Buying The House: We Didn’t Get An Agent & Came To Regret It
We have been working towards buying our first home for years now. Somewhere along the line a few years ago, we decided that the ideal time to move would be during this coming summer when Sarah was between elementary and middle school. Why? Well, although we just love the little area of Atlanta that we live in, buying a house here is not in the cards. To get even a decent home, you’re automatically looking at a $600-800k price tag. Crazy sauce. I will not pay that just on principal when we can go fifteen minutes north and pay a third of that.
We started to narrow down the areas we would be happy and close to my guy’s work with great schools. Done. We set our sights on two areas that would be ideal and started to look for houses. I love new construction and often went wandering around new developments. During one of these random drive-arounds, I found something I loved. Fast forward to the weekend & Mike loved it too. We spoke to the agent on site/community representative and were thrilled. After we went home and discussed for the rest of the weekend, we were ready to take the plunge. Mind you, we did not have a real estate agent. We didn’t think we would need one that soon. I also figured since we were looking to buy a new house in a new development, we wouldn’t need one at all now. W R O N G.
We asked the agent on site to find out what kind of fencing the HOA would allow. We have four dogs so that is super important. That took three days of back and forth. We decided to then discuss some upgrades. She had to price them out and list them on the contract in the hopes that the builder would include them at no extra charge. All in all, it took until Friday to compile, sign & return the offer contract. Cue the anxiety. Neither of us had ever offered on a house before. Clearly.
No one expected to hear anything over the weekend, so we were both surprised to hear from the community representative on Sunday. She told us that she had received another offer. . . on our house. The one we had just offered on Friday.
Apparently the other couple wanted upgrades as well, so the builder had to price them out before responding to any of us. . . at least that’s what the rep said. We didn’t end up hearing back until Tuesday night.
The builder accepted the other couple’s offer, without so much as coming back to us with a counter-offer. We were crushed. The location was perfect, the schools were highly rated, the subdivision was small and intimate. The house had everything we were looking for and it was reasonably priced. I cried. Now we had to start all over; the work & time we had put in was all for nothing.
If we had sucked it up and gotten an agent from the start, things may or may not have ended up differently. We’ll never know. What I regret is not having an agent to move things along more quickly and negotiate on our behalf. An agent would have done all the legwork and been tenacious about getting that offer in right away. She would have provided the knowledge we needed so we didn’t have to [incorrectly] lean on the community rep so heavily. Save your peace of mind and your sanity: get an agent early in the home-buying process. Needless to say, we got one the next day. She is amazing!