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Do You Need a Real Estate Broker to Buy a House?

The answer for both buyers and sellers is more complicated than a simple “yes” or “no.” These questions can help you make the decision.

Buying a home (and selling one) is a big decision that can have a financial impact for years, if not decades. There is a lot of detail and a lot of documentation, which is why the majority of homebuyers, around 88%, choose to use a real estate broker. But others decide to put up their own “For Sale” sign in the yard and do it themselves. Before answering the question, “Do I need a real estate broker?”, consider these factors.

What does a real estate broker do?

Brokers help sellers determine a realistic sales price, prepare and assemble the home for showings, create the listing for the property, facilitate negotiations, and assist with the closing process. If you’re short on time or don’t feel confident doing any of these things, then the path to making the sale yourself may not be for you. On the other hand, the buyer’s broker searches for homes according to the desired characteristics (including price range, neighborhood and condition), helps to focus the search and present competitive offers; advocates for buyer’s interests through negotiation and assists with inspection and closing processes. Again, this is something you can do yourself, but it takes time and you will need to dive into the details of the process.

How are real estate brokers paid?

Generally, the seller is responsible for paying the fees. This can occur in several ways. For example, a fixed fee (which can include few services) or, more commonly, a percentage of the final sale price (usually 5% to 6%). When the seller works for a broker, the commission is paid to the broker. That commission is initially split between the seller’s and buyer’s brokers. Then each seller splits its part with the broker. It is often split 50/50, but can vary depending on the experience of the broker. Some newer brokers receive a lower percentage, while some more experienced ones receive a higher percentage.

Will I save money if I don’t use a real estate broker?

The right answer to this question is Maybe, and an example that will help understand why are the realtor marlborough Ma self-represented sellers, who save of course the commission (although they usually still have to pay a fee to the buyer’s broker). And buyers who are working without a broker can negotiate a further reduction in the sales price, since they are saving the seller a commission. However, if you find negotiating intimidating or lack detailed knowledge of the local market, working alone could be costly for you. You can skip a broker and save 3% only to end up selling your home for less than it’s worth.

Why shouldn’t you use a real estate broker?

There is a level of control that many people desire. It is possible to insist on a certain sale or purchase price, but doing this on your own can lead to some home buying mistakes.

As a seller you will organize open houses and exhibitions on your own, giving you the opportunity to establish a connection between potential buyers, the house and the neighborhood. You will also be able to manage the buying or selling process on your own schedule and not be dependent on a broker who probably has his time divided between multiple clients or, conversely, has less time than you would like.

As a buyer, when you write the offer, be sure to let the seller know that you do not have a broker. This may allow you to offer the seller a lower price (up to 3%) since he won’t have to pay your broker’s commission.

If you are selling or buying a home from a family member or friend, often called a no-broker sale, it may be advantageous to go without a broker. You may get a better price and the closing process may be less complicated. There may also be downsides to this type of selling, so there is no single correct answer. It is best to research the process and make a decision based on your individual circumstances.

There is a case where the use of a broker is not optional. If you are participating in an auction of a property involved in a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) foreclosure, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that you use a broker licensee that is registered with HUD.

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