Buying a house is a big step in a person’s life and can be a long process. You need to find a place you love, that is within your budget. You will also need to get an inspection, compare rates for electricity and other utilities, look at property taxes, and fill out a ton of paperwork.
In order to lighten the load, many people will work with a professional like an agent or broker to help them find the right house. While these individuals are certainly helpful, they might be keeping some secrets from you as a homebuyer.
Without any further ado, let’s look at the top 5 secrets that no real estate broker will tell you.
You Don’t Have To Use an Agent or Broker
There is no doubt that using a real estate agent or broker simplifies the home-buying experience. They can find you homes, help you with the paperwork, handle making offers, set you up with mortgage brokers, and do many other things to help the process along.
However, these professionals are never going to tell you that you might not actually need them. It is completely possible to buy a home without their assistance. Many people decide to go the route of buying homes on their own without professional help.
While new buyers will generally want to work with an agent, those who have bought or sold before, or have a close friend/family member who has, might be able to do it alone. This is a lot more work and potential stress but has the potential to save you thousands of dollars.
Their Commission Is Negotiable
When you enlist the help of a professional to buy a home, they don’t do it for free. While it varies on a case-to-case basis, the normal commission is around 5-6% of the sale price of the home. However, no agent or broker is going to tell you that their fees are not set in stone. These can actually be negotiated in some cases.
And while you as a buyer don’t directly pay for the commission, you will certainly be indirectly responsible for it. Many sellers know they will be responsible for paying both the selling and buying agent or broker. Because of this, they will add these costs to the sale price of the home.
They Are Not an Expert in Every Neighborhood
Many real estate brokers and agents like to act like they are experts in their entire cities. While they certainly sometimes are, others might be a little less knowledgeable on some areas than others. This is especially true in large cities where things can differ greatly from one area to another.
Now, most are familiar with most areas of a city or town. But if they aren’t able to answer your questions about the neighborhood or struggle to give good responses, it is best to consider finding another person to work with. Also, you want to work with an agent or broker that is upfront about telling you the things you need to know about a neighborhood, not the one that requires you to ask.
Do your homework and be sure to work with agents who have sold homes in the area you want to buy in. They should be able to prove they know enough about it to help you make an informed decision.
They Prefer a Quick Sale
Real estate brokers and agents make their money based on a percentage of the total price that a home is sold for. However, in order for them to actually get paid, a transaction must take place. As a result, many brokers and agents favor quick sales over ones that take months.
While there is a good chance your broker is giving you good advice, some may push for a quick sale and try to speed the process along so they can get paid. Also, while everyone is different, most agents and brokers will prefer volume over price when it comes to sales. If you find yourself in a position where a fast sale makes sense, that’s fine. However, don’t speed up your process if you’re not comfortable doing so simply because of pressure from your broker.
The Size of Their Agency Doesn’t Matter
A common way that agents or brokers will try to sell you on their service comes down to the size of their agency. Brokers with a large agency will boast about their great sales numbers and long history. On the other hand, smaller and more boutique firms will claim they have fewer clients, and will thus have more time to spend on you.
Most of the time, both of these are relatively meaningless. You will be working with one broker or agent, not the entire firm. You should spend time finding a solid agent that is dedicated to you, and not worry so much about which agency they come from.
Of course, you want to work with an agent that has the experience and proven results, but that often has little to do with the company they work for, and more to do with their individual skills and work ethic.
In conclusion, these are just some of the secrets that many real estate brokers won’t tell you before you buy a house.