A: Use an agent.
Remember the first time you drove a car? If you’re like me, it was on a country road, it was summertime and your dad was taking you out for your first lesson. Maybe it was your mom or a driving instructor, but the feeling was likely the very same. A car, something you’d riding in for 16 years suddenly had a new feel. It was big and heavy and powerful. Also, in my case the country road narrow and the ditches deep. I didn’t drive into one but I thought I would.
Remember the first house you bought? It’s kind of the same feeling. It’s big. Not the house but the experience.
When they first begin looking for a home, many buyers ask, “Can’t we do this on our own? Do we really need to use a Real Estate Agent?” We are brought up in a do-it-yourself culture. We like to think we are self sufficient. We take pride in it.
You can buy a house on your own. But I don’t know why you would.
Pride of do-it-yourself self sufficiency?
Fear of being sold by aggressive agent?
Misconception about who pays commission?
Negotiate the buyer’s agent commission for yourself?
Didn’t know you could get trusted advice and professional service for free?
Do it yourself
Go it on your own and search for homes, visit Open Houses, arrange showings, negotiate and purchase on your own. You’ll get advice from family members, friends and perhaps your lawyer and other professionals.
Mistakes you will make
The main thing you’re going to lack is the professional, up to the minute knowledge of someone working in the industry everyday. You’ll make the mistake of negotiating from listing price instead of from market value. You’ll be dealing with the seller’s agent, who’s known the seller a lot longer than he’s known you. Or you’ll be dealing with a private seller who knows about as much about buying and selling houses than you do. You’ll act emotionally instead of rationally. You won’t have access to complete information. Finally, you’ll get into a bidding war – and lose. Everyone but the seller loses a bidding war.
I meet folks every weekend when I’m holding Open Houses who are out shopping without an agent. It’s not a bad way to start but when you get serious, get an agent. I don’t know why you wouldn’t.