Rebecca purchased a home without using a real estate agent in 2010.
How I Bought My Home Without a Real Estate Agent
person found Rebecca's experience helpful.
Purchasing a home without a real estate agent is not as difficult as it may seem. However, if you don’t have a lot of patience and perseverance, this may not be the best option. If you want to save yourself some money, consider a "for sale by owner" transaction.
For almost a year, I had driven by a home with a "for sale" sign in the yard across the road from my mom's home in a small subdivision on the river. It was a brick ranch with a two-car garage, and I was in love with the house, the yard, and the location. The neighborhood is fairly pricey, and I knew I would never be able to afford anything in the area. The lease was up at the rental where I lived with my husband and children, and we decided to start looking for a home to buy. While researching the local newspaper, I noticed an advertisement for my dream home across from my mom. Immediately, I was shocked by the price! It was much less expensive than I would have thought, although still just a little out of reach.
For a couple of months, we looked at houses throughout the county, but I couldn’t get my mind off the home by the river. One day, while visiting my mom, I noticed the "for sale" sign had been removed from the yard, but the house had not been sold. My mother convinced me to go knock on the door and speak to the owners. The owners said they had taken the house off the market because they had not had any interest, but they allowed my mom and me to look at all the rooms in the house. I was in love. I told the owner we were interested in purchasing the home and that we would be willing to forgo the use of a real estate agent to save both of us money and bring the price down within our budget.
Little did I know the complications that would be involved with purchasing a home. First, we had to write up a formal offer. This is usually taken care of by the real estate agent. I researched online and found a fill-in-the-blanks document for a real estate offer and added our information. We negotiated a fair price for both parties and were on our way to home ownership.
Next, we had to work with a mortgage company to fund our loan. We were lucky enough to find a well-known, reputable company online. We went with a company that advertised on television, and we wanted to be able to complete most of the transaction either online, on the phone, or through email. Since both my husband and I work, we did not have time to go back and forth to a bank. Although we never met the agent in person, she was extremely helpful and answered all of our questions.
We had never bought a home before, and making our first home purchase without using a real estate agent or a local bank could have been risky. My husband was able to take some money from his 401(k) for the down payment, and we also qualified for a first-time home buyers' discount and $10,000 to help make improvements on the home.
You would think that once you have a mortgage company, the rest would be easy, but it is just the beginning. We had to send three years of tax returns, bank statements, letters from our employers, and more. Then, we had to go through the inspections required for a Federal Housing Administration loan. Since the home is in a rural area, we had to have the septic system and well inspected. We had a termite inspection, and the structure of the home checked out. I can’t even count all the emails and phone calls that occurred over the next six weeks.
Finally, all the paperwork was complete and we were ready for closing. The online mortgage company sent out a representative to complete, notarize, and exchange the checks for the purchase of the home. At several points along the way, I thought we were crazy to attempt a home purchase on our own. My husband is not a patient person and would have given up after the first loan denial by the local bank. My advice for anyone thinking about purchasing a home without a real estate agent is to be patient and persistent. Research information online, and find a great mortgage company. In the end, it will be all worthwhile when you have the home of your dreams, in a prime location, for a price you can afford.