If you already had an experience in buying a house and know what needs to be done then you do not need a realtor. But if you are a first time home buyer I would recommend one. There are a lot of things that my realtor helped me with when I bought my house.
As a buyer or as a seller? As a buyer, if you have the opportunity to close without realtors then I would definitely do that. Such situations are rare though, if the house is already listed the seller is in a contract with their realtor and has to use them at that point. If you are looking to buy from a friend or something on an unlisted property then definitely just use a real estate lawyer and skip the commissions.
Then not a lot of opportunities to buy without realtors involved unfortunately. Would have to be an off market deal with a friend of a for sale by owner home. Probably best bet is to find a buyers agent that will give you a commission refund. Redfin does this standard but it’s a fairly low refund; you can arrange a larger refund with a traditional agent pretty often if you ask.
I’d say use an agent. It’s a big investment and if you have a good agent they are looking out for your best interest. I know personally I work on a big team at Compass and do a lot of transitions. I’m not looking at every-deal as a payout. I know it takes time but my clients end up happy in the end.
Just realized you’re the buyer & deleted my comment in place of this: TL;DR: agents help make sure everyone wins (in a good deal) - they are usually worth it.
As a buyer, having an agent is going to be in your favor as they will help make sure you’re in good shape throughout the entire process from search to close. If you have a seller that is offering you a 6% discount to avoid an agent, just beware there could be reasons behind that — seller is paying the 6% either way it sounds like.
If you’re very experienced in buying homes and know what to look for and you could get away with it. But as it was noted earlier, as a buyer you really only control your end of the 3%. If The seller has an agent, he / she is going to take their 3%; at minimum they would take 1% for listing and brokering fees, but that’s fairly rare in my experience and usually reserved for seller-agents.
Since you’re a first time buyer, I would highly recommend the agent for experience.
Agent's services are overrated. They use standard comps that u can do by yourselves. They use their favorite inspectors and you pay them. House records are all available for a fee online and u can go to City office to get.
Agents are thriving on their customers risk profile. There is no need for a tech savvy person to use agents.
Just saw you are the buyer too. You won’t get that 6%. If the house has a realtor they are using what happens is the selling agent gets to keep the whole 6%. If you have a buyers agent they split it down the middle. Not a real benefit of not having one.