If you are in the market to buy a home, you have probably talked with a real estate agent. This person will talk with you to find out what it is you are looking for and then take you to see houses you may be interested in purchasing. He or she will then receive a commission from the proceeds of the sale if you buy it. However, not all real estate properties for sale are listed with an agent. Some owners decide to save the commissions that would be paid to an agent and sell the home themselves. As a potential buyer, you need to be aware of a few problems you may encounter when trying to purchase a home direct from the owner.
If You Have Been Working with a Buyer's Agent
If you have already been working with a real estate agent, and signed a contract, you may have to use this person to purchase the home, even if the owner has stated "no agents." You have a couple of options in this situation, and they involve you having to pay the agent's commission. You may proceed with the sale and pay the commission out of your pocket. You may also talk with the seller to have the commission taken from the money the mortgage company pays on your behalf. This would mean that the loan would be for more than the asking price. For example, imagine the seller is asking $100,000 for the property. The agent's commission would be 3 percent, or $3,000. You have $20,000 as a down payment, leaving you with a loan of $80,000 for the sale price. However, since you need to pay the agent, you will need for the loan to be for $83,000. This way, the seller gets his or her asking price, and the agent gets his or her commission.
Tasks an Agent Would Do
If you are able to proceed with the purchase without an agent, you need to make sure that you take care of all the little things an agent normally does. Be sure to make an appointment for a home inspection so you are sure the house is sound. Get permission from the seller to obtain the insurance history of the property. Not only will this tell you if there has been any damage to the property, but it will also give you a clue as to what the insurance is going to cost you. Take your time when viewing the property, and ask a lot of questions. When real estate agents are involved, the seller's agent has already asked all the important questions and viewed the house extensively. He or she can give you an unemotional perspective of the place. However, when you are viewing with the owner as a guide, you may have some things glossed over or be told things from a point-of-view that is sentimental.
While it is possible to buy a home without the aid of a professional real estate agent, you need to be more cautious. If this is your first home, it would be best to have professional help. Whether you have an agent or not, you should always hire a real estate lawyer to help with the final closing of the property.