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OverviewWhy should I use a REALTOR®?How much does a REALTOR® cost?How do I start?Why would I not use a REALTOR®?Who pays?When should I contact a REALTOR®?Why use CapCenterThe bottom line
he simple, straightforward answer to "Do I need a REALTOR®?" is “no.” But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use one.  In short, you don’t need a REALTOR® to buy a house. You also don’t technically need a REALTOR to sell a house. There is an option to list a home For Sale by Owner (FSBO). That said, the advantages of using a REALTOR® are plenty. They are your working professional in what can be a complicated industry. They have unmatched insight into an area and know what questions to ask about a property. A REALTOR® knows how to approach and get the most out of a negotiation.

Why should I use a REALTOR®?

A REALTOR® is your licensed professional in a sometimes hard to navigate process.

REALTORS® have extensive experience reviewing and negotiating contracts. They make sure everything is up to snuff and ensure that you don’t leave anything on the table. Even before getting to contract negotiations, it is a huge advantage to have one person dedicated to your home search.  

REALTORS® have the tools and the connections to get you into homes before you can find them on a web search. They know what’s going on in the home and the surrounding community.

How much does a REALTOR® cost?

Typically, the REALTOR® fees are a percentage of a home's price.

The cost of hiring a REALTOR® varies depending on the location, the services provided, and the commission rate. Typically, REALTORS® charge a commission, which is a fee equal to a percentage of the sales price of the home. Often, the listing agent and buyer’s agent split this commission, with each agent receiving a percentage of the total commission. The total commission rate will usually range from 2 to 6% of the home’s sales price. It is most common for the seller to pay the total commission, but sometimes, usually depending on the market, the buyer and seller agree to split the cost.

The typical buyer’s agent fee in CapCenter’s realty markets is 3% of the transaction, paid by the seller. Usually, that money goes straight to the real estate broker. At CapCenter, we apply a portion of the commission to your closing costs, saving you money.

How do I start the home buying process?

You may start the process by doing casually searching online. But to officially start the process, you should get pre-approved before you get a REALTOR®.

The process of buying a house can be broken down into several steps:

  • Get pre-approved: Before you start looking for a house, it’s important to know how much you can afford to spend. You can do this by getting pre-approved for a mortgage or by using a mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly payments.
  • Find a REALTOR®: A REALTOR® will help you find properties that meet your needs and guide you through the home buying process.
  • Search for and tour properties: Once you have a REALTOR® and a pre-approval, you have a budget and a partner to find what you want at the price you need.
  • Gauge value: Once you have found a property that you want to buy, your REALTOR® can help you determine what you should offer.
  • Make an offer:
  • Get an inspection: If the seller accepts your offer, you will usually opt to have a home inspection done to ensure that the property is in good condition. Most inspections take just a few days.
  • Close:  Once the inspection is complete, and you are satisfied with the condition of the property, you will need to close on the house. This process involves signing a purchase agreement and transferring the ownership of the property from the seller to you. Once the closing process is done, you will get the keys and you can move into your new home!

This is just a general overview. For a more in-depth look, check out our home buyer's guide. It's important to keep in mind that the process of buying a house may vary depending on the location and other factors, but the steps are generally the same.

Why would I not use a REALTOR®?

Most people that don't use a REALTOR® simply think they can do it themselves.

There are several reasons why someone may decide against using a REALTOR® when buying a house. In some cases, it’s just that someone does not want to pay the agent's fee. Others may feel confident in their ability to navigate the home buying process and want to take a shot on their own.  

There are online platforms that allow people to buy and sell homes directly, bypassing the need for a REALTOR®. The issue with doing this is that the buyer may leave themselves exposed. There is a reason that there are professionals dedicated to this line of work. They know how to navigate the space and make sure your bases are covered.

Who pays the fees?

Generally, the cost of the fees falls on the seller of the home.

Typically, the seller of a property pays the real estate broker fees. Many sellers will consider and include the cost of fees in the total home cost or negotiate them as part of the sales contract. In some cases, however, the buyer may agree to pay some or all of the agents’ fees. You’ll most often see this offered when a buyer needs to sweeten the deal. The agreement of who pays the agent fees will be discussed and agreed upon by both parties before signing the sales contract.

When should I contact a REALTOR®?

You should contact a REALTOR® right after getting pre-approved.

If you’re serious about buying a home, you should contact a REALTOR® as soon as you’re ready to start looking at properties.  

It’s generally a good idea to contact a realtor as early as possible in the home buying process. This gives you access to their expertise and resources right from the start. REALTORS® will help you understand the process of buying a home, including the paperwork involved and the steps you need to take to secure financing. Additionally, they will help you prepare a realistic budget and find properties that fit.

How does it work with CapCenter?

CapCenter covers closing costs and has everything you need in one place.

We cover your traditional closing costs, which will save you thousands. Learn more about our Zero Closing Costs Offer and Realty Savings here.  

CapCenter has all your home buying needs under one roof. Having your financing and realty services working together helps ensure you don’t miss an opportunity. It also helps you save money. Our structure gives back when you use our mortgage and realty services together.

The bottom line.

You don't have to use a REALTOR®, but you should.

You don’t have to use a REALTOR®, but you should. Having a REALTOR® gives you an educated, inside look at the industry. A CapCenter REALTOR® will help you find the home you want and get you into the home for a tour.