How to Buy a Home Without a Realtor: A Guide

Did you know that right now it’s a seller’s market? If you’re ready to buy a house and save money, we can help.

In this guide, we’ll go over how to buy a home without a realtor. You can save money and improve your negotiating skills.

Want to learn more? Keep reading!

Get Preapproved for a Mortgage

First, you need to get a preapproval. A preapproval will reveal how much you can afford when shopping for a house.

This way, you don’t end up looking at houses that are way outside of your budget. Having a preapproval will also be a great indicator to sellers that you’re serious about buying. It will show that your financing isn’t going to fall through.

Start Checking Out Neighborhoods

Where do you want to live? Start researching different neighborhoods and learn about the average price of houses. What do you value in a community?

Would you like to buy a home that’s close to top public schools? Some people prefer to find a house that’s close to public transportation. By selecting a neighborhood or two, you can narrow down your search for houses.

Choose a Property

Select a few houses in the neighborhood to check out. You’ll want to keep a list of properties that fit your budget.

After you find a house online, you’ll be able to visit in person. Online listings will include the realtor or owner’s number. If there isn’t an open house, you could call the real estate agent and ask for a tour.

When you attend an open house, study the condition of the property. What’s included in the sale? Will the furniture or any appliances stay? You’ll need this information when you make an offer.

If you want to consider different houses when buying a home, learn more about rent to own homes.

Get the Seller Disclosure Statement

A seller disclosure statement will outline known issues with the house. Also, buyers will learn about remodeling work sellers completed on the home.

Some items could include plumbing, electrical, or heating problems. You might read about structural issues or a history of damage from termites.

Other sellers might have an issue of water or mild damage. Sellers only have to share the problems they know exist. Depending on the state, sellers can avoid disclosing issues.

Before making an offer, look into the disclosure laws. Some states use the “Caveat Emptor” or “buyer beware” rule. The rule means it’s the buyer’s responsibility to determine what’s wrong with the house.

If your state uses this rule, you’ll want to create a list of questions. Ask about any problems with the home’s plumbing or heating system. Is there any asbestos in the house?

How old is the roof, and when did it have a repair? Have the homeowners had any problems with mold or termites?

Time to Offer

After you find a house, you can make your offer. First, you’ll want to consider how much homes cost in that area and how long it has been on the market.

Are there any issues that will need to get fixed? All these things can factor into the price of the home.

Try to offer a bit lower than your preapproval. This way, you’ll have room to be able to negotiate.

Once you have decided on an offer, write an official letter. The letter should include your full legal name, the address of the home, and the names of others buying the house.

You’ll add the amount you’re going to offer for the house. Add any conditions that need to get done before the sale gets completed.

Are there any seller concessions you want to add? Provide a photocopy of your preapproval letter. Include items that you wanted in the sale like window dressings or appliances.

Outline the date you hope to move into the home, and the time you desire to close. Make sure you provide a deadline for the offer.

You can submit your offer to the listing agent. If the owner is selling the house, send your offer to them. Your seller will either accept, deny, or provide a counteroffer.

Work With a Home Inspector and a Lawyer

Inspections can bring to light any hidden issues that the seller doesn’t even know about their house. A review will cover elements like the structure, plumbing, and heating system.

Some states want you to work with a real estate attorney to finish the sale and transfer titles. In states where you don’t need a real estate attorney, a lawyer can help you complete the paperwork.

Negotiating the Sale

If the inspector provides new information, you can negotiate with the seller.

First, you could ask the seller to repair the issues before the closing. You could also ask for reimbursement of the amount it would cost to fix the problem. You’ll want to have someone provide an approximate estimate first.

You could also ask for a lower sale price if there are massive repairs needed. If the repairs are too big or you don’t want to go further, you can cancel the sale. Negotiate in writing and keep records of communication.

Complete the Sale and Financing

When you have reached an agreement, it’s time to close on the loan. When the underwriter analyzes the loan file, they will approve or deny it.

Once you’re in the clear, the lender sends a Closing Disclosure. The Closing Disclosure provides terms about your loan, interest rate, and closing costs.

If everything looks good, you’ll want to contact the lender and schedule the closing date.

Now You Know More About How to Buy a Home Without a Realtor

We hope this guide on buying a home without a real estate agent was helpful. Now that you know how to buy a home without a realtor start searching. 

Research homes in your budget range, and try to get a preapproval beforehand. Good luck shopping around for a new home. 

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