Author Topic: Buy with or without realtor?  (Read 2755 times)

Forcus

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Buy with or without realtor?
« on: September 05, 2013, 11:28:08 AM »
We have a realtor we like and have used to look at 3-4 houses maybe 3-4 months ago. After looking at location and what we could get for our budget (under 200k), we decided to wait, save up more and bump up our price range and consider building.

We were on vacation in mid August when we got an alert (Trulia, Zillow, don't remember). A house in the area we wanted, 6 years old, built the way we wanted, and on our budget. For sale by owner. We did research, looked at the house twice, and have conducted all business with the owner.

We now have loan pre-approval. Our plan is to make an offer, close, move out of our current house, and place it up for sale in spring. We will probably use the realtor we used 3-4 months ago for the sale of our current house even though the house is slightly out of his area.

We are struggling with whether to include him in the offer / close process. That is, do we bring him in now to help the offer process go smoothly, and he is compensated at perhaps a slightly lower rate, or do we try to conduct the offer / closing process ourselves? I have to admit, I am almost completely ignorant on how to move forward. I can get a generic offer / contract proposal online but I don't want to leave anything to chance. I don't know if the realtor would be helpful here or just be an expensive mistake. I feel like it might be a slap in the face to do it ourselves and then want him to sell our current house, which again is a little out of his area, and only worth maybe 90k so lower commission.

Thoughts? Want to do the right thing but also limit expenses and limit exposure to risk.

arebelspy

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Re: Buy with or without realtor?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2013, 11:39:21 AM »
If this is your first home purchase, it's probably worth utilizing the Realtor and asking them every question you can think of so you can DIY it next time if you desire.
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Spork

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Re: Buy with or without realtor?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2013, 12:44:47 PM »

Much to the profile ARS suggests:   I've only bought/sold 3 houses.  (Well, bought 3, sold 2... I have to live somewhere).  It isn't something I do often enough to be comfortable with.

That said:  I've had terrible realtors (that I fired) and good ones.  It makes a huge difference.  There are some out there that are looking to jack up their commission by having the biggest sale price there is.  There are some that listen to you and want to please you.  Choose carefully and don't be afraid to fire them.  Don't sign an exclusive contract with them if you can help it -- and even then, keep the term of the contract short so you can re-evaluate and punt if needed.

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Buy with or without realtor?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2013, 02:55:29 PM »
I purchased my first home without a realtor. It was also FSBO. For the contract, I simply hired a lawyer to draft it and then I negotiated the contract with the sellers on my own. I maybe could have done better with the negotiations, but that may have been a function of my age at the time (24) more than anything else.

I used the same law firm to handle the closing. It was quite simple. If you feel like you may need some hand holding, it may be worth it to go with a realtor, especially if you have one you like and you are planning to use in the future. I think it is 100% possible to go through the process without a realtor though. To me the biggest benefit of the realtor is having them do the legwork to find potential homes/buyers. If you have already done that part, not sure if their added value matches the cost.

SnackDog

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Re: Buy with or without realtor?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2013, 03:06:45 PM »
Buyers agents are essentially free to the buyer and wouldn't buy without. M
Our last two purchases would have been impossible without the realtor and one prevented us from stumbling into several potentially disastrous deals. Our last house was not available on the market but the realtor knew the owner and put together a deal. It is our dream house...

Forcus

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Re: Buy with or without realtor?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2013, 03:07:51 PM »
If you feel like you may need some hand holding, it may be worth it to go with a realtor, especially if you have one you like and you are planning to use in the future. I think it is 100% possible to go through the process without a realtor though. To me the biggest benefit of the realtor is having them do the legwork to find potential homes/buyers.

This is where I am at. I really don't want to have to deal with hiring a lawyer (I don't have one), title searches, etc., simply because it is not something I have time to deal with right now. But I don't know how much the realtor does anyway. Maybe all they do is give you an offer template and handle the communication and the bank does the title searches. I just don't know because I don't know the process.

Another option I thought of was just saying hey, you aren't our realtor for this transaction but we will give you a consulting fee for this transaction (like, $1,000) and you still get to sell our other house. Don't know if that would work.

I will be honest though, we found this house, met with the sellers, etc., but our realtor got us in to houses before, which got us to realize that we do not want another fixer upper. So he did not connect us with this house but did lead us down the path, in a way, to it.

arebelspy

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Re: Buy with or without realtor?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2013, 05:17:46 PM »
You can probably negotiate a discount if they're selling the one (typically 3%) and helping you buy the other (typically 3%).
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.