Wed, 16 Mar 2022

Experience Buying Residential Real Estate Without a Buyer's Agent

In response to

I think buyers without agents are pretty rare. In Portland, a listing agent refused to present my initial offer to the seller, despite a legal obligation to do so, because it wasn't on the customary form created by the local Realtor association. I ended up buying a license for the forms, plus a license for the software to complete the forms. I resubmitted the offer, and the rest of the closing process went smoothly. The seller's agent had to a little extra work that a buyer's agent might typically do, being present for the inspection and appraisal. The sale price was about 9% below the asking price. I don't know if the listing agent reduced his commission, about $13k that was saved by not paying a buyer's agent commission.

I made an offer on another property without a buyer's agent, contingent on me being able to see it, and the listing agent refused to schedule time to show me the property. That one received multiple offers above asking so she didn't feel obliged to deal with an unusual situation, I guess.

The second property I bought without a buyer's agent was in Chicago. The seller was a real estate agent. He was fine using the purchase agreement form created by an Illinois lawywers association, which is publicly available. I believe the Chicago Realtors association has their own forms as well that aren't available to non-Realtors/lawyers. In Chicago, buyers and sellers typically use lawyers in addition to real estate agents, but close through escrow at a title company. I didn't bother hiring a lawyer for this transaction. (The lawyer we used on the purchase of our primary residence was about $800.)

I haven't sold a property without an agent, but if you have time to do showings/open houses, I don't see any reason not to. The buyer will likely have an agent, and the agent will probably expect the customary commission from you. I know someone who came to an agreement with a buyer's agent for a 1% commission.

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