There’s no law that says you need to. Realistically, you could enter an open house and buy the place on the spot. However, you may miss out on the benefits an agent provides. Let’s look at the pros and cons of using a real estate agent.

The No-Agent Route

About 11% of all home buyers in the U.S. purchase a home without the help of a real estate agent; usually to save money on fees. In most cases, home sellers pay the commissions of both the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent. However, hypothetically, a buyer could convince a seller to lower the home’s price if the seller doesn’t have to pay the buyer’s agent.

When does not using a real estate agent make sense? A buyer with a skilled real estate attorney may not need an agent or a buyer may be a real estate expert themselves. Buying a home from a family member could eliminate the need for real estate agents. About half of all home buyers who don’t use agents buy newly built homes directly from builders.

Buying a Home with an Agent

If none of the above situations apply to you, you want a real estate agent on your side. Here’s why:

  • Access to more listings. The major real estate platforms like Zillow and Trulia don’t have all the available homes. There are off-market listings that only agents know about.
  • Local knowledge. Most people pick an agent who specializes in an area. That’s because the agent has in-depth knowledge of factors such as schools, home value appreciation, and more.
  • An experienced negotiator. A buying agent negotiates home prices for a living and is thus more likely to get you the best deal possible.
  • The paperwork. Purchase contracts are complicated. So are the state and local regulations a home sale must navigate. One missed detail could cost you.

The Importance of a Trusted Lender

Financing details are just as important as sale details. Maybe more so. With the wrong lender, you could pay for mistakes over the life of the loan.

You want a lender with a proven track record. A lender who tells you exactly how much home you can afford and why. One of the best ways to know this is through mortgage pre-approval. With a pre-approval letter, you can know how much you can spend and show a seller you’re serious when bidding.

The Decker Group is that trusted lender you’re looking for. Contact us online or call us at (972) 591-3097.