A home buyer can decide to undertake the purchase without the benefit of a real estate agent, but if they do, they take on the responsibility for understanding the local and federal regulations that will apply to their transaction. While everyone is most focused on the money that is changing hands, that’s just one of many steps that are legally required for the sale.
An overconfident buyer may wrongly assume that all the forms they find on the internet are correct, and they may never realize there can be local requirements on the property that have to be met before a sale can occur. For example, in DeKalb County in metro Atlanta, all toilets in the home must be certified as low-flow before the new owner can get water service. Without the awareness of this requirement, a new homeowner might be faced with replacing every toilet in the home – and then getting the certificate of compliance – before the county will turn the water on.
While it is possible to buy a house without a real estate agent, a closing attorney is required to make sure the transaction follows all the legal requirements of a sale.