You don’t have to use a real estate agent to buy a home, and a lot of Bay Area buyers would gladly ditch their agent if they could ‘earn’ the tens of thousands of dollars in buying agent commission for themselves. However, due to arcane real estate laws and the selling agent’s financial incentives, you will almost certainly not receive the buying agent’s commission, even if you represent yourself. You will also find that trying to buy a home without an agent is a complicated and frustrating process, even if you have previously bought a home and are comfortable with all of the steps.
If you’re intent on buying without an agent (and comfortable that doing so won’t net you their commission), we’d recommend engaging a real estate attorney to help you navigate the process. A real estate attorney will be able to help you complete a standard purchase agreement contract and assemble all required materials to submit an offer without an agent. A good real estate attorney can review the disclosures and assemble the offer materials in a few hours, for around $5,000 - $10,000 in fees (which should make you wonder about the $50,000+ payday for a typical buyer’s agent!).
Like a lot of Bay Area homebuyers, we think that real estate agents shouldn’t earn $50,000+ when you buy a home. With escalating Bay Area real estate prices, homebuyers should get a much better deal, and we believe that buyers should keep the majority of the buying agent’s commission.
With Unlocked, you get the best of both worlds. You will work with a licensed buying agent who will provide a white-glove buying concierge experience and help you navigate the process from start to finish. You’ll get data-rich, easy-to-navigate tools that will help you understand a home’s value, and interpret the disclosure packet. And, when you buy with Unlocked, you’ll get 1% of the purchase price cash-back at closing.