Buying a home. A task that seems so glamorous, thanks to HGTV.
We think about our lives in a new home. We memorize every home using the Zillow and Realtor phone apps.
Then, we toss the idea around about actually buying a new home. Once we really settle on this decision, we all ask ourselves the same question:
Do I need a realtor?
In today’s real estate market, there are dozens of options that don’t rely on the use of a typical real estate agent to buy our new dream home. Keep that 1-3% commission in your pocket!
See an FSBO (For Sale By Owner) sign in the lawn or in a window that must be yours?
Here are a few different strategies for buying a house without an agent in Dallas, Texas.
Time to Buy – Do I Need a Realtor?
You’ve made the decision to buy a home in Dallas. You’re going to put down some country roots in one of the best cities in the Lonestar State.
Let’s get you a home!
Homes that are sold without an agent can be some of the best options when buying. You are able to deal directly with the seller. Many times, you can even negotiate a fair and equitable deal that doesn’t involve one or two agents taking a cut from the profit.
That’s a home buying hack!
These are a few strategies to buying a house without a realtor, especially one that is FSBO in Dallas!
Calling someone whose home you want to purchase can seem a little bit intimidating.
Don’t let it be!
When someone is listing their home as FSBO, they are hoping that someone is going to call. They want to avoid the ‘middle man (or woman)’, and complete the sale on their own terms.
This is one of those deals that earns the term mutually beneficial. Both the seller and the buyer are able to save money by avoiding commission payments to realtors.
Also, both the buyer and seller have a better opportunity to negotiate a fair price.
So, don’t worry about needing an agent to contact the seller. Give them a call and start a conversation. Remember, the seller wants to sell their home. You want to buy their home. You already have something in common to talk about.
Schedule a Viewing
Of course, you want to see the inside of the home. That’s a no-brainer, but many people think they must contact an agent to schedule a home tour or viewing.
That’s not the case for a home listed as FSBO.
You can directly chat with the seller to determine a time that works for both of your schedules.
A good rule of thumb when touring an FSBO home is to go with at least one other person. Having an extra set of eyes is great for helping to evaluate a home for things like leaky pipes, potential electric issues, or even things like cracks in the foundation.
Knowing these things can give you a better idea of what to offer on the home.
Offer a Fair Price
So, you’ve found the perfect home, you’ve toured the perfect home, and now you want to buy the perfect home!
Let’s make a deal!
First things first, make sure you do your research!
Look at comparable homes in the neighborhood or surrounding areas. Apps like Zillow and Realtor.com provide this information. Also, do your due diligence.
Look at homes that were recently sold in the neighborhood and the surrounding areas. If you cannot find their sale price, look them up on your local property appraiser or county tax website. Many people will try to sell their home with inflated prices.
Do your homework! Then, make an offer.
You don’t need a realtor to complete this transaction. But, you will need a purchase agreement.
There are many templates that you can find online. Chances are, though, the seller has already accessed one of these forms from the FSBO website or may have lined up an attorney or transactional agent.
There are fees tied to the purchase agreement. Typically the seller will be responsible for these fees. Make sure to include this purchase agreement discussion in your offer.
Set Up Appointments
We never want to buy a home blindly.
Inspections are a primary focus when you buy a home. But there are a few other appointments that you may want to make before you close:
These are the main inspections that are done during the home buying process.
Inspectors will review and analyze the electrical systems, home plumbing, and the home’s structure and foundation.
Other things that are generally part of this inspection include wood damage, roof conditions, presence of asbestos and lead paint (especially if an older home).
Depending on the location of your home, you’ll have one more thing to consider when buying a home without an agent.
Homes in a city or large town are usually connected to sewage pipes that magically move that stuff away from your home to a water reclamation center.
Homes in the country or further away from city limits tend to have septic tanks. These tanks need to be inspected by a septic company. Things like the size of tank, condition of tank, as well as condition of the leech field should be inspected. You cannot close on a home when a septic tank doesn’t pass inspection.
City Water/Well Water
A city water or well water inspection is another home buying element dependent on the location of your home.
Dallas city water doesn’t need to be inspected as much as well water. The water, itself, is not the main issue in this inspection. The age and the condition of the well are the most important aspects of this inspection.
Homes that have a well depend on that well for all of their water needs. You want to make sure the well is in good condition, free of bacteria, and the electrical lift is in quality, working order.
When the power goes out, well water goes right along with it.
Land surveys are important parts of any home closing. Property surveys will outline your property lines; geological land surveys determine the condition of the land.
These types of surveys can detect potential for sinkholes, as well as ground stability if you are considering building an addition to the existing home.
Variances, Easements, Liens
Do your homework. You can’t close on a home with any of these issues.
Contact the county office that has your new home’s property information on file. For many counties, that would be the City Government Property Tax/Tax Collector department.
Again, when buying a house without a realtor, there are a number of things that you want to ensure happen before that home is officially yours. Always remember that age-old phrase of “Buyer Beware”. Once that home is yours, it’s yours!
Closings are exciting!
You probably have colors picked out for the walls. You probably have the moving van packed. You are ready to move into that home ASAP!
But first, you must close on the house.
Closings are tricky. There is a lot of paperwork and a lot of legal information that is wrapped into the process. Do you need a realtor to help you navigate through the closing? No.
Thanks to the 21st century, closings can be done remotely.
If you live out-of-state or have a tricky schedule that makes appointments hard to make, then a remote closing may be perfect!
You’ll get all of the closing paperwork sent your way. This gives you plenty of time to read over everything, especially all those little asterisked and fine print information. Then, you’ll electronically sign the documents, provide whatever information is needed, and send the docs on their merry way.
This saves time. This saves money. It’s the most convenient and easy way to close, especially when buying a house without an agent.
I Want That House!
We see a home and we think, “Do I need a realtor to make this home purchase happen?”
FSBO homes are some really great options to purchase. There is wiggle room in the price. There are no agent commissions to worry about. Also, the process can be quite a bit more relaxed and less stressful.
However, you absolutely need to do your due diligence when buying a house without a realtor. Realtors offer a nice advantage of knowing what to look for, knowing what to ask, and being available for support during the purchase process.
If you want to shop for a house on your own to avoid steep realtor commission fees, but still want the help and support of a real estate expert, there are options.
Looking for a home and buying a home can be done online, without leaving the comfort of your soon-to-be-old home or city.
Ready to buy?
You can sit, click, and shop your way to the perfect FSBO home.