I met a new client last week. He's a smart guy. He has a good job. He has a university education. He's also young and never bought a home before.
He's been looking for a home for over a year without a Realtor. He's even made a few offers.
I gulped. He's so lucky he didn't make a massive mistake.
All week I've been wracking my brain to figure out when you shouldn't use a Realtor to buy a home.
I've determined that these three conditions need to exist for you to buy a house on your own.
'When I look at the Purchase Contract, there are things I don't know... do I need a financing condition?'
I swallowed a lug of cappuccino. 'Are you buying with straight cash or do you need a mortgage?'
'Ha! I need a mortgage.'
'Then you need a financing condition.'
'You just answered a question that I literally spent hours researching online.'
Search on the internet. Figure out how to interpret the information on the homes. Find homes you like. Call listing agents. Book appointments. Research comparable homes to be confident in your price. Connect with a mortgage broker. Understand a pre-approval. Learn how to write an offer. Negotiate the offer. Send your mortgage broker all the documents they need. Meet the mortgage brokers conditions. Research home inspectors. Arrange the home inspection. Research the results of the home inspection. Determine what inspection issues need more follow-up. Figure out who will follow-up. Research condo document reviewers. Arrange a condo document review. Receive the condo docs from the other agent and forward to the reviewer. Research the results of the condo doc reviewer...
I set a timer for 3 minutes and tried to write down as many steps to buying a home as I could I think of. This list is only half done.
There's an awful lot of work and knowledge that goes into buying a home. That's why I have a full time job.
If you don't have a job, or hobbies, or anything else to do with your time... then you might not need a Realtor.
The public does not have access to the information that Realtors do. Most importantly, what homes sold for.
For example: let's say you like a house. You can see that the neighbours house listed at $500,000. But I know that it sat on the market for months and eventually sold for $450,000. The house you want is smaller, not renovated, and was used to breed thousands of snakes before the courts seized it. It's listed at $525,000.
Now you're writing an offer on your own. You're negotiating against a professional Realtor armed with way more information than you are, and who's legal obligation is to get the best possible deal for their clients. They are going to eat you alive.
You should probably have someone on your side making sure you're not fed to the snakes. Figuratively and literally.
If you can afford to mess up the biggest purchase and investment of your life... then you might not need a Realtor
A Realtor costs nothing out of your pocket when you buy a home.
A Buyer's Realtor's commission comes out of the price of the home. You never slip cash into my pocket for anything.
Sorry to all the extremely bored and indpendently weathly who read this. Everyone else, please get in touch with me about buying a house.