Buying a house or other property without an agent can be a risky venture for buyers, especially at closing if they aren’t careful. Yet “iBuyer” companies are growing, according to the National Association of Realtors, which says 13% of homebuyers did it themselves in 2018.
While risk can be involved, the rewards are also high as buyers can shave off thousands of dollars by not paying a commission to agents, which in turn can result in lower mortgage payments.
Unrepresented buyers are growing across the U.S.
One of the leaders of this new real estate model is Opendoor, which tells financial website Bankrate.com that it averages 3,500 home sales per month for unrepresented buyers and has helped over 50,000 people.
However, this new movement isn’t recommended for all first-time buyers, particularly those who aren’t savvy on protections for themselves, such as for home inspections and financing options. Negotiating a contract can be tricky, and seasoned real estate agents make sure crucial stipulations are included in any deal.
Be ready for closing day
Buyers usually spend a couple of hours at closing and need to sign agreements with the lender as well as the seller. Make sure you read every document thoroughly and bring these items:
- Government-issued photo ID: A driver’s license or a passport is the best option while a birth certificate won’t be accepted because it doesn’t have your picture on it.
- Cashier’s or certified check: Personal checks are usually not accepted. You should be notified at least one day in advance about how much you’ll owe and whether you need more than one check.
- Proof of homeowners’ insurance: Make sure your policy is in effect on closing day and bring proof from your insurance company that it’s for at least one year.
Seek legal help when reviewing contracts
While many people may decide they don’t need an agent in buying their new property, the advice of an experienced real estate attorney here in Florida could potentially save money and headaches.
Hiring an attorney to review your contract, regardless of whether you have an agent, can identify any issues that can cause short-term or long-term problems with what is one of the costliest purchases you will make in your lifetime.