Should You Buy a Home on Your Own
At the beginning of the home buying process, many buyers initially ask themselves:
...or Use an Agent?
"Do I really need to use a real estate agent...I mean, can't we just do this on our own?"
The simple answer is “Yes” you can do it all yourself. There are no laws preventing home buyers (as an individual) from representing themselves without the aid of a real estate professional. Searching for the correct home, scheduling times to view the homes and even the price negotiation...the buyer can handle it all by themselves. The question which is more important should be:
"Do we really want to go through the home buying process on our own?"
A common misconception of many first time home buyers is that the use of a real estate agent is somehow going to cost them more money than going it alone. Buyers early in the process are very concerned about what the final price of a property will be and figure if they could avoid paying the agent's commission they'll save some money on the purchase.
TRUTH: A real estate agent's commission is provided by the seller, not the buyer. Having buyer representation will not cost you, the buyer, one single cent!
If you wanted to eliminate the real estate agent from your home buying process all together you'd be relegated to choosing only homes that are “For sale by Owner” which is only a small percentage of the homes available in your market. Some sellers choose the “For sale by Owner” route because they might not want to pay a commission, or perhaps an agent would take the listing from the seller as they were asking too high of a price. There may even be problems with the home that the owner feels they can better negotiate without a real estate agent around.
Most of the houses in your search will be listed by a real estate agent, whose job is to get the best price for their client...the seller. If you don't have your own agent representing you as a buyer, the seller's agent will still get the commission that would have gone to your agent who would have been working to make sure you are getting the best possible deal on your new home.
Having a buyer’s agent represent you will provide you with extensive data on potential properties. As well, your agent will provide you with Comparative Market Analysis, which you'll need in determining if the house is worth the price asked. As a home is a major purchase, you'll want to know that the value is there for yourself and your family's future. The in depth research your agent will provide you will enable you to make an educated decision and also avoid many of the major pitfalls made by those in the market without extensive home buying experience.
The Bottom Line
You will be best served to have a real estate professional look after your interests. A buyer's agent will present you a multitude of listings, in the areas you choose, and will handle the showing arrangements. Their experience will go a long way to make sure that you have a smooth viewing, negotiating, and buying process. The agent will guide you each step of the way...at no cost to you whatsoever.