real estate agent for the transaction. Here is the section that you were probably looking for in the first place:

The how-to section on how to proceed with the whole thing.

First of all, you must make sure that you find the broad area you hope to live in. Do this to make sure that you have a realistic understanding of how much you will spend if you live there.

It does not matter if you have an area you want to live in, but you don’t have any real way of affording the houses in that neighborhood.

business woman

Make sure that you create a budget that you know works for you. This ensures you aren’t buying a bigger house or allocating a bigger part of your budget towards a house than what you believe you want to spend. It helps make sure that you have enough for everything else.

Credit score

The credit score that you have is a good place to start. Make sure that you have addressed anything that could be on your credit report. Take measures to improve your credit score as much as possible. It will also help you qualify for the mortgage and the house you want to buy.

Start researching the prices of the homes you may be interested in buying to know your starting point. When you have taken those steps, it’s time for you to start getting a mortgage pre-approval. A seller may see that they are dealing with someone who already has a preapproval. It shows them that you are serious about buying a house.

It gives them the green light indicating that you can afford the house you are trying to buy. With the preapproval, you are much better off. There are a lot of markets where it is entirely impossible to be taken seriously by a seller if you don’t already have a preapproval.

If you live in a state that requires a real estate attorney, that is the next step to get done. Even if it isn’t required, it’s still a good idea to get started. There are many potential legal pitfalls that you could be running into. Making sure you dot your i’s is actually how you’ll be able to sleep well at night.

The good news is that you won’t be needing these guys for all that much work. You won’t be spending as much money on lawyers as you may think is the case.

The house of your dreams

Have you already found the house of your dreams? If you have, that’s great. Otherwise, now is the time to start zeroing in on potential homes. The seller or their agent could pretend to be your friend. You should always keep in mind that you deal with people trying to sell you a valuable asset.

real estate agent

Whether you’re getting a mansion or a 3 bedroom, you’ll want to make sure you get the right place for your family!

It is in their interest to come off as being on your side. You know what it is you’re looking for, so make sure that that’s the type of house that you’re getting as well. Don’t let yourself get talked into a house by the seller’s agent.

The next step is to get the disclosure from the seller. It is a thing that is required to be provided by the seller. It has to disclose certain things that could be both safe and structural issues. Look into what is covered in your state specifically to see what it covers. Some states have significantly stricter laws regarding lead paint than others do.

The seller must be truthful. We have also personally seen these disclosures that should have involved information on lead paint, which it didn’t. That was despite the property requiring the various RRP documentation and not having it. It was even newly renovated – quite the oopsy on their part!

person holding a key

Make sure to ask any questions that come to mind regarding structural and safety questions. You will still have an inspector come by and check everything out.

You can also ask about appliances and the furnace. The roof and maintenance on the individual components are other things to figure out. Get a feeling of how soon you’d be looking to replace them yourself.

The next step is to look at comps to see what other similar homes have sold for. There are certain areas where it will be easy to figure out the price of comps, with other areas where it is less so the case. 

The next step is to make an offer with the real estate documents. It officially marks you’re well on your way to buying a new home, which is where the lawyer’s hard work comes in.

Making an offer

You will want to ensure you get the right contingencies in your offer. Things such as closing dates and the amount of time necessary for inspection should be included. It also includes other considerations in your offer.

You will also have listed which fixtures and appliances are part of the purchase. You will mark your offer and everything with deadlines whereby the offer is no longer valid.

When all those things have been cleared, you’re now well on your way to formally applying for a mortgage. Be sure that you have budgeted closing costs and more in the whole ordeal. 

Your next move is to get title insurance and have a title search done by a company that does that. The seller would probably not lie about a recommendation for a company that does a title search. You should go out and find your own. 

The next step is an important one where you will get a home inspector to assess the house and its condition.

You should expect that this process in itself will take a couple of hours. It is in your interest to find someone who is thorough and can find anything that might be wrong with the deal.

It all ends out in a written report, and you can even get a specific pest and termite inspection to make sure there aren’t any issues there. If the house is just stuffed full of mice, you will want to know.

The offer you put in on the house will likely have a bunch of contingencies when it comes to the inspection. The next step is to renegotiate based on the inspector’s findings. All of this is done, and the seller accepts your counteroffer based on renegotiating with the contingencies in mind. It’s finally time for closing.

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