A Guide to
First-time
Home Buying

& Reasons to Avoid
the Traditional Path
Let's take a look at the math. Realtors take a large cut of the sale, 4 to 6% on average, split between the buyer's agent and seller's. If you're buying a home, you will not be directly paying the commission of the real estate agents (buyer agent and seller agent). The home seller usually picks up this payment. Typically, the fee is paid by the seller at the settlement table, where the fee is subtracted from the proceeds of the home sale.
So as a buyer, you may not care about this fee. But you should! Why? Well, if you choose not to go the traditional real estate agent route, services like MassRealty that have streamlined the process and empowered buyers will take a smaller cut of the sale and, in return for you taking the reins on your own house hunt, give you a rebate after purchase. Today, buyers do most of the legwork in buying a home anyway, so there's no reason not to take advantage of this type of arrangement.
Here's what traditional real estate agents do. They set you up with MLS listings, which typically get sent to your email inbox. The reality? You don't need this. Sites like MassRealty get the exact same MLS listings, and are often updated faster.

Realtors may also accompany you to open houses or private showings. This is also not necessary in many cases, since open houses and first showings are usually informational. Most buyers understand better than their real estate agents what they are looking for, where they are willing to compromise, and what makes a house or condo a place they could call "home" Plus, if you do need or want a real estate agent to go with you to a private showing, second showing, or even an open house, a service like MassRealty will do it for much lower fees.
Finally, real estate agents will (ideally) help you put together and place an offer once you find a home you want to buy. This is important, and does require some experience and expertise. However, again, services like MassRealty can do it for much lower fees because they have developed digitally-driven processes that let them streamline processes and focus on the human touch where it really matters.
PROCESS
TRADITIONAL REAL ESTATE
MASSREALTY
Finding a Home
MLS email updates, which can lag
MLS updates continually refreshed online, open access
Open House
Accompany you to all (often without adding much value)
Accompany you only if you want
Private Showings
Accompany you to all (often without adding much value)
Accompany you only if you want
Contract
Required to use the real estate agent once you sign on the line
Freedom to make your own decisions
Making an Offer
Hands-on guidance; they may or may not add a lot of value
Hands-on guidance with research-backed strategies to increase your odds of success
Closing
Connect you with a real estate lawyer, not much else. Have to sign papers in person
Provide all necessary professionals; Handle the closing online
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YOUR NEXT HOME
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