With the increasing use of technology and the rise of online property portals and platforms, buying a home without an estate agent has become an increasingly popular option.
While going the DIY route can save you money, it also requires you to take on a greater level of responsibility and be more informed and organised.
Here, I’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to buy a home without an estate agent.
1. Determine your budget
This step is crucial, as it will help you determine how much you can afford to spend on a home and what your monthly mortgage payments will be.
To determine your budget, consider your monthly income, expenses, and any other debts you may have.
This will help you get a realistic picture of what you can afford and avoid overstretching your finances.
Related post: What happens if I fall behind on my mortgage payments?
2. Research the housing market
It’s important to research the housing market in the areas you’re interested in to get a sense of current market trends, property values, and what’s available in your price range.
Traditionally, this would have been the job of your estate agent who would use a local database of properties to point you in the right direction.
However, online property portals generally show all the properties available in your area being marketed by all agents, so you won’t be limited to the books of just one.
Also, many of these portals offer other useful info, such as sold price, property estimations and detailed maps showing all the amenities in an area.
This information will help you make informed decisions when it comes to making an offer on a property.
3. Go out and search for properties
While there are many online property platforms that allow you to search for properties from the comfort of your own home, it’s also worth doing some real world leg work.
I find that you can learn a lot about an area by walking or driving around the neighbourhood that you wouldn’t learn online.
You’ll get a feel for the area and spot things that otherwise wouldn’t have seen. You might also see a For Sale sign and it might just be outside your dream home!
Taking a stroll around your desired area is an essential part of buying a home, especially if you’re doing it without an estate agent.
4. Schedule viewings
This is one step of buying a home that you might not be able to do without the involvement of an estate agent, unless the property owner is selling with one.
If you’ve found your dream home and it’s being marketed by an agent, you’ll have to go through them to arrange viewings as that is what they’re being paid for.
If the seller is going it alone, you can contact them directly to arrange a time to view the property.
5. Hire a home inspector
Before making an offer on a property, it’s important to have it inspected by a professional home surveyor/inspector.
A surveyor will check for any major issues with the property, including structural problems, electrical issues, and plumbing problems.
This will give you a good idea of the condition of the property and any repairs that may need to be made.
A professional surveyor will produce a detailed report listing their findings and is an essential part of buying a home.
My advice is to always pay for a survey, even if you might think this is a cost you can avoid.
6. Negotiate with the seller
If you’re happy with the property and the results of the home inspection, you can make an offer to the seller, assuming they’re not using an estate agent.
Negotiate directly with the seller to agree on a price and terms that work for both parties.
This can be a bit intimidating, but it’s important to be confident and assertive when negotiating to get the best possible deal.
7. Close the sale
Once you and the seller have agreed on a deal, you’ll need to complete the necessary paperwork and pay any closing costs.
At this stage you’ll need to employ a conveyancing solicitor to assist with the legal aspect of the sale.
They can help ensure that everything is done correctly and that your rights are protected.
They’ll help you with the transfer of funds for the purchase and also setting exchange dates for when you can move into your new home.
By following these steps, you can successfully buy a home without an estate agent.
However, it’s important to remember that buying a home is a big financial investment and it’s essential to be informed and prepared before making a purchase.
Buying without an agent can be a cost-effective option which will may save you thousands on your home purchase.
If you’re not entirely comfortable going it alone there are now plenty of hybrid online options available.
These companies will guide you through the main parts of the process for a fraction of the cost of a high street estate agent.