Buy a House Without a Realtor: A Good Option?

Do I need a real estate agent to buy a house?

Theoretically, it is ok for you to buy a home privately in Toronto, Ontario, with no brokerage or agent.

Do I need a real estate agent to buy a new home?

New homes include pre-construction condos, townhouses, and houses.  The new home buying process is different than that of the resale market. You will directly deal with the builders via their in-house salesperson. The price of a new home is normally preset. You can only negotiate the development Cap fee, upgrades, etc. 

Since the buyer agent commission is paid by the builder, you can use a free service by hiring a realtor. For the realtor to receive the commission, you need to register the agent with the builder at the very beginning.

Who pays the commission? 

The commission to a buyer agent is most commonly paid by the seller in the resale market. In most cases, the seller hires an agent to deal with things on his or her behalf.

How to buy a house privately in Ontario?

You may need a checklist when buying a house without a realtor. How to view the property and how to make an offer on a house without a realtor are among the major concerns except in the situation of a house for private sale or For Sale By Owner.

It is quite an easy job if the property for sale has an open house schedule, but not every house has that option. You can review our up-to-date listings for all the open houses in GTA. You may ask for the listing agent's assistance to visit the house.

When you decide to make an offer on a home without an agent, there are a number of forms that you can refer to. But those OREA Forms are exclusively used by its members. You can also try with the listing agent to see whether they would like to help without any agreement with you. You could also hire a lawyer to draft and review the contract for you.  

After your offer is accepted, if there are any conditions, you need to meet those conditions or have them waived to continue the deal.

Well before the closing day, you may need to hire a lawyer to do a title search and all closing-related issues such as a statement of adjustments.

Encumbrances of buying a house without an agent 

Buying a house privately might create a number of encumbrances for you. For example,

  • If you don’t have an agent, you may find difficulty in visiting the house unless it is an open house or FSBO (For Sale By Owner). 
  • You can call the seller’s agent for assistance.

Challenges of no agent

  • You will face the challenge of dealing with the seller’s agent who has industry knowledge and negotiation skills.

  • You have to go through a lot of complex activities during the whole transaction process. 

  • Even more challenging, you need to possess the knowledge to avoid any loopholes and mistakes during the complex deal, which could be costly.

  • In the event of a bidding war of multiple offers, which is common in Toronto, things are moving fast. When other buyers have professionals to help, your chance to buy a home with reasonable terms by yourself would be restricted and limited.

An alternative solution

The possible solution is to get to know the industry practice, find the right cash back realtor, and enjoy professional services and support.