It’s a great time to buy and sell real estate in Austin, Texas, where, according to FortuneBuilders the housing market is among the hottest in all of Texas, if not the entire country.
Today, it seems like everyone wants a piece of Austin, which is good news for sellers. And, this news labels Austin homebuyers as instant members of a select group that everyone’s vying to be a part of.
Selling and buying a home without an agent guarantees that both parties get an even better deal. This is true no matter where you live (or where you want to live). But, it’s especially true in Austin, where homes are selling at peak values to buyers who are eager to pay top-dollar prices to live in one the nation’s most-wanted zip codes.
Whether you’re an Austin homeowner who’s ready to sell, or a buyer looking for a new place to call home, you’re in the right place. Read on for tips and tricks for selling and buying a home in Austin, without a real estate agent!
The Advantages of Selling & Buying a Home Without an Agent
You might be wondering if buying and selling without an agent is really worth the extra trouble. But, it’s probably a lot simpler than you think. And, there are several advantages for those who are willing to give it a try in their own lives.
No Agent Commission
Who pays the realtor’s commission costs for the sale of a property depends largely on whether you use a buyer’s or seller’s real estate agent. In either case, you can expect someone to pay around 6% of the total home price to a realtor.
In cases when there are two agents working on behalf of the parties, the agents will usually split the commission. But, it still deducts a hefty chunk of the home’s value from the seller’s profits.
An agent’s commission can cost several tens of thousands of dollars. For example, in 2018, the median home in the US was close to $230,000 dollars. At this price, a realtor collecting 6% would receive $13,800 dollars.
If you don’t use a realtor, however, that’s $13,800 extra dollars that the seller could pocket or the buyer could shave off of the home’s selling price.
Today’s homebuyers and sellers are starting to realize that they can perform the same duties as their realtor, and save a bundle in the process.
The cost-effective advantages of buying and selling without an agent make it clear why more and more people are choosing to go this route.
Do-It-Yourself Real Estate Tools Make It Easy to Sell Your Home Without an Agent
On top of the money that you can save by forgoing the cost of commission, new do-it-yourself real estate tools and software make it easy for practically anyone to perform the tasks of an agent. And, you’ll only pay a small fraction of the amount you might pay a realtor who is selling your home.
One of the most popular options among modern-day sellers is a flat rate real estate service. Basic online packages, which include set up, multiple listings on high-traffic real estate sites, contract and document management, professional showings and remote closing services, start at less than $1,000 dollars.
Even for states like Texas, whose law requires the use of a dedicated, licensed agent for real estate transactions, there are reasonably-priced packages offering 24/7 agent availability.
Of course, you must be careful when choosing a flat-fee service. Some of the services you’ll find on the internet can be deceiving when it comes to pricing. It’s important to research your options so that you don’t end up paying almost the same price that you would pay an agent.
How the Internet is Changing the Real Estate Industry
Not only does the internet provide easy and affordable options for sellers (while still offering plenty of professional support), but it’s changing the industry in other ways as well. Luckily, these changes stand to benefit both the buyer and the seller by reducing or eliminating their need for an agent’s services.
Listings Are Available Online
According to the National Association of Realtors, 92% of buyers use the internet during their home search. And, it’s easy to see why. There are tons of sites online that make listing readily available with just a few clicks.
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) provides a national database of all homes that are listed for sale. Along with the Multiple Listing Service website, sites like Trulia and Zillow give people a simple way to search for homes on the market in their local area. And, there are tons of local sites that provide online information about homes and properties for sale as well.
Virtual Home Tours
This makes it easy to narrow your home search to those that interest you the most without ever leaving home. On top of that, many sites offer virtual tours of the homes they have listed. So, buyers can literally take a tour of their favorite properties via the internet.
This is a huge advantage in our modern society. It allows people to save time and money viewing homes in-person that wouldn’t hold their interest after they’ve had an opportunity to check out the property’s interior. And, it’s a bonus for people moving across the country, who want to purchase a new home sight-unseen.
Today’s Homebuyers Often Prefer Handling Business Online
68% of today’s homebuyers are millennials, who tend to take care of business matters online. In fact, many people of all ages have grown accustomed to conducting official business online.
For example, 51% of adults and 61% of all internet users currently bank online, according to Pew Research. And, many Americans use the internet to pay bills, work from home, and to shop for everything from their groceries to big-ticket items, that include their cars and their homes, as well.
We’ve gotten used to the convenience of the internet, many of us so much that we balk at the face-to-face transactions commonly performed in the not-so-distant past. And, the real estate industry hasn’t let us down.
Being able to view listings in detail, communicate with potential buyers (or sellers), and access a slew of online resources, has made it possible for practically anyone to walk through every step of the real estate process just as if they were a professional.
The Benefits of Buying a Home Without a Realtor
Since sellers are typically the ones responsible for paying an agent’s commission, you might be wondering how buying a home without a realtor benefits homebuyers.
Well, believe it or not, there are reasons that a buyer might opt for a no-agent purchase, too.
For example, if the seller doesn’t have to pay steep commission costs, it could give them more wiggle room to negotiate a reduced sale price.
As mentioned earlier, agreeing not to use an agent could potentially save a seller well over $10,000 dollars. In fact, in some hot-property areas, such as Austin, the average commission costs are even more than that.
Buying a Home in Austin
Since 2009, median home prices for the 5-county area that surrounds Austin have increased an astounding 69%. And, average home prices for the city of Austin are 20% higher than that of its’ surrounding areas.
Austin has gained a lot of attention over the past decade for becoming one of the most sought-after places to buy a home. But, despite Austin’s rising home prices, buyers continue to flock to the city.
In April of 2019, Forbes reported that the median home price in Austin had risen to $394,450.00 dollars, which was 20% higher than homes in other nearby areas. If an agent was paid the typical 6% commission on a home equaling the median price at that time, they would earn almost $25,000.
Rising Housing Prices Offer a Unique Opportunity to Buyers
While this might sound scary to sellers, it makes selling without a realtor that much more enticing. And, it also gives sellers an incentive to drastically reduce the price of their home to a buyer who agrees on purchasing without a realtor.
With housing prices such as those indicated above, a seller could knock as much as $15,000 dollars or more off the price of their home and still save money by not paying an agent.
Buyers who are willing to purchase without a realtor can use it to their advantage, potentially scoring a great deal on a home. In cities like Austin that are often considered to be a seller’s market, this is great news for buyers who might not have much bargaining power, otherwise.
Buy With BlueMatch & Get Cash Back!
If you’re thinking of buying a home without an agent, but aren’t sure you’re ready to go through the process alone, try BlueMatch.
With BlueMatch’s virtual real estate brokerage, buyers earn cash back at closing. And, not only do we offer big buyer rebates, but you’ll also get to work with a top agent in your area. BlueMatch agents cover most of the United States, including Austin, Texas.
Contact us today to find out more about buying your next home with BlueMatch!